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Pharma – overdose of copying Muffled voices for merit… Cement prices continue to rise… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... An inexplicable neglect Modi storms Silicon Valley Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Kudos to NDTV... When small is no larger beautiful.. Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Paytm karo... A think tank for Chennai This scant respect for Law Welcome focus on core competence PC’s preference for professionals Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science The power-full Hindujas Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health GM Technology at last! Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Moily’s bold thrust Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria The Jan Dhan bonanza More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Auto components surge… Building loyalty through the stomach Haul over the coal There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! ONGC at KG Basin The brown list of Venkitaramanan The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ An enemy’s enemy is a friend When online building permits work…. Computation of GDP – conundrums continue The star of Spencers is no more Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Towards speedy justice The rise and fall of Annamalai University IAS invades NDDB... Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Tribute Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Welcome GST When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Parliament in paralysis... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Intellectual of rare qualities Why land prices zoom in TN? Things happen by accident and not by design... Gay abandon in pricing When nations steal growth from one another… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Roaring Ro-Ro facility Recognition to role of NBFCs.... TIAM turns a full cycle Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Poor quality of university VCs Engineering seats go abegging Robber barons everywhere A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara IPL - no surprise this scam CII projects higher growth… Sweet news for TN sugar mills Mu Sigma – is no more Boy, can you beat these? Mersal magnified Where is Rajaji? Return to king coal for urea... Tribute – M V Murugappan Fortune for Indian Airlines Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ No Maha Koottani in TN... Plummeting profits of PSBs A more liberated TN… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad A friendly business group Streamlining mandatory third party cover Nuclear power at the nucleus Tatas moving out of urea production... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Rahman at CIC TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School The balancing act Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Editor's Notes Airlines in India: cost and space Road development slows down For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Quality silica from Neyveli Solar thermal shines… No engine for this car to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Cutting the nose to spite the face Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Editor's Says Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Shanti and Sadhana through Music Modi and the lady Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Music happens MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Why this malaise in medical education? Valli, they are more marginalised Shipping woes of Chennai companies Banning booze... Fortune 500 review L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Russi Mody – a tribute Kulandai was a giant Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Solar, solar everywhere … Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Delhi Chalo... Maximising the micro pricing … The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more B H Kothari - a tribute Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated How Air-India loses customs... A yen for wastage… Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Should we change the official year? Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Multi-faceted Venkat The Swadeshi Trump London, London Narayan Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Another Indian music maestro at the UN Telangana in top gear… Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Wise Presidents He continues the focus on social amelioration Build close rapport with business leaders EEC at the National Media Centre Put expensive assets created to use... Preserving for the future Delhi is distant… When the President was rendered homeless… Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Noble nonagenarians... Sri Lanka votes for change China invests in India For whom the bell tolls? Come elections, come advertisements... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Strengthen the base... IPL type auction for VCs? Small units prefers to remain small... The why of tax incentives CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... When Ratan Tata visited SRM Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! …and of a popular trade leader Medical costs hit the roof... He saved millions from starvation... Make standards certification mandatory... Vibrant Gujarat Making ‘my Amaravati’... SoA @ 80 Polls and promises West Bengal: mindless malignancy Breaththrough in malaria control Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Discoms deserve better… Contrarian cousins GNS - 100: our first subscriber Demise of a media baron... Fuel for thought No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Kinetic Karnataka Funding the un-funded Five star activism stalls development activity Quality education through the PPP mode Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Tatas moving out of urea production... TGS- The king storyteller Revive development banks... Silver Years of Madras Musings The Gulf aviation boom Gas is the way forward Protest masters... The rise and rise of KCP PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals The nuclear option WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Tough task taking states together Waning interest in public discussions… Sweeter prospects for sugar Tax agriculture Secularism and anti-Hinduism Delhi returns to BJP Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… EVM is tamper-proof More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Where a state respects its litterateurs… The sea- saw battle continues... Adharma of opposition politics Which side are you, Montek? Convulsions in The Hindu Delhi is distant Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami More tributes to GR Shale gas and its shallow future A rich pool of talent not utilised…. More heat than light TELANGANA at last…BUT A glass full of corruption Readers' Mail A proud Madrasi Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A professional at the helm of IRDA... The few handicaps... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Revving up the manufacturing sector All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya
 
Welcome focus on core competence

The logic of sticking to knitting seems to be impacting large public sector corporations. When such a project was set up in a green field site far removed from major cities, there was the need to provide a vast range of facilities and social infrastructure. For example, when the Rourkela Steel Plant was set up in the 1950s in Odisha, the area lacked basic amenities like housing, roads, power, schools, hospitals, markets, etc. Substantial portion of the initial capital had to be spent on creating these facilities. Over the years the administration had to cope with managing a vast range of activities that had been taking its attention away from the core activity of producing steel. It plunged several public sector corporations into losses. It also resulted in bloating the workforce to levels that became unmanageable.

Tata Steel at one time had a workforce of over 70,000. A large portion of these were engaged in activities that had little to do with the production of steel. eg: managing the township, providing water supply, electricity, maintenance of roads, running schools, hospitals, sports, museum, etc. A bold decision was taken to relieve the company of most of these non-core activities. Aided by the boom in the steel sector post-2000, the company effectively hived off many of these activities to separate institutions and offered liberal VRS packages. In quick time it reduced total workforce by half. Several other corporations followed suit and succeeded in improving productivity per employee and focused on their core activities.

This has become necessary in the context of stiff competition from across the globe. There is pressure to improve incremental capital output ratio and ensure higher productivity per unit of capital employed. This has been achieved by a few sectors like the automobile and auto component industry by taking recourse to a higher degree of automation, vendor development and improving supply chain management.

 

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