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