Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 44

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 1 of 44

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 2 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 3 of 44
From the Editor
Dear Members,

The day we have all been looking forward has finally arrived.
It is indeed my privilege to welcome the delegates to the
MMA’s Flagship event – MMA Annual Convention 2020.
On the first of February we watched the excellent presentation
of the Union Budget. On announcing changes to the Income
Tax slabs, and illustrated with examples, everybody clapped
as if they had finally been granted some benefits at last. To
their dismay, the Finance Minister announced it to be “Optional” as to avail this long awaited benefit
one would have to forgo all “Exemptions” we presently enjoy – why such gimmickry?
Budget 2020 – 21 was being presented at a critical time for the economy, with growth decelerating
sharply, and evidence of adversity not just in the informal economy but in the corporate sector as
well. With official data suggesting that even prior to 2019 – 20, unemployment was at a record high
and the agriculture was languishing, news of slagging growth was discouraging. The pressure on the
FM to show that she is making an attempt to kick-start the economy was considerable. It is crucial
that businesses see this slow down as a temporary and follow a prudent strategy to “Adapt to Win”
in an economic environment that is increasingly complex and uncertain. In this context the MMA
Annual Convention has been conceptualized over the course of five exceptional sessions and through
conversations with several prominent industry experts/ economists/thought leaders that can help
you not only survive the current economic climate but also to adapt to win.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Ravichandran Purushothaman, the
Chairman of MMA Convention Committee and Knowledge Partner, McKinsey & Company who have
worked tirelessly over the last four months to make the Convention a grand success. I also thank
the sponsors for their support in organizing the celebrations of propagating management movement
in this part of the country.
The Central Government’s decision to crack down on sexual harassment at workplace by
strengthening the legal mechanism is most welcome as there is a dire need to ensure justice to the
victims. With more Women opting to work and looking at a long career and even working night
shifts, imagine a World where every Women is empowered. A world with choices, where she never
waivers in her confidence and belief in herself.
In this context MMA will be celebrating the International Women’s Day Convention on the theme
“Dreaming Big” – is meant to get us talking about what that World could look like and we will be
reminded that the Women are capable of Dreaming Big and can truly change the World.
The Chairperson of MMA Women Managers Convention Committee, Ms Shuba Kumar ably supported
by our Knowledge Partner, Cerebrus have lined up eminent speakers who will address the delegates
during the Women Managers Convention 2020. I request all the women members of MMA and women
managers to attend the Women Managers Convention 2020 scheduled to be held on Saturday, 14th
March 2020 at MMA Management Center and also request them to disseminate this information to
other women managers who are not MMA Members to participate in the Women Managers Convention
2020 which is highly subsidized by MMA with a participation fee of Rs.1,000/- including 18% GST.
The year of the Rat has begun on an inauspicious note for China. A new virus belonging to the
coronavirus family has claimed a number of lives in China. The WHO has declared it a global
emergency as the outbreak continues to spread outside China and now entered Kerala in India. It
would be very pertinent for the Government Health Agencies and other stakeholders to take an
immediate proactive measures in preventing its further spread. The Government should also quickly
disseminate awareness bulletins and timely health advisories. In view of the dangerous ramifications

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 4 of 44


of the outbreak, the overall strategy requires structured and effective coordination with the WHO
and other apex medical bodies.
The other day I came across an interesting report that despite earning lots of money, people in
affluent countries are insecure and depressed. It is true that even one is given the entire Wealth of
the World, one will not be satisfied. In this context MMA has scheduled a Talk by Swami
Mukundananda author of the book “7 Mindsets for Success, Happiness and Fulfilment” sharing his
insights at the MMA Annual Convention. Please do watch and get inspired!
I wish the delegates very active and fruitful deliberations and the MMA Annual Convention 2020 all
the success.
As always we would be happy to hear your views, comments and suggestions.
Happy reading!

Gp Capt R Vijayakumar, VSM (Retd)

Naadum Valamum - GDP (Country and


Resource - GDP)
CA T N Manoharan
Chairman, Canara Bank

A Summary of the Address by CA T N Manoharan during the discussion on the theme of the book
“Naadum Valamum - GDP (Country and Resource - GDP)” authored by Mr G Chidambaram, Economist
and Former Member, Tamil Nadu Planning Commission held on 9 January 2020 at MMA Management
Center, Chennai

It is a distinct privilege for me to release the book titled


‘Naadum Valamum-GDP’, with thought-provoking
contents. It is difficult to conceptualize a topic such as
‘Gross Domestic Product’ (GDP) and present it in a very
lucid and interesting manner. It’s not just meant for
those who are keen on pursuing Economics, but even
for a layman, it’s bound to be very enlightening and
elucidating. For those who track the country’s path
towards achieving the targeted GDP growth and to
students who want to do research on macroeconomics or
microeconomics, this book would provide immense fund of knowledge and information. In fact, the
title itself is very apt – Nation and Wealth-GDP.
Indian Economy-1991 milestone
As the author of the book Mr G. Chidambaram has rightly mentioned, prior to the globalization,
liberalization and privatization regime of 1991 that the then Prime minister Narasimha Rao and
Finance Minister Manmohan Singh unveiled, the state of our economy was gloomy but it drastically
improved post 1991. This journey and transformation has been ably captured in this book.
Somebody wrote a terse poem,” We got independence at midnight. Still it has not dawned.” That
was the gloomy scenario prior to 1991. Another wrote a verse that India is definitely a rich and fertile
land, because, even after so many people plundering it, it still exists as a nation! We have enormous
amount of wealth, minerals and natural resources. That’s why some economists commented that
India is a rich country inhabited by poor people. When are these people going to become rich? That’s

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 5 of 44


the anguish, the anxiety. Thanks to the reformation that happened post 91, India is emerging
stronger and galloping towards prosperity.
About the Book
Mr Chidambaram, the author of the book, with his rich knowledge, wisdom and enormous amount of
experience has couched, condensed and presented his enormous wealth of knowledge on the subject
matter in ten chapters in the format of 88 Questions & Answers. The questions have been framed
in a logical sequence and answers have been given in a simple, understandable but comprehensive
manner.
I had myself been a teacher for CA students. A good virtue of a teacher is to have clear boundaries
within which the imparting of knowledge has to happen. If a teacher breaches the boundaries and
imparts knowledge which is excessive or insignificant, then the students will get confused and
exhausted. I found that this technique is ably adopted all through this book. Nothing important has
been omitted but at the same time no aspect has been excessively analysed and unimportant things
have not been browsed. In that sense, this book will be a feast of knowledge for any student and a
very pleasant experience to read through.
All of us are keen to learn and that too learn lifelong. In Tamil, there is a saying, ‘What we have
learnt is just a handful; What we haven’t learnt is a world of knowledge.’ When I read this book, I
realized how much we presume to know about economics but actually do not know. The author has
covered the concepts connected with GDP; the evolution of this concept across the globe; how it
originated in the US; how it was reformed and given shape, how India pioneered the variants of
implementation of the GDP; the historical background and genesis of GDP; the methods of
computation and what changes happened subsequently with relevant data. All these have been
narrated with lucid explanations and practical examples. More importantly, the book makes an
interesting reading as the author has commented on certain matters in a poetical way.
Samuel Johnson, a great scholar, says about literature, “You should have imagination. You should
also have intelligence and blend factual information - the knowledge and substance to be presented
in an interesting way.” It’s gratifying to note that even a book on GDP can be made so interesting.
The author says that our GDP has merits and demerits, positives and negatives. When I read the
book, I could appreciate how enlightening the author has made these matter-of-fact statements and
substantiated them with logical narrative.
Having come to launch this book on GDP, let me share some of my views on the present state of
affairs of the Indian GDP. Day in and day out, we find many articles, comments and observations
about the way in which the economy is moving forward.
Dissecting the Slowdown – Three Factors
What is the reason for the present slow down and depression? Why is it that in the last quarter of
last financial year, it dipped to 5.8%, then to 5% in the first quarter of the current financial year and
in the second quarter to 4.5 percent? The rating of the GDP growth for the current financial year has
been reduced by RBI itself in the policy statement to 5%. The same figure was announced by the
statistical Ministry a few days ago. The World Bank also has come out saying it will be only 5% and
not 6%. So it synchronizes. The slowdown is obvious. I would attribute three factors to the present
state of economy. They are i) The Domestic reforms; ii) Sluggishness across the globe; and iii).
Digital disruption.
Internal - The Domestic Reforms
Multilateral and multifarious reforms are happening simultaneously all across the economy starting
from Demonetization, GST, many new legislations such as RERA, IBC - Insolvency and Bankruptcy

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 6 of 44


Code, measures such as consolidation of banks and insurance companies, divestment of stakes in
many public sector undertakings. In my view, NPAs originated during the good times when economy
was booming. There was indiscriminate borrowing and indiscriminate lending. There was growth and
expansion beyond prudence. In the present scenario, it is perceived to be bad times and tough times
and therefore credit off take is slow and staggered. But, one can be rest assured that every rupee
that is being lent today will be repaid and will not become NPA. Because the entrepreneurs are also
doubly cautious on for what purposes to borrow, when to borrow, how much to borrow and how
deploy the borrowed money. The bankers have become very prudent and cautious right from KYC
compliance to credit appraisal to end use monitoring to prevent divergence. The cleaning up of the
past baggage in terms of NPAs is happening.
The unorganized sector is migrating into organized sector. The number of transactions executed on
line are increasing and cash transactions are reducing. GST implementation induces not only to
account for the top line, because of input tax credit, but it also brings to book the real bottom line-
i.e., profits and therefore leads to payment of income tax. Evasion is becoming more difficult. Thus,
the number of taxpayers is growing gradually. But to realise the fruits of all reforms can not be
reaped in the short run. Many of them will benefit only in the medium term or in the long term. The
fact that all kinds of reforms appear simultaneously across many sectors is bound to lead to a painful
transformation causing slow down.
Since consumption has come down, the production/supply comes down which in turn adversely
effects on the investor sentiment. Fresh Investments do not come all that easily. That impacts on
employment opportunities, the purchase power, the saving capacity and once again leads to decline
in consumption. So, it’s a vicious cycle in which we are operating now. But we should understand
that it’s not external forces that have trapped us into this calamity. We are methodically and
systematically ironing out the negative factors and bringing up much required reforms and changes
very essential from the long-term perspective. Therefore, we need patience and we need not worry.
India was like a national runner. How do we make this national runner to compete globally, in
international games? We found that there had to be some surgery carried out and certain new
methods of training had to be imparted. When surgery happens, for a few days you have to be in
ICU. Then you will come back to normal ward, then you will start walking, then running and finally
you will be ready to compete with the best in the race. Indian economy is no longer in ICU. It has
moved out to the normal ward now. The economy is in the phase of warming up now and it will soon
slowly move to the runway. It is bound to take off in a matter of few quarters. Once this giant takes
off, no force on this world can stop it from becoming a powerful economy.
External –Struggling Global Economy
Now let us look at the external factors across the globe. We blame India for slow down. But show
me one economy, which is accelerating in terms of economic growth. The fact is, every economy is
struggling. Maybe, we were the fastest growing economy two years back. Now we have allowed
China and Indonesia to surpass us in terms of growth rate. China has a larger base but still, we are
the third fastest developing economy.
Look at Global scenario. In the US, restrictions are placed on H1B visas with a view to promote
localisation of workforce. There was a trade war between China and US. There are sanctions against
a few economies. Europe is entangled with Brexit related issues and except Germany, all other
economies are not doing that well. Middle Eastern countries are looking for alternative resources to
the exchequer in terms VAT and other levies instead of depending only on Oil or Gas. So across the
globe, the GDP growth rate is 1% or 2% . For some, it is negative. In this scenario, 5% is reasonably

