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