Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reservations : Please Not Again

The central government has decided to introduce a quota for other backward classes in the higher-education institutes funded by it. The institutes will include the IITs, IIMs, NITs and 20 central universities, including DU.

Why suddenly out of the blues the politicians come up with an idea to re-implement or re-introduce that draconian mandal tactics ? The government is here referring to OBC’s when they say backward classes,when infact they are not backward.They are labelled as the "creamy layer".The reason is simple its vote bank politics.The overall reservation in central government-funded educational institutions will go up from the current 22.5 (for SC and ST students) to 49.5 per cent (this includes OBC’s now),if it is legislated in our parliament.But I feel any educated and enlightened Indian may s/he be from any class/caste/group will never want this unfortunate idea to see the light of the day.
I read this edition of "Outlook" magazine which mentions neatly that the group to whom the Govt refers to as OBC’s are actually well off in the Indian society today. Moreso many of the educated ones from the so called lower class who have benefitted from this system so far don’t want their kids to follow the same path.

A small background to this stupid principle.Indian society had a system called caste, that divided the society based on the type of labor. Some form of labor was considered better than others and so the division of labor became a tool of inequality. Slowly, the caste system became worse enough to prevent social ability and people were decided by birth, on what type of occupation they can perform. It was terribly unfair and social thinkers sought out to remove the stale practices resulting out of this bad principle. So, there were attempts to bridge this unfair treatment. So far so good.But, what happened after Independence was that there was policy to reserve specific proportion of seats in academic institutions for these backward sections of the society. The Constitution envisaged special employment privileges for these backward sections of the society for a period of 10 years starting from 1950, but these have been extended regularly since.And our mantriji’s and neta babu’s have used it to the best of their benefits to incite the sensitive Indians.

What has 50 years of reservations achieved in India ? The well-healed among the reserved catagories make maximum use of the reservation.

It was fortunate that,India started to embrace globalisation since 1990's which unexpectedly countered this horrible practice a bit. By bringing in more jobs and insitutions, people of forward castes could progress and within a decade the suppressed group progressed really well. Given the low reservation in the national elite insitutions such as IITs,IIMs,NITs the nation prospered and India became a great growing nation. But, the government now wants to murder the very heart of the system that brought India out of its shabby past. India's elite academic institutions and private corporations, who arteried this great revolution by mitigating reservation, are under target. They are to be forced into reservation. The cruel tools that killed India in the first 44 years of its deadly past are to be used again.

By focusing on reservation, it will lead to a fall in India’s standing world wide. India will no longer be the hub of trained and skilled manpower. This will have long term repercussions on the economy as well. These reservations will also lead to more "Brain Drain".That’s for sure,in the last two or three years,India has been fortunate to see the "Reverse Brain Drain",this will come to a full stop.I read a recent edition of "India Today" which mentions that among the present day youth around 82% see India as their destination to work and live life and this is huge number compared to what was 5 years back when heading to the US shores or the western world for the educated and brightest was a norm.

If you have chanced to read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" (try that book). There are some group of hard working innovators who built this nation and the remaining are a large majority of leechers who want to lick their hard-earned efforts. The successes of innovators are going to be used as weapons against them.

In my opinion opinion reservations are wrong for the following reasons:

1.Admission to the IITs,IIMs and NIT’s are extremely tough and anyone who has gone through the process knows what I am mentioning to. No reward for meritorious students as students work tirelessly for years at a time. After the blood, sweat and tears and burning the midnight oil, they see their goal snatched away,right in front of them. Now if almost half of the students are going to come through some reservation,then will it not impact the schools in some way. I don’t doubt the credibility of the students from the backward class as I am not person to do that. But I do have some statistics which clearly goes on to prove that this reservation logic doesn’t work. I graduated from Karnataka Regional Engineering College,Surathkal now known as NITK in 2002 and for all engineering schools in India,AICTE has set certain time frames for completing B.Tech degrees.This is set to a maximum time frame of 8 years and even today few of my batchmates from the reserved class have not passed yet. This was not with my batch but this is a recurring issue and is common across all batches. The number is less (4 to 5 for a batch of 300 ). So has the purpose been served, I don’t think so.

Its not only institutes of repute, the Govt is pushing for reservation in private sector also. Now since the private sector is booming, reservation will attract that much more votes. Mantri babu’s I can see the motive behind all this.