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 7 of 44


good. There is a turbulence across the global economies. India’s resilience to sail through these tough
times is obviously visible and needs to be commended.
Universal – Digital Disruptions
The third one is neither internal nor external, but it is universal and that is the digital disruption that
is happening. For moving on from agricultural revolution to industrial revolution, it a took over
thousand years. From Industrial to IT Revolution, it took just few hundred years. Now, the change
from IT revolution to Digital revolution in the form of Industry 4.0 driven by artificial intelligence,
robotics, cloud computing, and block chain technology encompassed in Internet of Things (IOT) is
happening in the space of a few decades.
There was a phase when economy grew along with job growth and later there was a phase when
economy grew without job growth- that is jobless growth. But now what is witnessed is job loss
growth. If somebody is losing a job today, it is often not because of incompetence, non-performance
but because that job has become redundant and it no longer exists.
Therefore, we need to take measures for reskilling our work force. We need to make them stay
relevant. What Charles Darwin said in those days has become most relevant now. He said, ‘It’s not
the strongest of the species that will survive nor the most intelligent but the one which is able to
adapt to the change that is happening around.’ So, these are the three factors in my view that
account for the slowdown in
the economy and it should
not be a cause of concern. It
is a matter of time before we
move ahead and gallop.
Way Forward
There are certain things that
we need to do as a Nation in
addition to what we do now.
From a common man’s
perception, I highlight a few
things:
The first one – the
government should invest
more and spend more both in
infrastructure and other
fields. Data reveals that many
of the industries or organizations suffer on account of liquidity crunch because government
departments are not paying what they have to pay to these business organizations. Those overdue
funds need to be released. Further, the refunds due from Government in terms of GST and Income-
tax have to be paid to the tax payers expeditiously.
Judicial Reforms
Second is about reforming the judicial system. We allow cases to attain adulthood before pronouncing
verdict. In the ease of doing business, we were in 142nd rank five years ago. We moved to 130 two
years later, then we jumped to 100. We moved further to 77 in 2018 and to 63 in 2019. The goal is
to come within the top 50. But in spite of such a progress, disposal of cases in our courts is very
slow. Justice hurried is justice buried but at the same time, justice delayed is justice denied. If we
have to compete at a global level, judicial reforms must happen and judicial expediency is the need

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 8 of 44


of the hour. From that perspective, arbitration mechanism in the form of alternative dispute
resolution mechanism and IBC must be given importance. Even IBC had teething problems because
of lack of adequate benches and members but now all that is getting sorted out. We had Essar Steel
Limited which gave a bonanza to the Lenders in terms of recovery of Rs.42,000 crores. Further
judicial reforms must be done to make speedy disposal of cases and prompt pronouncing of verdicts.
Improving Per Capita GDP
Thirdly, we should be improving the per capita GDP which is very low now which implies that the gap
between rich and poor is very vast. In this regard, the author has rightly mentioned in the book that
growth alone is not sufficient; there has to be development. Now we are in a touching distance to
UK economy. Very soon, we will overtake UK and become 3 trillion $ economy by the end of this
year to 5th position and in the next five to six years, we are bound to surpass Germany, which is 4.2
trillion and Japan 5.2 trillion and we’ll come to third position. When this happens by 2030, I think
three nations will compete amongst themselves- US, China and India. That’ll be the triangular contest
which we have to eagerly wait for.
Our Honourable Finance Minister Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman said that in a few years, we’ll cross five
trillion. In addition to that, my wish list is that the per capita income, per capita GDP of every Indian
should also go up. Because right now, while we can boast that we’ll soon become the fifth-largest,
we are nowhere, in the top 10 Nations, comparable to the remaining nine nations in terms of per
capita GDP. The highest per capita GDP of US is 62,152 dollars whereas the last but one is China,
which is 10,088$. Where is India? It is just 2135$. That is why Chetan Bhagat wrote an article in
The Sunday Times(5th January, 2020) that our dream should be that the per capita GDP of an Indian
should become 5000 US dollars by 2030. This is reasonable presuming the present value for
calculation -about Rs.3,60,000 per annum which means Rs.30,000 per month which will be
sustainable and enable a good standard of living for a family with two dependants.
Mr Chidambaram, author of the book, has rightly commented that we need not focus only on quantity
in terms of the growth but should focus more on the quality of the growth of the Economy. Dr Abdul
Kalam said that we should not only look at GDP but also GDH, i.e. Gross Domestics Happiness. Every
year March 20th is celebrated as World happiness day. Of course, it’s not as popular as Valentine’s
Day! UN every year releases the world happiness report. We are ranked 140th and have to go a long
way on many of those parameters. For that, one of the factors –the per capita GDP should improve.
We should turn out to be not only a prosperous nation but also a happier population.
HRD Index
Fourthly, we need to take drastic measures to improve on the Human Resources Development Index
in which, unfortunately, we are ranked 130th. We have immense potential of the youth. India’s
population breakup is as below:
Less than 20 years of age : 41%
20 Years upto 59 years : 50%
60 years and above : 9%
American population is a stagnating one. European and Australian are declining populations. Chinese,
Japanese are aging populations. It is only India’s population which is a young population. If only we
can empower them with the skill sets required for the present day and the future, they will transform
our economy and take it forward;
No doubt, the world is afraid of the Indian youth. Thirty years ago, American parents used to tell
their children at the breakfast table, “Children eat well, because millions of Indian children are
starving without this one meal per day.” Today the same American parents are telling their children,
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 9 of 44
“Study well. Otherwise, millions of your jobs will be taken away by Indian children.” That’s the
potential we have in terms of human resource talent. If right measures are taken, not only Indian
youth would be deployable but India would also emerge as the human resource hub for the globe.
Make in India Mantra
Fifthly, we need to introspect how china not only grew bigger but could also alleviate poverty faster.
Chinese GDP growth was driven more by manufacturing sector. Prosperity in manufacturing sector
percolates down to the working class - the masses. We followed a service-sector-driven growth. Upto
a certain stage it’s good. But the problem is, the prosperity stagnates at the creamy layer of the
society. It doesn’t percolate down to the masses. It doesn’t empower the working class with the
purchase power. That is why the ‘Make in India’ theme came up. Manufacturing sector will not only
give direct jobs, but also, it will give allied and ancillary jobs.
Today, look at the imbalance in the workforce. Service sector contributes to 57% of the GDP, but it
deploys only 25% of the workforce. Manufacturing sector contributes to 27% of the GDP and it
deploys only 22% of the workforce. Agricultural sector contributes just 16% but it engages 53% of
the workforce, A few years earlier it was more than 60 percent occupied in agricultural sector and
now gradually declining. This Imbalance can get corrected with shift to manufacturing sector which
is happening in a calibrated manner. Even “defence requirements” are getting to be manufactured
in India. Over a decade if this continuous our imports will come down, exports would grow and our
balance of payments would turn out to be favourable. Agriculture sector needs large scale farming
methodology by pooling small land banks. Modern ways of mechanised cultivation, infrastructure for
irrigation, warehousing and cold storage facilities, efficient transportation networks should auger well
to improve the contribution of agricultural sector.
Growing with Culture
World over, when economies grew, what is the price that people paid? If you look at the western
economies, for growth and development on the economic front, they paid a huge price in terms of
destroying their culture, values and institutions. I think India should stand apart and demonstrate
that we can grow but at the same time we preserve our rich tradition and culture. Even if it takes a
little longer than it ought to take to become a developed economy, we must grow with culture. We
must preserve family, marriage as an institution, respect for elders and respect for sources of
knowledge –teachers and books.
One generation of India gave theosophy to humanity, yet another built monuments. One generation
was instrumental in agricultural revolution, yet another in industrial revolution and the last
generation in information technology revolution. I wish that the present generation should contribute
to bring about a moral revolution- that is “Probity in Public Life”.
I greatly applaud Mr G. Chidambaram, author of the book ‘Naadum Valamum.’ I am tempted to
allude his book to what ancient Tamil poets ‘Idaikadar’ and ‘Avvaiyar’ sang in praise of ‘Thirukural,’
the famous Tamil book of couplets written by Thiruvalluvar. The author has giving us a vast ocean
of knowledge through his small book in 10 chapters and 160 pages. His effort at the age of 91 must
be applauded and commended.
‘I have a dream,’ is a famous speech given by Martin Luther King Jr in 1963 in the United States of
America. Many things today in the US have become reality, even much beyond the expectations
espoused in that historic speech. An American with African roots could become President of the USA.
I too have a dream. We all know that 18th and 19th century belonged to Europe and the 20th century
to the US. I wish to dream that the 21st century must belong to India and let us all join hands to
make it to happen.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 10 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 11 of 44
Change is the Only Dynamic Constant
Maj Gen A Arun, YSM, SM, VSM
Deputy Commandant & Chief Instructor, Officers Training Academy, Chennai
A summary of the address by Maj Gen A Arun, YSM, SM, VSM on “Change is the only Dynamic
Constant: Change Construct is a Key Leadership Requirement” held on 20th January 2020 at MMA
Management Center

