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