2.The reservations throws out a negative signal indicating that weaker sections are incapable of passing such an exam without the quota system. Almost as if the general category is intellectually "superior" to the others. A person’s intelligence needs to be nurtured and developed in the right direction. It is a long and gradual process and begins from an early age, not at college. The Govt,I feel is acting in the opposite direction, following the top-down approach instead of following the bottom-up approach.If the government really cared for the poor and socially backward,it would work towards an all round development of the education at the grass root level first and make primary education accessible to all.The primary and secondary education system in the rural India is in a mess. Reservations at a higher level education is not going to help if the primary and secondary levels are not strong. Its like I am dreaming about a strong tree when my roots are not strong and firm. Take this example.

"There are lot many jobs available in rural and middle segment towns in India in schools and colleges. Even after giving extra incentives and reservation quotas these posts are not getting filled and the Govt wants to change the IITs/IIMs/NITs." First complete your grass root level work then look upwards,mantrijis.

Another flavour of reservation which I have witnessed myself is reservation of seats in Engineering schools by the State Government. In this case it was Orissa Govt but I am told this rule is prevalent in few other states. As far as Orissa is concerned this rule was introduced to make sure that more and more women come forward and be a part of the society reformation program once they graduate from these schools.The brain child of this so called innovative program was Biju Patnaik,the erstwhile chief minister in 1994. Has that served the purpose I don’t think so. The state of affairs have not improved much and to me it was a political gimmick that time,which the later generations have to accept as a norm.

On the contrary,these reservations shows a negative image about the female candidates that they are not as capable as their male counterparts. At times it shows that the male candidates are "superior",mentally and intellectually more smarter as compared to the females. But in reality its not so. If we are a nation where men and women are to be given equal opportunities lets make same rule for one and all.This will have a positive result as it would never make the females realise that they have earned their degree with less effort or that they lack the mental acumen.Why should we make them feel that,they are less capable by offering reservation at the first instance.

To cite an example,I have a cousin sister Rosy,who graduated from NIT Rourkela and then after having worked in Infosys for some time,she made it into SP Jain Institute of Management. She had taken up the women’s reservation facility,8 years back but to my understanding it was a decision driven more by the society than by herself. I know her and know that she was and is highly capable to make it to any good school but then why did she use that. The answer is simple : If something is given to you for free and also if the Indian mindset treasures engineers and doctors as the only respected professionals, then this is logical outcome.She simply followed to what society accepts as the natural accepted practise but heart in heart when I talk to her, she herself expresses, this is not the right way things should move.That self-realisation is in itself a great change but how many people consciously do that. Few rather very few.

3.People who don’t actually belong to the weaker sections often take up the seats through the quota system. This is done by easily obtaining fake caste certificates as cases of these are rampant during the admission season. SC/ST/OBC status should not be hereditary- which would imply that if a person has availed of the reservation during his lifetime, his children should not be allowed to benefit as well because that is misusing the provision available. If the above proposal had been implemented successfully, then the number of SC/ST/OBCs would have reduced or remained constant, thereby leading to reduction in reservations. However, the opposite is happening,the need for reservations is increasing. Is my logic or my thought process in-correct ? Correct me if I am wrong. In the 1950’s this system was implemented for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society,so logically speaking today after 55 years of its enforcement, there should have been improvement and the percentage of reservation allocated should come down. But it’s increasing. Why ?

Assume for a moment that the new reservation is implemented . Do do feel there will be any change . NO NO NO is my answer and the wrong will continue.

In a nutshell, the existing premier institutions should be left untouched and institutions should be set up which focus more on weaker sections of society, in addition to strengthening the primary and secondary educational infrastructure for these sections. It was 16 years ago, when Rajeev Goswami set himself on fire-many other individuals did the same. Slogans were raised, blood was spilt, bodies were burnt. Yet the Government chose not to pay any heed to the frustration and anger of those people. Their ignorance seems to have grown over the years and we are now ready for Mandal Part II.It is about time we realized that we should not be afraid to question our Government,and the Government should not be afraid of being accountable to the people.

After all we are not here to accept to the whims and fancies of "Arjun Singh". Raise your voice and let this malady not ruin you,me and this nation above all.

(Note : None of the comments in this blog is intented to hurt or incite any person/institution/company. These are my personal opinion and views.)