Change in the Universe is a constant...and when


humans stop changing, the end is near. However in
organisations, change requires a driver....a leader.
The leader who cannot communicate is no leader at
all. When it comes to individuals, they have to drive
themselves. Today everything is moving at such a
rapid pace that the change also becomes very rapid.
The route to Change and Success drives
through Leadership and Happiness.
Change is continuously and consistently constant. It
has no off days. It requires no propulsion. It requires no
orders. It generally works on its own and happens in our everyday life whether we are in the office
or at home.
The Incredible Jawan
In 2003, I was posted in a difficult place. My unit was deployed in five different places. There were
no mobile phones then. At about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I got a message from a source who told
me that in some village far away, there were four militants. I got the company commander on the
set and told him to go to the village. The commander is in charge of the place and he knows the
area, the routes and the people. Ownership , therefore rests with him as it should.
At about 4 or 4.30pm, I had an intuition that something was different. So I sent the doctor–a young
person who was just five days old in the unit and never exposed to military life. I was not sure if he
would last the six hour walk. We had to go up and down the hill and cross a stream. At about 5:30
pm or so, about an hour after the doctor left, I got a call on the radio set that one of our jawans had
been shot. For me this was a Leadership failure. Failures must be unacceptable should they be for
either: 1) Lack of Capability (2) Lack of interest and (3) Lack of diligence.
With a Quick Reaction Team, we ran. At 9:30 pm, I got a call from the doctor and he said “Sir, It’s
dark now.” Indeed, it was a dark cloudy night. There was no moon and the clouds hid the starlight.
He was scared. I put pressure on him to move on. After another two hours, he called me on the radio
and told me that he reached the casualty and the Jawan was heavily bleeding. The next day, we
managed to airlift the injured jawan in a helicopter to a hospital.
In the meanwhile, we reached the village, stayed there for five days and flushed out five militants,
conducting searches in 200 houses with 200 men. It was the most stressful job leading the scout in
such an operation. We had not eaten for about 5 days and the only sustenance was the limited water
we had with us. Our soldiers would not hesitate to share with others in the team, even this limited
water they have with them. That’s why I call them as the most wonderful human beings in the world.
I went to the hospital and asked the nurse in charge of the ICU, ”How is my Jawan?” She said the
jawan was critically injured. His left femur had fragmented at two places. The injuries were largely
in his stomach as the bullets had pierced his stomach. He had severe injuries on his rib cage with
four or 5 ribs broken. His lungs were filled with body fluid. There was a baseball sized hole on one
side of his body. These were his injuries. I was defeated and sad. “Will he survive?” I asked her. “I
don’t know Sir,” she replied.
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 12 of 44
“Can I talk to him?”
“Not sure if he can hear you or speak. I can put the handset near his ear.” I said, “Please do that.”
I asked the jawan in an enthusiastic voice, “How are you?”
10 or 15 seconds, there was no response. ‘Probably, he couldn’t hear me.’ So I let it go. The success
of neutralizing five militants is not worth the loss of even one of our jawans. I was extraordinarily
sad.
Suddenly I heard a thin voice from the injured jawan... “Sir. I have a small pain in my stomach.” In
a strained voice he added..., “Saab. How are the rest of the men in my team?”
The purpose of telling you this story is not because of teamwork, sacrifice or selflessness. This was
a 21 year old jawan with only three years of service in the army. What had caused the CHANGE?
How does the army cause this change to come about at an individual level?
The Hawthorne Experiment and Change:
Change is actually people driven. In the famous Hawthorne experiment which was done at a Western
Electric factory located at Hawthorne, they increased the lumens i.e. the lighting levels and found
that the production went up. But when it was reversed and lighting level was reduced, the production
did not go down. It went on increasing. The bottom line is that different people react to change
differently. We have to understand that all organizations comprise individuals.
Change causes stress. There are very few people who are blessed and are absolutely stress- free.
There are 12 cadets here undergoing training in the last six to seven months. One of the woman
cadets has completed the IronMan Challenge.
Spontaneous change will not happen. When will the entire lot of eligible Chennai voters start voting
in an election? Can it happen overnight? Australia is a small country with approximately 21 million
voters. Here, if an eligible citizen does not vote, then it is an offense. So on the voting day, all
Australians living outside their country will go to the nearest high commission to cast their votes.
When will we spontaneously stop throwing litter on the street? I know I need to change to make
things better. Will I be willing to change or am I likely to resist it?
Real happiness comes from helping others. It’s called an emotional contagion. World over,
people take pleasure in giving. Those of us who take the time off to help others, find the greatest
joy in this world. This joy causes change. People help others because it makes them feel very
good. Of course, in the process, the other person benefits.
A leader is expected to not just facilitate change but create it. What I talk about here is the
creation of change in a proactive way. It’s a leader’s job to visualize and look into the distance in the
future.
Why does Change Happen?
Change happens in an organization for a variety of reasons and some of them are listed below:
• Crisis
• Performance Gaps
• New Technology
• Identification of Opportunities
• Internal & External Pressure
• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Change for the Sake of Change
• Sounds Good
• Planned Abandonment
Why do People Resist Change?:
Now why do people dislike, fear or resist change? Here are some of the reasons:
• It is natural

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 13 of 44


• Self – Interest
• Fear : unknown /sense of loss/confusion/failure
• Loss of power/status/money
• Fear of letting go
• Mistrust of the Way –Ahead - Suspicion
• Differing Perceptions
• Loss of control/turf
• Belief that its unnecessary / not possible
• Everybody reacts differently
• Just Like That
As leaders, we have to understand that those who resist change are not inflexible. They’re not
stubborn. The critical component is communication and education. If you are able to educate
people on why change is required, change gets better acceptance.
We spoke of the outstanding story of our jawan. How does the change happen in the military? Apart
from trust, team work, camaraderie, selflessness and other qualities, anonymity is an important
attribute. Military life is based on ‘Group first’ principle. One of our cadets who is here with us
today was working for a UK Law firm in Mumbai, in a very comfortable and well paying job. Her
husband was serving in the Army. He was a young major and he passed away. She chose to join the
Army to further her husband’s legacy. If you want to know the meaning of the word sacrifice,
perseverance, tenacity and change, she will tell you that. We are trained to do outstanding jobs
and go back into the shadows because, for us it’s always, ‘team first.’ This is what the military
life teaches people. This is what the system makes people do.

Reactions to Change:

Fig . 1

When there is change, people react differently - from active resistance to complete
acceptance (Fig 1). Different people will react differently. As leaders, we need to understand that
and treat each person differently.
When there is a change, for sure, there will be a dip in productivity. The first time you learn to play
a violin, you will sound like the most obnoxious person in the world. While we want to transit from a
current state to a desired state, we will go through this dip. That’s the time we have to tell ourselves
that we need to practice and work harder. So whether it is with individuals or organizations, this
productivity dip will happen for every major change. And this is the range of emotions that people
feel, reacting to change (Fig.2).
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 14 of 44
Fig.2
There is an anxiety, fear, threat, depression, guilt and there’s a gradual acceptance. There is
disillusionment more than anything else. There is a fear of what the change will do to us and that is
why we resist it.
The Tip of the Iceberg:

Fig.3
Changes in organizations and icebergs (Fig.3) are actually just the same. In an iceberg, we can see
a small portion –the head- above the water. Then there is the heart and soul which we can’t see. So
the top part is what the leaders can create– like the organization, the rules and the systems but the
people who work with the organisation are the heart and soul; they reflect the emotions and the
culture. If they don’t comply with the instructions wholeheartedly, institutions will not work. So
leaders have to realize that while they contribute directly to 10%, they need this 90% to
perform, because 90 percent is what resides inside.
So, how do we make the change to happen? In the Army, we pick a start point. One of our cadets
won a cross-country medal in the championship of last Sunday. So what do we do? We call her in

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 15 of 44


public, put a metal round her neck and take a photograph. Now everybody sees her. She’s the start
point for every other girl cadet. She has now become my change agent.
Nobody resists their own ideas. We have another cadet here. She broke her hand during training
and now has rods in both the ulna and radius. She missed training and therefore lost six months of
her term. Medically she is still not allowed to do any tests, but every time I meet her, she tells me,
”Sir, Every test that you make me do, I will pass.” That is not my suggesting to her. That is her idea.
She practices and when people see her practicing, they will say, ‘If she can do it, I can.’ She becomes
another change agent. You can also see examples of strength, courage, fortitude, perseverance and
all of those but we are talking about here is change.
Keep The Key to Happiness:
The critical thing is that we need to replace fear with hope. We have to tell people that this change
is very good for them and for us as a community. When we can establish change in people’s minds,
the change gets embraced easily.
Repetition and reinforcement may often be required. Use the power of communication. Say it in
multiple ways. Why does McDonald’s have star of the month? Its to motivate the rest of the staff to
earn it.
Change is a slow process. Prepare yourself and the organization for change. You send out the
proposed change through grapevine. Then tweak the change and implement it. This is one way the
government uses for creating acceptance.
After everything has been tried and tested you must identify the resistors. Probably they need
more education, more reinforcement, more talking or may be replacement. That is how it
works. Last but not the least, there is not just one way to build acceptance. There are so many
different ways. We need to use all of them judiciously as leaders.
Finally, remember that the key to happiness lies with us. The choice is with us. Lets not allow
someone else to control our Happiness. Change will then come to us more easily.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 16 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 17 of 44
Disruptive technologies that are
transforming the Higher Education
Dr Sandeep Sancheti
Vice Chancellor, SRM Institute of Science and Technology
A summary of the address by Dr Sandeep Sancheti on “Disruptive technologies that are transforming
the Higher Education” held on 24th January 2020 at MMA Management Center

