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