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Let's See Who Wins (Nike Vs Adidas)

Yesterday I was browsing through the newspaper and a topic that struck to my mind was the "2006 FIFA World Cup" in Germany, which will be hosted between June 9 and July 9 this year. I saw an article on Franz Beckenbauer, President of the Organising Committee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with the new logo and the football.(Check for the new hi-tech football here.)

The Europeans are fanatics when it comes to football, it’s not a game for them,it’s a culture for them.Forget wine & monuments, Germany during the 2006 World Cup,would be a party ground. Whether you’re into football (soccer that is) or just like a good party, you'll be swept along in the fever of it all. Fans will come from all over the world and even if you don’t know a thing about football the rules,the events, packed bars and roaming parades will make for a heady atmosphere. Afterall, it’s the one sporting event that gets the world, and especially Europe, truly excited. The USA and a few other places are just a little slow to catch up. The party will kick off in Berlin with an Olympics-style gala featuring parades, costumes, puppets, light shows, and fireworks.

All this is fine but the excitement and the creativity that is raining before the event picks momentum is something really exhilarating. Take for example the Ad war between "Nike" and "Adidas".Soccer remains the beautiful game, but the tussle in Europe between Adidas and Nike over soccer gear is getting ugly. Maybe Nike’s ads are going over better in Europe.Adidas, founded by the German cobbler Adi Dassler ,led the merchandising market there for decades. But Nike is catching up fast,and not everyone is pleased. Many Europeans resent the latter’s growing share—partly because, unlike Adidas, Nike has practically no history in soccer, and partly because, well, Nike is American and Adidas isn’t.

The fight for share ain’t over yet,and it won’t ever be over."Nike" is American, and "Adidas" is European. Europe is not going to let its sport—soccer, or whatever you call it,roll over and go to an American company. It’s like everyone wants to preserve its own Olive Tree, as mentioned by Thomas L. Friedman in his book "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" .(Reading this book not done with it entirely)

The Flick: A burly, bearded man with an accent sits at a video-editing console. He cues up some old footage of a little kid playing soccer. Then he intercuts this with modern-day scenes of the kid all grown up, still playing soccer. Kid and man both execute some astonishing moves, bewildering their opponents and scoring goals at will. "So my advice to you," says the bearded man, "is never grow up, my friends." As the spot ends, we see the words "Joga Bonito" and a Nike swoosh. ( Click Here and wait till the countdown reaches 100 and place the mouse over the right-hand side of the screen to see the ad, called "Ronaldinho—Joy.".Refer to the pic as below to track the video.)

I'm excited to see Nike turning its full attention to soccer, its forte being tennis, golf and other US-centric games and sports. In the 1990s,the company took a halfhearted approach to the sport. Then, during the 2002 World Cup, it made its first concerted attack on the Adidas hegemony. Still,the Nike soccer ads that year were mediocre, and even a bit confusing: They featured soccer matches set,the marketing message was simple and straight forward. This time, the message is front and center, and the sunshine bright: "Joga Bonito." The phrase is Portuguese for "play beautiful," and it's a double-edged dig at Adidas. It reminds us

1)That the world champions Brazilians are a Nike squad.
2)That Brazil plays a creative, dazzling style of soccer that makes the more conservative, bruising teams (ahem, Germany) seem passionless by comparison.

When Brazil and Germany faced off in the 2002 World Cup final, it was not simply an important soccer match. It was an epic clash of logos. The German national team sported the three-stripe mark of Adidas, while the Brazilians were clad in the Nike. When Brazil won 2-0, their victory was celebrated just as fervently in Oregon, home to Nike world headquarters as it was in São Paulo and Rio. The 2006 World Cup kicks off on June 9, and both brands are already girding themselves for another battle. The German-based Adidas will have home-turf advantage (the World Cup final will be held in Berlin) and has been locking up television sponsorships. Nike has long led Adidas in overall market share (both in the United States and worldwide), but soccer is a holdout category in which Adidas maintains an edge. Nike hopes this "Joga Bonito" campaign will put an end to that.

I have been a Nike fan all along and both my pairs of sneakers are also Nike and in this Mad Ad fight which would culminate in the battle ground of football magic, whom do I support ? Let’s see....

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Monday, April 17, 2006

What’s in a Word.

Yesterday late night, while having dinner, I happened to bump into the promo of a new movie coming soon titled "Pyare Mohan" on MTV.