When I became a teacher in 1984, I


would do a good work in my classroom
using the blackboard and come out with
my head high and students would
appreciate my effort. But today it’s all
over. I need to do what I call innovation,
ideation, incubation, consultation,
productization, facilitation and
transformation. A teacher has to be an
exciter and a facilitator.
What happens in the classroom has
changed extensively thanks to
technology. As a result, some students
who do not come with the right sort of
background may face challenges. No doubt, we are at crossroads.
I was seconded for a faculty position in AIT Bangkok in 2005 and I handled an elective for a class of
19 students from 12 nationalities. That was my toughest class ever, as the students were very
different in their background and abilities. Today, the scenario has changed and many things have
become very difficult in the classroom. Teaching job is not necessarily easy. Five or ten years back,
the ratio of teaching and learning activities was 50:50. Now it has become 30: 70.
Technology always has an impact on education. We want today many things of our choice and
therefore technology is important. We talk about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). These are
obviously outcomes of technology. If I am doing a global project with many partners, I cannot every
time visit all. But any point of time, they can come together using technology, which is shrinking the
world into a global village, killing the distance and offering a solution to many of the problems. You
can create my 3D holographic image and beam it elsewhere while I lecture here. In long run,
technology will even be questioning the very existence of universities.
Educational Transformations
As an ordinary student, I would like to pick my favourite teachers and choose my timings (See Fig.1).
So both flexibility and quality are required. What if a topic is boring or I have already studied it? I
want to design my own syllabus, so needs and interests can also be matched. I may design my own
degrees instead of doing ready-made degrees. It’s like boutiques. Open-book examinations must
become the norm rather than the exception as it is more closer to real life situations. This should
happen within three or four years. Once you graduate, wherever you work, your boss is not going to
ask you where from you got the best answer. He would be only interested in the best answer.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 18 of 44


Educational - Transformations

Pick Teachers & Timings Flexibility & Quality

Design your Syllabus Needs & Interests

Design your Degrees Student Centricity

Take Open Book Exams Real World

Exams on Demand When Ready!

Fig.1
What will happen if you can take examinations on demand? You wear a set of clothes depending
upon the event you want to attend. You want to eat food at a place you want to dine, may be pizza
tomorrow and pasta, the day after. When it happens almost in everything else in your life, why
should it not happen to your education and in particular to examination which gives you a stamp?
So hopefully, this will also come into the picture very soon. Most of the transformations are student
centric.
A Series of Disruptions
Those days, parents used to tell their children, “If you play, you will ruin your lives.” It has completely
changed today. In fact, if you want to be a millionaire or win Bharat Ratna at a young age, sports is
the best route.
Covering the syllabus was a very important task for the faculty members. Today, the concept is
completely changed. You don’t have to cover the syllabus at all. You have to uncover the syllabus,
which means, uncover its potential and explain why the subject was taught, how it is related to your
life, what impact would it make when it is applied and what will be the cost of it?
We make a syllabus which is very high end in course curriculum. Obviously we have 30 to 35 %
teacher shortage, almost in all good institutions. When the semester starts, the available teachers
pick their favourite subjects. Those 30% vacancies will be filled through visiting and walk-in faculty
and these poor guys end up with the leftover and toughest subjects like thermodynamics and
electromagnetics thrust upon them. We make teachers around the subjects. But basically we need
to change the concept. If a faculty comes to an institution with an expertise in something, the
institution should be able to be schedule the subject according to the faculty’s availability and
expertise. This is what the advanced world does and that’s why those people are very mobile. The
best person is allowed to teach the relevant subjects.
We always talk of classrooms but classes outside the rooms assume more importance now. Today
learning cannot be confined to the classroom. Specializations are also becoming fuzzy.
The Story of Nobel Laureate
Take the example of Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan. He was a product of physics at UG level.
Then he moved to the lowest level once again to start understanding biology for his research. As he
started doing biology and various other things which led to connections with chemistry. That’s how
he got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. So what more can be said of subject boundaries? Even if they
are there, they are very porous and hazy.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 19 of 44


Knowledge today is becoming less proprietary. Knowledge in my opinion will not grow if we keep it
to ourselves. It will grow only if we share it, distribute it and talk about it so that ten more people
work in that particular domain and those ten more will add ten elements sometime later and that’s
how the area will grow.
Artificial intelligence was there in India long back. It didn’t grow all of a sudden. It has started
growing because people started sharing the successes. Most of the top notch things are being shared
openly. People are trying to multiply. If I give one typical problem to five groups, chances are, all
five will come with different answers. When I sit with all five groups and discuss all the answers, all
of you will know five different types of avenues and opportunities to deal with that problem. That is
what we call as knowledge.
Teachers as Learners
Teachers are going to be the learners themselves. In fact, they are the greatest learners. If you want
to perfect a subject, the best option is to teach that subject and in this process teacher becomes the
best learner. I take pride when I fail to answer my students’ questions, because, I get some new
knowledge. I realise that my students were attentive. Teachers will also become learners because
the technology is changing fast. Most of the current generation of teachers when compared to their
students find it difficult to handle technology.
Next, age will be no bar for formal education, which used to be the case. Degrees will become more
meaningless. We already know that companies like TCS are no more interested in engineers only for
all types of technical work. They take BSC graduates and sometimes non-graduates are also taken
for information security. You just have to have the acumen and taste for that. One student who has
failed in more than half the subjects got a placement with 14 lakhs CTC. The point here is that
degrees may become less relevant .
Regular graduates or PhDs like us become so stereo typed in focus that we have less capability for
disruption and innovation, but the uncluttered mind possibly has more potential. In real sense, the
boundaries of higher education institutions are getting punctured as I can study anything from
anywhere and add value to my degree.
Some New and Novel approaches:
Today, we talk about the virtual and smart classroom and MOOC is included in that. When I started
my teaching actively, during 86-87, Space Application Centre was experimenting with distant live
classes through use of satellites. It had one way video and audio and in the other way, only audio
question and answer was possible. Such things were experimented even then. So this concept is
probably 20 or 30 years old but now prevailing. Now anything you want to learn, you can go to a
website and learn. You can do many one to one sessions and use many other smart modes.
We also have virtual / public online laboratories. This concept in India is 10 years old and was driven
under the project called the National mission on education through ICT (NMEICT). Now it is
rechristened with some new name, but that’s where most of the top notch institutions started
creating facility.
The beauty of this is that the lab will be 24 x 7. It will be less costly and more reliable. When I directly
handle the control, I can break something or apply wrong voltage / current and make the equipment
worthless. But when I’m now doing it remotely, all the built-in protections are there. The interface
will not allow me to go beyond a certain limit to operate. It has the potential to cut down the cost
because costly equipment cannot be there everywhere. Even if equipment is there, the room is not
open. The technician is not there. The power supply is not there and various other issues come up.
Therefore online laboratory is a very good option. All of us should crave to do that. Unfortunately in
India, most of the online things have happened only in the computer space with the programming
etc. Real hardware should also go into that. Many other institutions are taking the lead in making it
happen.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 20 of 44


What happens when you do a degree: You do the classroom, laboratory and what is the third thing
you do?
Goodbye to Revaluation
After you have learned from both of these, you appear in the exams. So, next come the virtual
examinations. I’m not talking about the objective type, admission tests, but the descriptive ones,
which are there today. You can write it on a screen, it will be captured and stored. It will be distributed
to the potential examiner within half an hour. It will be coded and the best part of it is that there will
be no need for rechecking and re-totalling which unnecessarily delay the entire examination process.
You can access your copy online and see how it has been examined. There is a huge potential.
Combining all these, there will be a concept called Virtual University. Again, this concept is also not
new. The virtual university concept was conceived in Chennai under the leadership of Professor M S
Ananth, then Director of IIT Madras. I was also part of that group but that was in 2010 and we were
much ahead of time. The idea disappeared since.
Puncturing of Universities
The puncturing of the conventional universities will happen as it is. Now conventional universities
give degrees to those who are enrolled with them. Someone outside the boundary of these
universities may deliver the same education, with more competence and they may not able to give
the degree. If the industry tomorrow may find a better value in that, they may accept them and
therefore the boundaries of universities will get punctured. That’s why many institutions for fashion
or jewellery design and healthcare have started coming up, not necessarily giving the right degrees.
IIM themselves are not giving degrees. Take CA or CS for instance, they are giving only certificates
but they are highly valued. So the universities may also go out of fashion.
Then, we have the latest in-things like AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing and all that. Last year in
February 2009, I was invited by Microsoft to Seattle and I listened to one of the invited presenters -
a very young person and unassuming kind of a personality coming from New South Wales in
Australia. He was invited to speak to us. This person told us that he handles a class of around 500
to 600 students in a single class giving individual attention using AI and machine learning tools
developed by Microsoft. But here in a conventional mode, even in a class of 50 or 60 students, we
are now unable to give individual attention. That’s the power of technology.
We need anytime, anywhere, any mode education be it classroom, virtual, online, connect, non-
connect, skill, non- skill learning, etc. Today I am here. If I go to Australia, I should be able to
continue my studies. I’m moving in a long journey, I should be able to attend my lectures and
answer my assignments and all that, from anywhere.
I can combine anything to form any degree, which I want, of course, within some framework and
not fully flexible. I can do it in any language. Language is a big barrier today. Germany may be a
good destination for education, but people don’t go to Japan and Germany because of the language
barrier, but probably not any more. You will find all the tools coming to you.
I shared with Microsoft people my idea of an online student personal guidance –I call it as SPG- which
is similar in concept to GPS. A GPS is a navigational tool. If you give the starting point and the
destination, it tells you the route. In the same way, if a student feeds his present state of education
and feeds his desired destination (For instance, he wants to become CEO of Microsoft like Satya
Nadella), then the SPG tool should give the student a suggested paths with varying costs, time and
efforts required.
NAC Bank –The Next Big Thing:
The National Academic Credit (NAC) Bank is going to redefine the future of education in India. This
model was earlier attempted by other countries but they were not successful, once again because
they were ahead of time or they didn’t have enough materials. In India, it’s getting conceived and I
am also part of this initiative. What are the building blocks and key aspects of the NAC Bank? (See
Figure 2)
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 21 of 44
NAC Bank Building Blocks
Any Subject Bachelor of
Combinations Liberal Education
Notion of Specialization
broken Notion of Branches broken

National
Merging of Regular, Convert Credits into
Academic
Distance, Online & Degrees & Diplomas
Credit Bank
Virtual Modes
(NAC Bank)
Notion of Mode of Education Notion of Educational
broken Currency broken

