Releasing Soon ‘The Gita Way’


Feeling proud to announce that my book The Gita Way is due for release by end of this month. Soon it will be available on Amazon for pre-order. Will update again the relevant link once it is released.

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The Gita Way is an irreligious take on the tenets of the Bhagavad Gita. Without delving into either mythological or God-centric discourse, the book attempts to understand and explain various insights from the Gita through, in the author’s words, derived theory and application. The Gita Way attempts to shed light on matters of self-realisation, and identifying and following the path to achieve the purpose of life.

Within the framework of Vedic philosophy represented by Gita, this book explores:

  • How to discover the swa-bhava, the inherent natural strength of our real-self?
  • Is my profession aligned with my swa-bhava? What is my purpose of life?
  • What is the real meaning of moksha, the liberation? How the realization of individual purpose leads us to attain supreme purpose we are born to achieve?

Using the principles of Gita, this book presents innovative findings on theory of prarabdha, the luck or destiny, role of knowledge and karma, continuous improvement, yoga of universal harmony and yoga of devotion. To highlight few, in chapter combined discipline of knowledge and karma, we introduce most important part of their research -centring. Centring summarizes power of combined application of yoga of knowledge and karma along with simplified theory of spirit and supreme spirit. Chapter Vision of Universal Form and Yoga of Liberation simplifies the meaning of moksha, the state of liberation by linking it to the attainment of the supreme purpose of life. Chapters on Yoga of Devotion and Continuous improvement focus on recipe of staying on the unique path of achieving individual goal.

Unlike other books on Bhagavad Gita, The Gita Way is not a chapter wise discourse. Instead it presents deduced concepts in first place supported with relevant reference from the whole Gita. For example, in the first chapter of the Gita Way, you may get a reference of last chapter of Gita relevant to the topic of discussion.

To know more please visit facebook page at following link:  The Gita Way

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We are now conditioned to the word ‘cost’


We are now conditioned to the world ‘cost’. It was recession which hastened us to think of ‘cost’, otherwise, I am sure, none of us ever have considered cost as prime strategy. During the recent downturn, most of the companies improved or sustained their relative bottom lines with the help of cost cutting measures. According to a recent Mc Kinsey survey, most of the companies made effective and significant cutbacks in overall costs since the onset of economic downturn in September 2008. As the downturn is supposed to be behind now, I feel most of us overreacted to it and become hyper aggressive in cost cutting measures. This resulted in the reduction of investments in productive area, impacting future growth prospects. One reason could be that in difficult times, when managing cash flow is the prime concern, or it is projected as prime concern, all outflow including future investments appear as costs. In this perspective, we must understand the difference between cost and investments.

According to one of the reports of Crisil, India Inc’s planned capex expenditure will be dropped by 25% over next three years. This is an example of cutting investment which was designed for future growth prospects. In some cases it could be postponements. In both the cases, cutting future capacity investments or postponing capacity addition is actually creating a gap which we may face in next two or three years. Companies conservative on their own plan capital expenditures, will loose opportunity if situation comes back to normal, which seems more likely now.

Situation is actually coming back to normal. According to a recent McKinsey report, the number of households in the deprived segment is likely to drop from 101 million in 2005 to 74 million in 2015. Which means around 27 million households will enter into lower middle to middle class. Can you imagine the kind of increase in overall consumption? Who will cash such demands in an environment where companies are postponing their capacity expansion plan?

There is another similar example in form of manpower layoffs cases. Most of the IT companies, who estimated their manpower as more than adequate in number, discovered an opportunity to rationalize their headcount during the period of downturn. They did it. Most of the other companies in various other industries followed the same strategy. I feel this was a wrong decision in the name of cost. Now, when the growth prospects for IT industry is returning back in shape, (estimated software export growth in coming year is over 20%), the manpower strength is becoming the bottleneck. Almost, all IT companies are now back to recruiting in full swing, to fill the gap created by them only. A sudden increase in demand of IT professional means rotation of same net people strength for short term prospects without filling the actual gap in the industry. This means more lucrative offers in form of salary structures. So, who lost in the process? This is one of the example of cutting investment in the name of cost.

A waste is a cost. It is one of the easiest think to differentiate between costs and investments. To reduce the waste two things are required; one is discipline and the other is investment. Discipline at work place can reduce wastages in the form of stationary, electricity; maintenance etc. and to some extent productivity. Investment in new technologies and new skills reduces wastage by improving efficiencies. A more efficient process takes lesser costs. Instead of focusing on cost why should not we focus on process to make it more efficient? This is a tough decision to make, especially in difficult times, as it needs investments. I am sure that few companies must have thought in such direction.If I assume that a company’s lifecycle is long enough to handle one or two economic downturn and believe the cyclical nature of such fluctuations, imagine the gain a company would have who sees downturn an opportunity to invest in new technologies, training and processes at negotiable rate, and is ready for the time when the downturn cycle turns in other direction.

