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