Study in any National


Life Long Learning Or International
Enabler Institutions

Notion of Time of Education Notion of Campus &


broken Locations broken

Fig. 2
Bachelor of Liberal Education (BLE)?
Have you heard of this degree? When you go to eat a pizza in the restaurant, there are standard
pieces with say capsicum or tomato topping and which you can order. But then there are guys who
enjoy their food and they say, “No, I don’t want this. Can you mix this with that, do this with that?
Make it extra crisp,” and so on. Bachelor of Liberal Education would be something like that. It is
something which you have decided what will make your degree from, provided you earn certain
number of credits. It can be any subject, with any combination.
For instance, I start engineering because of the peer pressure. Then I realise I don’t like engineering.
I shift to BA. There I realise I don’t like Economics and again drift. In this process, I may lose
everything of what I did. Not with NAC Bank where you can choose your combination and get credits.
If the credits total up to the requirements of a prescribed specialized degree, you get that degree.
Or else, you end up with Bachelor of Liberal Education. This is similar to the concept of Liberal Arts
and you may choose music, philosophy, sociology, history or politics etc. to make your own sub-
specialization within the degree.
Now people who are in service can only do the distance education. But, unfortunately, we all look
down upon distance education because of the lack of quality in many distance education streams.
NAC envisages a combination of classroom, distance, online and virtual modes offering flexible
education.
Today our higher education starts probably at the age of 16 or 17 and goes up to 65 or 70. Assume
that this year, I want three credits. Next year, I haven’t done anything. After some break, I add
another 5 to 10 credits and I’m now ready for a PG diploma in something. That’s how it will be
flexible. I can be in online mode, MOOC mode, or Virtual Lab mode, if it is a lab course. I can do a
course from Stanford and get it counted. Various things can happen and therefore it will be fully
flexible.
Count Your Credits
The other flexibilities are anytime, anywhere, any mode, any language and all those things. Credits
will become the new currency for education. That means you can convert credits into degrees and
diplomas. You can keep accumulating and the credits will sit in your passbook. You can encash the
credits. That’s why, this concept is called NAC Bank.
I may be student of IIT Madras but I know that for one subject, either the teacher is not there or
what is not offered is not good. I may take that course from IIT Bombay or IISC Bangalore. I may
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 22 of 44
do that because my desire is to learn the best from the best. With MOOC and all these models, you
can go for the world’s best and not just India’s best.
The NAC Bank will offer us lifelong learning. I start a journey. I own some credits without any
intention for having any degree, but later I realize that I can give it a right shape. I can build a big
house out of that. This is happening under the ambit of UGC. The scheme has just been approved in
principle by the UGC commission. The rest of it is going to be popularised and publicised. Hopefully,
very soon, may be in the coming year or so, it will be launched. Of course, it cannot be allowed for
all programmes and all institutions to begin with as it cannot be allowed to open a pandora’s box all
of a sudden for a huge country and education system like ours. To begin with, it would have to be a
controlled experiment. Several notions also get broken through NAC Bank concept – the notion of
specializations, subject combinations, degrees, branches, institutions, locations, time period or
whatever.
One of the biggest changes which we will see is that is all the unwanted universities and colleges will
start disappearing because people will not take credits there. Indian higher education now follows
the ‘Affiliated’ model. World over, this Affiliated model is not there or not so big and popular In our
case, Anna University or any such University will have hundreds of colleges affiliated to it. As a result,
they mainly become an examining body or at best, the syllabus setting body. This will also now
change because this affiliation model is not working nicely in terms of quality. So once again, they
are going to be impacted largely. Many changes will come out of technological advancements and
disruptions which are going to be on offer.
Too much flexibility also comes at a cost. If I am spoilt for choices, I may not be happy or
contended with what I take. There has to be discretion. The caution is that the students will have
to be wise to choose what they want to do and why. They will need to undergo a lot of counselling
and maturity to take their own decisions.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 23 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 24 of 44
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 25 of 44
Evolving Trends in the Financial
Market
A brief note on the discussion between Mr A Balasubramanian, Managing Director & CEO, Aditya Birla
Sun Life AMC Ltd and Mr Raghuvir Srinivasan, Business Editor, The Hindu during the talk on “Evolving
Trend in the Financial Market” held on 21st January 2020 at MMA Management Center theme

Raghuvir Srinivasan: You talked about


the constitution of the Nifty. 42% comes
from the financial sector and 15% from
the energy sector. So two-thirds of it is
from sectors which are not really in the
pink of health right now. Given the fact
that about sixty percent of the GDP
comes from services sector, how much
do you think, the Nifty or the Sensex
should reflect the current economic
reality in the country? Do they not need
to be reconstituted, to be more dynamic
in terms of reflecting the present state of
affairs?
A Balasubramanian: The index is a function of the way it is constructed. It is the way the market
cap and floating stock of companies move. Floating stock means stock owned by public at large,
which includes public institutions and less of promoter’s own contribution. They carry a higher
weightage. Companies like HDFC and HDFC Bank are owned by Deepak Parekh and team but they’re
not the real owners. The real owners are sitting abroad. Therefore they can have higher premium in
terms of weightages.
That’s how the index is constructed. So naturally, the index will be more skewed towards certain
sectors but at the end of the day, it is also a function of how the other sectors start performing. It’s
nothing but a reflection of economic growth. Normal economic growth gets reflected on automobile
sectors. As the automobile sector starts picking up, you’ll find automobile sector index going up at
the cost of somebody else who is underperforming.
The skewness is not permanent. We have seen in the past that skewness comes in one sector, stays
for two or three years, they underperform the index for sometime and then some other sectors
emerge on the basis of the emerging trends both locally and globally. Then it moves on. We have
seen it in software sectors where it has about 14% weightage. If US market starts picking up, the
software sector starts making more money and it can go up to 18%.
In the same way, automobile sector is currently about 4 or 5%. It can go up to 7 or 8%. So the index
is a function of those things and it can’t be driven purely artificially using the index composition.
There has been a debate going on if you can put a weight for the index. The moment you give
weights, you bring in artificial intervention for index construction. Then it can potentially be seen as
risky because you can’t have a human intervention in the index construction except that you can
have a policy in place.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 26 of 44


We have seen historically that sectors move up and down. Energy was never so high in the past.
Thanks to Reliance, the energy sector has grown bigger and it has come at the cost of software.
Software used to be higher previously. Today Pharma Industries have got only about 3% weightage.
Pharma, given it’s importance, can definitely be 7 or 8%. But in the last three years, they have
underperformed. As the performance of the sector comes back, they will come at the cost of
somebody’s underperforming.
Raghuvir Srinivasan: You mentioned about Reliance. That brings an interesting question. Reliance
is classified under energy. It used to be an energy company. Today, more of it’s revenues come from
consumer oriented businesses - Telecom or Retail. Is there a classification error?

A Balasubramanian: That’s debatable, of course. I am part of the one of the index committee in
NSC. We had an interesting argument for one of the NBFC companies- Piramal Enterprises. Should
you call it as NBFC or real estate or FMCG? 48% of the revenue of Piramal Enterprises comes from
FMCG business and the rest from real estate and NBFC operations. The committee gave the benefit
of doubt and decided to call it as a diversified company, till such time their NBFC business grew
substantially. In the mutual fund categorization also, we call it as a diversified company.

As the weightage of FMCG comes down, the revenue contribution from other sectors goes up. If you
take Reliance industry, they are growing in retail through Jio. But they make 80,000 crores of profit
every year from the refinery margin. The refinery is the single largest contributor for the profit. The
revenue they get from Jio may be at the top but profit comes from the petrochemical business. So
as of now, it is considered as an energy and petrochemical business. Maybe, in future, if they create
another company for retail or telecom and it outperforms their energy business, then that sector
will go up in the index. Right now, only Bharati from Telecom is part of Nifty. Vodafone Idea is not
part of the Nifty.

Why is weight becoming important? Globally ETF Flows are becoming a dominant player in the stock
market because people think money manager will not be able to beat the Benchmark anymore. It’s
not the same case with India but globally this feeling is there. Therefore more and more funds come
to the ETF Market. If that comes and if there is a change in weight, that sector can potentially become
an outperforming sector.

Raghuvir Srinivasan: Interesting. Now SIPs are growing leaps and bounds. I think about 2.8 trillion
SIP accounts are there as of now, one third of that being added in the last one year alone. We have
about twenty-five lakh crores of AUMs as of today. Have you ever felt as an asset manager that there
is not enough depth in the market in terms of investable stocks - stocks that you can invest without
any fear, especially in the backdrop of the scandals that have been coming out in the last one year,
accounting shenanigans, auditors walking out, non-existent revenues, inflated profits, especially in
mid-cap and small-cap stocks and sometimes even in the large cap stock. Why does all the money
go into the top index stocks and doesn’t trickle down?

A Balasubramanian: That’s of course a challenge for the money manager. Since governance has
been playing a big role in the last two to three years, whichever companies slacken in governance,
they get punished faster. However good the fundamentals are, they get punished. But a money
manager probably cannot predict all governance related issues. There is a lot of subjectivity. The
quality of balance sheet or asset base may look good. But if you deep dive, probably you may discover
many issues.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 27 of 44


Also, now there is a fear factor because of the IBC resolution process. If you don’t do well and your
company becomes a defaulter, then you have to assume that the company will go out of hand. You
can’t try any hanky-panky measures to get back your company. We have seen it in Bhushan Steel
and Jaiprakash Associates. Essar Steel is not there.

Raghuvir Srinivasan: How does it handicap you as a fund manager in terms of finding good stocks
to invest?
A Balasubramanian: I agree thats a handicap. As a fund manager, we prefer companies that can
showcase that, they have put in place some checks and balances on the way the company is being
run. Everything can be measured on the basis of metrics. The question is what cut-off score you
want to keep. The metric should reflect the company’s balance sheet, P&L, the way the board is
constructed and the way the company is run – both on profits as well as governance. If you put a
score reflecting these and the score is 7 and above, out of 10, the probability of finding that as a
success story is high. Whenever we compromise on 7, we have made a mistake.

In a few companies in Chennai, I’ve seen the valuation is cheap. They are trading at a discount to a
peer group by almost 60% with a great value. Sometimes great value remains a great value only on
paper. It doesn’t create value for the shareholders.

