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