There was a humorous dialogue, in which the protagonist (P), a deaf is enquired by another person (X) in a pure desi style.

X: "Aap Ko Sunaayee Nahi deeta kya"
P: "Nahi Nahi Mujhe Sunaayee Nahi deeta, maain Behera Hooin"

Bingo!!!!! on the word "Behera" as that happens to be my surname. For a while, the genesis of the above mentioned word lingered in my mind and bogged me about its link to my surname. Since it was late night, I thought I would call my maa the next day morning to clarify my doubt.

Words,plenty of words, it’s a vast ocean and the more you swim in the waters, the more you enjoy. We use names to introduce ourselves to others and to leave an impression. Our name is usually the first thing other people know about us. Many people ask, "Where do names come from ?" We know that they are often based on the literal meaning of words from many different languages.

Everybody has a name. Nearly everybody who has a name knows what it is. Our name is as familiar and as close to us as our own skin, indeed, we are more frequently aware of our name than we are of the unique living body that it identifies. We write it, speak it, and answer to it-often, immediately, surely, unreflectively. We generally take our name for granted. But, for these reasons, in a deeper sense we may not really know our name-what it means, why we have it, how it should be regarded and used. Paradoxically, by dint of being so familiar, the manifest mystery of our named identity may have become invisible to us. We name others, and ourselves but do we really know what they mean? I am not saying that all don’t know, but on a scale of 100, I feel around 75 are ignorant about the root, the origin and the history behind the name.

My interest in etymology started way back in the 1998,when I used to travel back to home during the semester breaks via Chennai. Chennai Central Railway Station is a place, I like, as it’s a living spectacle of life on the move. And more so it retains the old nostalgic charm, the walls and the entire building painted with the original brick-red color, which was how the buildings were built originally. I generally used to dump my luggage in the cloakroom and then take the bus around the city and it was in one of these travels, that I had picked up a book titled "Dictionary of Word Origins by John Alto" from an old second’s bookshop.

A picture they say is worth a thousand words, but at times, few words convey more than a thousand pictures. But it was with this one word, my love affair with words started and I have memorized the word and its root by heart: "serendipity: the faculty of making lucky discoveries. This word was coined by the British writer, Walpole. He took it from the "The Three Princess of Serendip", the title of a fairy tale whose leading characters, in Walpole’s words were always making discoveries by accidents. (Serendip was at a time used to refer to the island nation of Sri Lanka)".

I read blogs by Basab Pradhan who at one time was the Head of Global Sales & Marketing at Infosys Technologies.Of late he has co-founded Gridstone Research in August 2005 and serves as its CEO.Here is an interesting article he wrote on Spelling Bee. (Click Here) I had myself seen last year’s Spelling Bee contest (the US one) on TV, in which kids having their roots linked to India were raring through among all the contestants. The prime focus of the contest is more on the root and the origin of a word rather than on rote learning.(Check the article here.)

Today morning when I called my maa before coming to work, my first question was: "What’s the genesis of my surname "Behera" !!". For a moment she had her eyes and mouth open in surprise, I could sense that over the phone. The next moment she said,"What are you asking", then she laughed and changed the course of the talk.

Maa,I am waiting for your answer though. I am healthy and can hear properly and listen to music on full volume on weekends and often my neighbors complain me on that."Tau maain Behera kyon".

Keep reading and remain connected.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

That was an interesting session

Last week, I attended a training on "Time Management" as my I got an e-mail from my manager the previous day regarding the same. I generally don’t like attending trainings, as I feel sleepy and bored after retaining my concentration for the initial two hours. To attend a technical training is fine as I try out all that I have understood on my own and that keeps my interest ticking but a training of the sort I have mentioned above makes me feel "Haaaaaaah (a yawn, that too I do it so that no one is seeing me), I need a coffee break, I go to the rest room many a times". But all this conniptions were not visible that day, WHY?

First the trainer was a highly knowledgeable and learned person. His name was G.C.Das (GCD) and after retirement he owns a company in B’lore and he offers consultancy to many a firm on soft skills. GCD is around 64 years and he has worked around the world in the US, Germany and some of the biggest conglomerates in India such as SAIL,HAL and BHEL.What was intriguing to me was, this man who having studied in the best Engg school in India and having done his Masters in Science and MBA from US way back in 1970 came back to India and served his nation when the country needed him the most. Its not like today when we have technology at our doors the day we are born, think of India in 1970,it would be like seeing a black and white movie and comparing it with a Technicolor movie from Paramount Pictures of today.