If I look at valuation independent of the governance, then it’s a great buy. If I look at valuation with
the governance score, then it’s not a great buy. We have also made this mistake of buying, when we
know very well that the scorecard is less. We all get into the trap and also trigger the trap. That’s
something we try to avoid, moreso in a skewed market.

But your point is right. Sometimes if you are too fuzzy on score, then you may not find many stocks.
As a compromise, we have a cut-off score of 7 and then look at anything about seven.

Raghuvir Srinivasan: Let me now take you to debt mutual funds. As much as SIPs have gone up,
equity markets have gone up and equity funds have gone up. Debt funds have not really caught up
with the retail investors. Recently debt paper was written off by mutual funds. These things have
cast a long shadow on investor expectations and returns as well. So what do you think needs to be
done to push the average retail investor -somebody who’s an investor in SIP -into looking at debt
also, which is a more secure option?

A Balasubramanian: This is the sad part of it. When I was a chairman of AMFI, I wanted to leave
the Chairman position with imprint on promoting fixed income schemes. I was almost ready with the
creatives and SEBI had okayed them. In July 2018, we had AMFI summit and took up this case. As
we invest in fixed deposit, we can invest in fixed income schemes as well. Then we always say that
mutual funds are subject to market risk and take cover under that. So the request letter to SEBI was
ready wherein we stated that we can bring in FD and fixed income schemes and then make people
actually look at fixed income scheme as one of the long-term income options. Everything was going
all right and unfortunately, the ILFS case happened. SEBI of course had to pay attention to ILFS
debacle. They said no to my advertisements to promote fixed income schemes. All my hard work of
six months came to a standstill.

People think fixed incomes scheme is bad. But fixed income scheme has got multiple varieties. If I
put my money in my savings account, it can earn roughly 3% interest. If I put the same in savings
fund, I can get six percent. Another advantage of savings plan is that I reinvest the money every
month.
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 28 of 44
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 29 of 44
What do you mean by reinvesting? In a one-year cycle, the money remains in your account. From
my side as the fund house, I reinvest the money for one month. At the end of one month, the money
comes back to me and again I reinvest for one more month. Like that, I reinvest 12 times in a one
year cycle. I take care of your money and also the investment risk. Every fund in fixed income
scheme has got one month maturity, one year maturity and three years to maturity and so on.
We only look at credit fund. Last year was actually an exceptional year for the accidents that
happened in the market. When interest rate is being cut, naturally the bond price goes up. In a stock
market, when the earnings go up, stock price goes up. Whereas in the bond market, if yield comes
down, if the interest rate comes down, the price goes up. So it is the reverse case in the bond
market. This is something that nobody understands.
What you need to keep in mind is that a three or five year fixed income scheme can provide a great
alternative to fixed deposit. Remember the fraud that happened in PMC Bank last year. We had an
investor who had given his PMC Bank account number for his mandate. Imagine what would have
happened? Suppose, I trade for that person and he redeems from me, where will the money go? To
PMC Bank, which can only receive money but not give back to the customer, because of their
troubles. The money would have got stuck.
We gave him an option to change the mandate to any other bank, which people normally don’t do.
He was very happy. I think we had 100 investors who had PMC Bank account. Had they put the
money there, it would have vanished.
That’s why people should realise that mutual funds are a safer option. Even if the fund value goes
down, the money can be withdrawn and you can anytime check the fund value and it’s all transparent.
Fixed income as an asset class can give better returns to the investors provided they stay invested
for a longer period. Of course, we all make mistakes. Investors make mistakes and advisers too
make mistakes.
In every investment opportunity, the grid element comes into play. When we want one percent extra
return, we need to ask the question, “At what risk does this extra one percent come to me and am I
prepared to take this risk?” Naturally, the risk of higher return has always to be considered and that
is something which we highlight in the awareness programs all the time.
Raghuvir Srinivasan: Last question. We were talking about foreign portfolio inflows, about how it’s
been at record highs this fiscal year. You also said that a lot of it is because of the reforms happening
in the economy and that these investors see value within the country. How much of the investment
thats coming in now is also because there is a lot of free cash floating outside in the global markets
and for want of adequate attractive investment avenues. Is it a crowd effect which brings money to
the country, which means that it’s also risky in terms of outflows?
A Balasubramanian: The world is changing. From a high-growth world market, post 2009 crisis,
we have seen 10 years of bull market in Dow Jones which has been one of the best performing
markets in the world.
In the US this year, they are coming close to election year and probably they may scrape through.
There is also a growing feeling that in US, the employment rates are coming down. So they may cut
rates and pump in liquidity.
Europe is also struggling with the growth. They have abundant supply abilities. Japan faces the same
problem. They have a lot of money but inflation is not there. Though they are trying hard, price rise
is not coming. People need to look for alternatives. The biggest funder in the world is Softbank
coming from Japan.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 30 of 44


In the last 10 years, Emerging Markets have become better whether it is India where fundamentally
we are getting better or most of the Asian countries – Thailand, Indonesia or China. They have gone
through the last two years of pain period facing slow down in terms of growth. But as globally the
rate of growth is coming down, there is a growing feeling that the next 10 years will see emerging
market as bull market.
When that moment comes, you will find increasingly that the money will come towards emerging
markets and India will also be one of the recipients, because it is part of the emerging market. Some
money will go to China and some will come to India, till a bubble comes.
But the bubble happens if the entire asset class chases equity. Fortunately, in our 60 billion dollar of
money in our market, only 14 billion dollars go towards equity. The rest of the money, roughly about
50 billion dollar goes to assets which you can never sell, for example road assets. Can I sell my road
asset to somebody else and walk out of the country? I cannot. Therefore, in my view, the structure
of the money is becoming more long-term in nature. Foreign investors will only take the dividend
income that is arising out of their investments.
Also, after the lessons learned in the bond market, some companies in India are now going in for
long term bottom borrowing. They are now taking a 27 year loan. There used to be a period in the
early days of my career when companies like Reliance used to borrow a hundred year loan. There
are people willing to give long-term money. What we will become conscious is about how we construct
our profile and asset-liability matching for the country as a whole. I would assume more money will
come into the FDI format rather than the FII format. Therefore the probability of creating a bubble
is relatively less.
Informative Highlights shared by Mr A Balasubramanian prior to the discussion
• The Indian Financial Services Opportunity is shaping up well. Near-term macros are causing
hiccups.
• Investment themes are getting bigger and bigger and there is a shift to private lenders. Today,
non-lending financials like LIC, GIC and AMCs seek greater share of the financials’ value pie.
• In NIFTY, Financial Services contribute 41.98% share, energy 14.46%, IT 12.77%, consumer goods
11.24%, automobile 5.72% and the other sectors, the balance.
• Out of the financial services index, Banks account for 63.93%, Housing Finance 19.21%, Insurance
7.84%, NBFC 7.54% and Financial Institutions 1.21%.
• Nifty has seen a 12% return in CY19, underperforming emerging market returns, led by a weak
macro, that has impacted core earnings growth for most sectors.
• While Nifty EPS would have been weaker in FY20 (CY19), the tax cuts have helped support growth.
• Concentration of growth though, remains towards the top few companies and that has also helped
drive Nifty valuations. This ‘concentration of returns’ has been a past two year trend.
• In the Nifty Sectoral returns for CY19, Financials account for 24%, Commercial Services 22%,
Energy 21%, Nifty 12%, IT 8% with negative returns from many sectors.
• Appetite of foreign funds to buy distressed assets (both equity and debt) has increased which is
helping to resolve issues in the Real Estate and NBFC / HFC space.
• IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) has also led to intensified activity in distressed M&A space
in India over the last two years, with completed deals worth $14.3 billion (15% of all M&A in India)
• Distressed asset funds are expected to become even more active in India, following the recent
Supreme Court order upholding the primacy of secured creditors in the Essar Steel case.
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 31 of 44
• There has been a significant support from both domestic and global long-term financing providers
for infrastructure development in India.
o National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has built a robust tendering project pipeline, worth
Rs 1 trillion.
o National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) –India’s first sovereign wealth fund has been
set up by the GOI for infrastructure investment in commercially viable projects, both Greenfield
and Brownfield.
o PFC (Power Finance Company)- The financial backbone of Indian Power sector has a net worth
of Rs 38,000 Cr.
o Real Estate AIF with Rs 25,000 Cr fund has been announced by the Govt for completion of stuck
projects in affordable and mid housing segment.
o Foreign Institutional Investors –Brookefield, Varde Partners, Macquarie, PSP Investments, etc
have invested in real estate, NBFCs, gas pipelines, telecom towers, hotels, etc.
• Resolutions under the IBC process of existing corporate cases as well as of NBFC / HFCs should
help strengthen bank balance sheets
• Recapitalization of PSU Banks along with focus on lending to NBFCs & SMEs and postponement of
NPA recognition for SMEs should support PSU bank lending.
• The worst of funding crisis for NBFCs is behind us and tail risks on system stability seem unlikely.
• There has been a substantial increase in the FPI inflows in CY19 as compared to CY18.
• There has been a dramatic shift in digital transaction profile of banks and this marks the emergence
of digital opportunity.
• India bodes well among world leaders in technology evolution. A global study conducted by Fidelity
National Information Services Inc rated India’s payment system as the world’s most evolved public
digital infrastructure in the world. Two Indian Banks (SBI -27th and Yes Bank -33rd) feature among
the list of Top 50 Digital Banks published by digitalscounting.de
• Asset quality has improved in recent times, though some new stress has emerged. This has led to
declining credit costs and better profitability.
• Valuations have moved up recently and risk reward is favourable. Private Banks have continued to
grow over their PSU counterparts; NBFC valuations have come down on weaker liquidity
environment. While growth visibility will hold valuations for NBFCs, asset quality will hold valuations
for private banks.
• The Key Risks now are :
o Protracted slowdown in economic growth and personal incomes
o Inability to successfully resolve stressed assets under IBC, going forward
o Emergence of unanticipated stress from new sectors.
• Large lenders will keep gaining share in market cap, loan and PPOP (Pre-Provision Operating Profit)
• Private Banks are gaining market share in deposits and which is further accelerated by PSU
consolidation.
• Mutual Funds are the key beneficiary of increasing financialization. MF AUM has grown to
INR 24 trillion. But penetration of MFs remain low in India. Share of equity MF AUM is on the rise
and SIP growth provides support to overall flows.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 32 of 44


The Future of Women @ Work –
Challenges and Opportunities
A brief summary of the discussion on the theme “The Future of Women @ Work –Challenges and
Opportunities” held on 10th January 2020 at MMA Management Center. Distinguished Panelists: Ms
Sathya Sriram, Director of Strategic Initiatives, McKinsey & Company Ms Sheetal H Rajani, Head -
HR, TTH Americas, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Mr Sunil David, Regional Director - IOT, India
and ASEAN, AT&T Global Network Services India Pvt Ltd. Moderated by Ms Ranjini Manian, Founder
Chair, Global Adjustments Foundation.

