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