NANO, IPL and Politics


This month various news covered three different takes showing successful business strategies, government intelligence and fizzled opportunism. Nano, IPL and political fuzz summarize this week’s headline.

Nano was launched with not a real product but a promissory trust by Tata, which will be delivered from July this year to common people of India. The launch looked more like a financial strategy. By the way of advance booking Tata’s not only assessing their financial and supply chain requirement but also raising funds which could ease their financial hitch which is global in nature now. It makes good business sense. Nano is a real innovation which has demonstrated Indian capability in both manufacturing and strategy. Though, the people of India should be proud of it, a lot of anti Nano SMS campaign started rolling by some people I don’t know whom. But I know it is by those who lost the opportunity which was always there to explore but they did not dare to innovate. Tata’s should not worry about this negative propaganda as their target customers are those, most of whom are not very technology savvy. This is the case of lost opportunity but our political leaders do not lose many. Post IPL shifting news of political reactions, lot of leaders politicized this issue by criticizing government on the grounds of security and national pride. My personal views are in favor of government as they took a stand which seems to be hard and conservative but it is in favor of countries biggest event, the general elections. More than that I am sure it is based on some intelligence information. If it’s true, it’s good to hear that intelligence is in place and government has courage to keep national interest above their own political interests. BCCI, too, demonstrated a business innovation by making IPL, which is truly Indian domestic sport, a global brand. Except viewer’s turnover at the matches, all the business interests are saved. What a week with good show of business strategy, intelligence and opportunism.

RURAL CONSUMPTION AND GROWTH


One of the key indicators of domestic consumption is agricultural growth. Agriculture and allied activities contribute around 20 % of GDP and feeds more than 58 % population. Now in the recent economic crisis when we started looking inward, which was right in place earlier too, for overall growth, the emerging concern is the growth of Agriculture which defines consumption pattern of India. During tenth plan (2002 to 2007) agriculture grew by merely 2.3 % against 7.6% of overall GDP growth rate.
The key issues I want to raise is the role of Indian industries and government in developing rural infrastructure, education and health, deploying policy and participating in rural value chain, pricing, insurance, credit and microcredit. Recent global economic turmoil forced us to think beyond urban population to ensure sustainable growth. Companies like Hero Honda, Marico, HUL are outperforming in today’s scenario only because of their rural penetration. Two things are common in these companies. One their product is well designed product to suit rural taste supported by (two) matching delivery mechanism. Take example of Hero Honda whose basic models (main volume and revenue generators) are well positioned for common man’s requirement like fuel efficiency and reliability. Along with their product they have matching delivery network too with widest coverage in tier two and tier three cities. Bajaj, one of the competitors of Hero Honda, closely matched their rural network compared to Hero Honda but failed to position right product. But all these strategies are meant only to take share of rural expenditure. The Indian industries should think beyond that towards participation in rural value chain and infrastructure developments. ITC’s e-Choupal is a good example where the model is not only participating in farmer’s value chain but also simplifying companies supply chain. Such innovation creates value for both company and customer. From government perspective, we need radical changes in agriculture policy, pricing mechanism, credit and insurance to farmers. Along with these a healthy investment in infrastructure, education and health will give sustainable results in long term.

Let us anounce “war against terrorism”


Serial blasts are attacks on democratic structure. And I feel the solution lies in our strong democracy itself. None of such malicious activity is possible without the support or involvement of general public directly or indirectly. Terrorist are in our society itself. They are using all the government infrastructure for their plans. They are traveling in same buses or trains. They are using same banking system to transfer money from one hand to another as we do. And somehow they are successful in using us also.

The labors transporting materials from one place to another do not know what is inside the box. They are doing it for their daily living. The person at check post clears all the materials for the want of very small money. Knowingly or unknowingly he is also involve and responsible. The police can not check all the luggage arriving in a city. But they can randomly check. They can use information technology to identify a suspect. I do not know how effectively they are doing their jobs.

These terrorist get shelter in our society. Knowingly or unknowingly they are using us. They could be in my very neighborhood. They are buying a pressure cooker or a bicycle or a bike from the same places where we also buy. Somewhere somehow they must be leaving a scope for a suspicion. At that time tell me honestly how many of will take pain to inform police? I am sure few of us will be daring enough to do. I am using word dare as I feel police has lost its credibility. Many of us will agree that helping police is inviting them to harass yourself.

Another issue is the insensitivity we have developed towards our society and so nation. Very recently a lady got accident on the roads of Mumbai and no one come to her rescue as it is only the responsibility of police. This loss of sensitivity is making us selfish. Most of us think that all the calamities are just a news as long as it not happening with me. Directly or indirectly these attitudes are also helping enemies of democracy.

Before designing a comprehensive solution to the problem of terrorism. We must fill all these gaps already existing in our society.