Ranjini Manian: The Mckinsey


Global Institute Report on “The
Future Women at Work” which
came in June 2019 is the basis for
our panel discussion at MMA
today.

I had served on the Harvard


Women’s Leadership Board and I
found that the women in the US
were using the gender intelligence
in a clever way for leadership styles.
But in India, if you just buy into anything that happens in the western world and bring it to India,
such as the global report, it doesn’t work because our cultural norms are still in transition. So it is
important to map things with our current India. That’s why we established our foundation and as
suggested in the report, we support women to be skilled better. We decided to do a topic called Life
Leadership (www.championwoman.org) because all women need three things- Self-esteem,
Confidence to be able to speak up and ask for support and Emotional wellness. And all our programs
are free with a goal of nation building.

‘Self-esteem building’ in our curriculum means a woman should feel a sense of self-worth. We get a
sense of self-worth when we are financially independent. Financial independence is a career goal for
every woman in India and the world. We want to take our family along with our career, which is what
the curriculum helps you to do. With steady emotional wellness, you are taught in our class to drop
the guilt about putting yourself first and taking the time to say, ‘Hey, I need to be fit. I am going to
the gym. I don’t have time. I’m ordering for a nutritious breakfast.’

Women always don’t have time. They want to do many things but as caregivers in the unpaid
economy, they are always hard pressed for time. But putting yourself first is important. Women
need to take care of not just the body, but take the time to build mental strength. So mindful living
is right at the very platform of our Champion Woman program.

We worked with 2,000 women inside the Tamil Nadu Secretariat. Our Chief Secretary at the time
was Ms Girija Vaidyanathan, a woman who is quite aware of how important it is to reduce stress for
women at work. We were able to go to various departments and run programs for them. Our program
offered day long immersion, has helped them to seek support, to use meditation and mindfulness as
a tool to better their lives. We’ve got a lot of impact stories from them. We worked with two thousand
women police of Tamil Nadu from Chennai cadre and that was very effective. We have done in the
corporate India as well as in colleges. Every woman has the same problems but they should be aware
that they are life leaders.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 33 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 34 of 44
The Mckinsey report came in very handy because they said that social skills and emotional skills are
going to be the need of the day as women and men work with artificial intelligence. We are all
champion women.

Sathya Sriram: My mandate is to summarize this 180 page McKenzie report for you in a way that
it’s exciting and inspiring. You can find the report online and read it. It’s titled, “The Future of Women
at Work” published in June of 2019. It’s very recent and it collects data from across ten countries in
the world, six of them from mature economies and four of them from emerging economies, including
India. Therefore the data is relevant to us.

The report essentially says about the situation we’re facing globally as well as in India. The age of
automation is here and it’s only going to get better. Many jobs will be displaced. At the same time,
many new types of jobs will be created. To give you a sense of the magnitude, for women, about
half to ten million new jobs are going to be created between now and 2030 and for men, about to 2
to 26 million. We’re talking about a substantial size of new jobs that are going to be created in the
economy. Roughly, equivalent number of jobs will go away. They could be my job, your job or your
neighbour’s job. We need to take stock of this moment and situation that we’re in. Both men and
women are going to be impacted by this. There’s no difference. Overall both men and women have
to become more skilled, more tech savvy and more mobile.

However, women have many pervasive barriers which will set them back if they don’t start that
journey right away - standard things like less time to re-skill or less mobility because of physical
security factor. I have young children who don’t understand the concept of security and are living in
a bubble. The other thing around mobility that impacts us is infrastructure. My life has transformed
after the Metro came in Chennai. I can’t wait for many more women’s lives to be transformed with
that great infrastructure. The government is doing more and I hope more stations will open. The
third barrier for women is lower access to digital technology.

The report says, ‘India has the second largest gender gap in digital inclusion in Asia Pacific. What do
we mean by that? Only 25 percent of internet users in rural areas and only 40% in urban areas were
women. Moreover only 46 percent of women own a mobile phone. That’s how women are behind, in
digital inclusion. So if you put that context together with the automation age that we are fast getting
into, we actually have a major problem.

The report then talks on about how governments and companies can do many things. They can roll
out different initiatives and invest in training and support for women. They can support women who
are in STEM and programs like Champion Woman. How can corporates invest in them and train
women both in self-esteem and technology? I have a friend who runs a venture capital fund that is
more biased towards women entrepreneurs.

Take ride-sharing industry which was non-existent about ten years ago. Today, it’s a 36 billion dollar
business in revenue globally and expected to grow to 285 billion by 2030. How many of our drivers
are women? Women can drive better, there’s flexibility and it’s very empowering to be chauffeuring
people. What are the barriers coming in the way? Security, time factor and level of comfort with
technology.

The comfort is related to mindset and can be fixed. Babajob.com portal had in 2017 -18 a seven to
eight fold increase in the number of applications for women to be drivers. It’s good to see this but
we can hopefully accelerate it. Another example is machine learning and AI which we’re expecting
to be very much part of the next decade of automation. How many women do you think are in AI
jobs today? It’s 14% versus 20% in Tech jobs.

I don’t see why women can’t re-skill themselves in AI and Machine Learning which in the next three
years will grow from 1.5 billion dollar industry to 9 billion dollar industry. This is coming and women
are not in those jobs.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 35 of 44


Finally, let me talk about teachers. India at least has enormous proportion of women in teaching.
How is automation age going to impact teachers? Through Smart Classrooms, lesson plan sharing,
home works on technology, grading and corrections online and so on. You can generate an integrated
report of the student over multiple years and multiple classes. A report estimates that up to 40% of
a teacher’s time can be freed up with this kind of technology and all of that 40% can go towards the
student. So there are amazing possibilities.

If we collectively come together as a nation, as a community, we can actually tackle and overcome
and many barriers and get our women ready for the future of work.

Sunil David: I will confine my talk to three parts:

1) What is industry doing in terms of creating opportunities for women- to get those entry level jobs
and move up the corporate ladder?

2) What are the industry bodies like Nasscom doing?

3) What is the government doing in terms of creating opportunities for women, especially
encouraging more women entrepreneurs?

We are living in a VUCA world - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. There are so many
external factors which are not in our control like what’s happening in Iran, the geopolitical tensions
and the US- China trade wars. At the same time, we’re finding a lot of disruption happening in the
industry right now. The Standard and Poor (US Rating Company) index surveyed 500 largest US
publicly traded companies and as per their study, they found that the average life of a company has
shrunk from 30 to 18 years and if this pace continues, in about 10 years time, nearly 50% of those
companies will not exist at all, the reason being that they have not adopted digital. They’re not
transforming themselves.

We know of how Netflix disrupted Blockbuster. Blockbuster was a very well-known video rental
company Netflix came and disrupted the industry. Blockbuster doesn’t exist now. Toys ‘R’ Us had
been a large toy company in the US. They are not in existence anymore. In India, the automobile
industry, manufacturing industry, telecom and BFSI are all going through major disruption. Over
the last one year, the sales of all the vehicles have come down significantly. There are various reasons
for that: consumer sentiment is down, banks are not giving loans and factors like shared mobility
with Ola and Uber.

The millennials, the Gen Z’s are perfectly fine using an Ola and Uber unlike people from the previous
generations who want to own a car. The whole behavior is changing. If you look at manufacturing,
our growth rate has come down significantly. The MSMEs are low in the maturity when it comes to
adoption of Technology.

In Telecom, five years back, we had twelve players in the market. Today we just have 3 or 4 which
are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio and BSNL / MTNL. The other operators were not able to cope
with the disruption caused by Jio. In the banking financial services industry, we see a lot of
consolidation happening. Many PSU banks are merging together. They are under constant threat
from the Fintech companies and are going through a lot of disruption. So what’s the solution? We
have to adopt digital, at scale. There’s a famous cliche, which says that you should start small, think
big and scale fast. This applies to every industry and there are four important themes, which I wanted
to highlight here.

1) When industry adopts digital, the foremost prerequisite is that the customer experience should be
improved. We talk about mass personalization, services and solutions to customers. There are
enough research studies to prove that if we are able to improve customer experience, it has a
direct impact on the revenues and profitability.

2) With so much of data being generated, are we able to leverage all the data? What are the insights
that we can glean in from the data, based on which we are able to make decisions?
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 36 of 44
3) We live in a world where partnerships become very important. The new paradigm is that we should
have the right partners in the whole ecosystem and that applies to the Telecom industry as well.

4) Companies today, especially in India, are not embracing risk. What I mean by this is that they
need to experiment and implement new business models which are not happening.

These are the reasons I would attribute as to why we are going through this challenge today. The
disruptive technologies that are available -AI, IOT, Robotic process automation, 3D printing, AR/VR-
all leave a big impact.

Let me start by talking about IOT since I’m an IOT evangelist. The Gartner study predicts that by
end of 2020, there will be 20 billion IOT devices connected to the internet. When I say IOT devices,
these are every physical assets- it could be a car, a washing machine, an air conditioner or an
industrial machine. All of them are going to be connected to the internet. There is another report
which suggests that by 2030, there will be 500 billion things that would be connected to the internet.
We have to generate humongous amount of data.

Now, how we are going to use this data, will throw up a lot of opportunities for women. When you
talk about an organization, it’s always going to be an inside-out transformation. An organization has
to transform themselves internally and a key and essential ingredient of the transformation is
transformation of the people. There’s a famous quote which says that you cannot survive today’s
war with yesterday’s soldiers. This means that today’s soldiers have to be equipped with digital skills.
There are three areas:

1) The basic premise for IOT is that you need an IOT device that will connect to a physical asset
which means a lot more hardware jobs will be created.

