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