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