2) With so much of data being generated, there will be need for data scientists and data analysts
who will be able to make sense of all the data. We need AI and Machine Learning people because
at the end of the day, to make the right business decision, you must be able to predict outcomes.

3) With all the assets getting connected to the internet, which is the public network, we have to
secure all these assets. That opens up opportunities for people in the cyber security space as per
NASSCOM report. There are about 2 to 3 million cyber security jobs that are going to be available
over the next five to six years.

If we look at the woman workforce participation rate in India, it’s about 27%. In the IT industry
today, we have about 4 million IT workers in India, of which there are about 1.3 million women which
is little over 30% and more than the normal average woman workforce participation rate. But what’s
going to happen is whichever industry now adopts technology, lot of jobs would be opened up in those
sectors, especially manufacturing, retail, banking, etc.

Blockchain can be a great solution for management of security of transaction. Every industry has a
need to constantly skill, re-skill and upskill their people. To be in lifelong learning mode, apart from
technical skills, what is also equally important is the soft skills. So skills like critical thinking, empathy,
culture awareness, emotional intelligence, storytelling and creativity will come to represent
experiential learning. It’s a combination of these two skills, which will really make an impact. There
will also be a lot of jobs around digital project managers when companies embark on massive digital
transformation projects.

Apart from IT, there will also be need for people from the liberal arts, humanities and design
background. Microsoft hired a team of playwrights and liberal arts specialists for designing the
personality of Cortana, their digital voice assistant.

In AT&T, we launched an initiative called Workforce 2020. Four years back, our chairman made a
profound statement. He said that if people didn’t spend five to ten hours a week in online learning,
they would make themselves obsolete. Even a line manager has to go through this –what we call

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 37 of 44


PLE – Personal Learning Engine. We’ve been very successful in this, creating a framework for 2.7
lakh employees.

Sheetal Rajani: The future of work is here and now. Technology has not only disrupted organisations
but also individuals. The way we communicated with each other, collaborated, travelled – all have
changed. We have a small nuclear family. Every day, there will be a small fight in terms of who will
switch off the light at the last. My husband being a veritable tech-savvy person found a solution. He
got the Smart Switch and we don’t have to fight anymore. So, interplay of technology into individual
lives has also happened.

It’s important to understand and dissect people’s mindsets. What is the mindset shift that we will
require from a macro economic standpoint, from an organizational standpoint and from an individual
standpoint? I’m happy to share my experiences both as a person and a technology enthusiast, driving
this kind of experience across the organization.

From the macroeconomic standpoint, we’ve seen the GDP of our nation increasing rapidly from 1995
to 2015. However, the participation of women in the workforce is still only a 27 %. The global
average is 49%. Normally when there is an increase in GDP, the workforce participation should go
up but we are not there yet. So there’s a fundamental issue which we have to dissect and analyse.

Let’s look in terms of the social cultural norms. What are those? What are the stories we teach our
children- the fairy tales? Even today, Snow White and Cinderella wait for a hero to come and rescue
them. Is that the right note for aspiration? I think we need to redefine aspirations in terms of women
taking control and that needs to start very young.

Second is in terms of the redistribution of work. I’m a working parent and I know how much time I
spend at work, but it’s also a 200% job when I go back home. So we’ve talked about unpaid work.
We do 352 minutes of unpaid work at home while men do 52 minutes of work.

If you break it down in terms of child care, we actually spend 297 minutes a day for childcare vis-à-
vis a gentle 35 minutes for men. So you see the gap which we have in terms of how we distribute
work. I think that’s another change we can bring in, as individuals start from here, in terms of sharing
the load.

The third aspect is in terms of the policies which the governments bring. I think we’ve all applauded
the six months maternity leave policy change which has happened. But there’s a point to note. Does
it not further perpetuate the stereotype that women are primary caregivers? So it’s time for us all to
think of policies guided by distributing the load and that’s a mindshift change which we may to want
to bring from economic point of view.

Lastly in terms of Safety and Security - In a changing world, in a changing economy, the gig economy
is the new order of the day. Work happens anywhere, anytime. Safety and Security is not something
which is only given at a workplace. While POSH, the Prevention of Sexual Harassment act has brought
in a lot of rigour in terms of organizations, in terms of formulating policies, it’s not enough. We need
to relook at this entire Safety and Security from a macroeconomic view point of view.

Coming back to organizations. I think diversity has been talked more in the last two or three years
than ever before, because organizations realize that the power of diversity is not something which is
good to have but it’s a competitive advantage. More has been talked about today’s leaders who have
actually invested in diversity. They know it is a unique differentiator for them in terms of the global
market. But the question is, has enough been done? In fact, in TCS, we had just around 29%
representation 10 years back when we started our journey and today, we are at 36% women
workforce. We have 1,60,000 women in our workforce and we are the largest private sector employer
of the main STEM Talent across the world.

However at leadership level, where we still see only around 15%, a lot needs to be done. More needs
to be done in terms of promoting women at the leadership level. Technology has really enabled us
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 38 of 44
in terms of ensuring that work is distributed. The flexibility is there and it actually doesn’t matter if
you’re at the workplace in your office or work from anywhere. Office becomes a place where you get
connected and that’s the change which we need to bring.

So, all the policies from the organization point of view need to be invested into building those social
collaboration tools such that work can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s an organizational shift. In
TCS, we have very focussed programs in grooming women into leadership positions. I run the
program in terms of the women leadership, grooming mentoring and sponsoring but a whole lot of
change needs to happen. One of the most important levels is at the individual mindset. We talked
about work being disrupted and that the jobs of even yesterday are not relevant today.

I read an article yesterday that a solar plant of 1 billion has gone obsolete before it even got started
and that’s the pace at which work is getting disrupted. So, lifelong learning is the most important
aspect. I don’t think learning stops with a four-year education. It’s up to us to learn in terms of
digital skills.

There’s always a silver lining among the very bleak picture that many jobs will be taken away by
automation. The critical skills of the future are, in fact, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility and
emotional intelligence. These are very natural to us as individuals. While everything else can be taken
away by artificial intelligence or automation, the sense of making connections and empathy are
human things and cannot be replicated. That’s where we may want to focus upon and that’s a unique
advantage we have as individuals.

The second aspect is growth mindset. Now when we offer positions, especially front ending leadership
positions, there’s always a tentativeness in terms of taking up these positions. We are comfortable
taking the second line leadership, but not the one to be at the line of fire. It needs to be a growth
mindset. It’s something which we should build upon. When we look at how do we address
tentativeness, the answer lies in building capital - Intellectual Capital and Social Capital. We cannot
underestimate today, in terms of a mind shift change, the power of social capital and social networks.
That is the most unique differentiator as we go along in the leadership journey.

The third is art of possibilities. It’s always choices, in terms of the roles we take and play. I play
various roles. I’m a working parent, a HR professional, a fitness enthusiast who runs marathons, an
Agile India coach, a design influencer and a volunteer who scribes for the blind. There are a whole
lot of roles which I play and whole lot of self I bring to the work table but these are all choices I
make every time, as look at the art of possibilities. That’s where I think we need to look at. We know,
what all we can do. There is no limitation in terms of what we can do. In fact, the choices are those
that reflect our hope and not our fears.

Last but not the least is about the need to take calculated risks. Prior to my present role, I led the
Diversity and Inclusion team in an overseas role. It was a non-english-speaking geography, handling
the HR and Mergers and Acquisitions for my organization in a completely new environment. I went
alone with my child. In fact, it was like theory of constraints. I was under the impression that I would
never take up that position because I live in a joint family set up and with working couple, it was not
going to be feasible. But it was support system of my husband that motivated me.

He asked me one question, “Where are your friends?” I said, “They are in the U.S., North America
and Europe.” “What about you? Why are you here?” he asked. That opened up a whole lot of new
avenues for me. So it’s about taking calculated risks and having a growth mindset. Life is about the
choices that we take and if not for these choices, our life will never change. It’s better to be the
disruptor than to be disrupted.

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 39 of 44


Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 40 of 44
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 41 of 44
Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 42 of 44
Registering Memories

The Winners and Runner-up of the 23rd MMA


Competition for Young Managers 2020 on the
theme “Adapt To Win: Leading Disruptive
Change – In a Changing Economic Order”
along with the Panel of Jury during the oral
presentation held at MMA

(L to R) Gp Capt R Vijayakumar (Retd),


VSM, Dr Sunder Ramaswamy, Ph.D , Lt Gen
V R Raghavan (Retd), PVSM UYSM AVSM,
Air Marshal M Matheswaran (Retd), AVSM,
VM, Ph.D, Prof T V Paul, Ph.D and Vice Adm
B Kannan (Retd), PVSM AVSM VSM during
the talk on “Rise of India: Managing
Strategic, Economic and Technological
Challenges”

Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor in


Chief, BW Businessworld & Exchange4Media
Group addressing the members during the
talk on “Leadership in VUCA World 8 days a
week”. Mr Ravichandran P, Senior Vice
President, MMA is chairing the session

(R to L) Ms Rita Bhimani, Founder & CEO,


Ritam Communications in conversation
with Dr Rekha Shetty, Managing Director,
Farstar Distribution Network Ltd during the
discussion on “PR 2020: The Management
of Reputation”

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 43 of 44


Mr Sridhar Kalyanasundaram, CEO,
Suraaj Risk and Resilience Management
Consultants LLP being felicitated during
the talk on “Looking Ahead 2020 &
Beyond for Medium Small and Micro
Enterprises” at Attur

Mr R Sundaram, MD & CEO, The SALEM


AEROPARK - Aerospace Engineers Pvt
Ltd delivering the talk on “How to
become a Successful Entrepreneur” at
Salem

Mr Sridhar Kalyanasundaram, CEO,


Suraaj Risk and Resilience Management
Consultants LLP delivering the talk on
“Looking Ahead 2020 & Beyond for
Medium Small and Micro Enterprises” at
Namakkal

(L to R) AVIS Viswanathan and K P


Krishnan, Co-Founder Klachak.com &
Captr.in during the Event on “The
Uncommon Leader – Empowering
Entrepreneurship”

Business Mandate | September 2019 Page 44 of 44