He gave live examples of how "BHEL", a laggard in the brick and mortar industry in the 1980’s was able to revamp its image within a span of 10 years by adopting intelligent planning and strategy. Later during the tea break I had a small chat with him and came to know that he knew my father because of his association with SAIL for a short tenure. He asked me what he was doing now after his retirement in Sept’05. I replied about his new teaching assignment as he loves doing that and is becoming a part-time faculty in IIT Delhi, his alma mater.

The world is a small place and that’s why I always believe remain connected, you never know when you will cross roads with someone. GCD gave an assignment, which really made me think that day while returning back home, late evening. Since I couldn’t collate my thoughts at the spur of the moment, I thought, I would blog the same and share the link with him.

His "Time Management" funda was: Plan your activities and stick to it and with practice the time factor involved with the activities fall in sync. Straight forward and simple.

The question he posed to me was: "Assume that you have 2 years of your life left say from 1st May’06 and you are going do die for sure on 1st May’08. How would you plan to spend the time of 6 months each for these two years?"

I thought of dividing my life for the next 24 months into units of 6 months each and this is what I decided to do.

0-6 month.
First of all, I would leave my job in the field of information and technology and start my MBA program soon. I would work my level best to complete my 2-year program in an action packed six-month deadline. In the course of my program, I would love to interact with junta from all over the world and learn their culture and share ideas.

7-12 month.
Since the program I am looking for and working towards involves lot of investment, I need to work out my alternatives. There are many people in my family and my well-wishers who are ready to sponsor my program, I strictly don’t believe in that school of thought. Till date I have not depended on any one for my education and my career (though I seek their advise/guidance/tips) and wish to practice that forever, some say that’s being too idealistic, well I can’t change the way one thinks. No ego and alter ego,"I am what I am". I would work hard for 6 months to re-pay the extra loan amount, which I plan to take from a bank for the expenses apart from my scholarship. Till date, I have seen the 2 out of the "Seven Wonders of the World" and so wish the company/firm I work for puts me on assignments in each of those five countries where the rest five wonders are located. So all loans are paid and I have no financial burdens now by the end of 12 months.

13-18 month.
I will do the dream job of my life. I want to work for an United Nations entity, may it be UNICEF or UNESCO.

I want to visit "Somalia", a nation devastated by war, divided by never-ending clan struggle and worst of all perennially attacked by the vagaries of nature such as drought. The entire country’s water distribution system has been destroyed in the fighting and the UN has therefore dug many wells in an attempt to supply water to the population. As we all know, "Water is the source of life", I want to work in this direction, in particular by broadcasting messages on local radio to promote hygiene. The people live in very small settlements, which are either one-roomed or thatched mud-huts near wells. A house with a metal roof is a sign of prosperity. A typical dwelling consists of a collapsible shelter, which is a small hut built of wood and animal skins, with grass mats on the floor. Life is difficult, involving much work for scarce resources. I want to live among those people and do something for them.(My inputs to this are from what I saw in the Discovery Channel, which I view quite often.)

I also want to visit "Thailand" and "Philippines", which have recently stepped in to play the role of whorehouse to the world. I was alarmed when I read in a recent edition of National Geographic Society magazine that this practice is facilitated by developing agents having disregarded the development of women's opportunities for economic independence, leaving prostitution as the highest paying job available to many of the women of Southeast Asia. Looking at the problem of prostitution from the perspective of class yields a dichotomy between the wealth and opportunity available to the city-dwellers and the poverty that is the legacy of the rural sector, the source of the vast majority of prostitutes in Southeast Asia. The innocent women, brought/bought to the city with false promises, but once in the city, are then cajoled, coerced and condemned to take up prostitution as the highest paying job available. Then, once they have begun to make some money, in most cases, they send large portions of those earning home. An ILO study found that of "fifty prostitutes interviewed, all except four send money home". Most remit one-third to one-half their earnings, sums essential to their rural families survival. There are women, indentured to prostitute themselves to pay off loans their families accept from their daughter’s future employers. It seemed so pathetic and painful to me when I read that, but then just put yourself in the same shoes and see how it feels.I wish I can go the slums and tell the people that apart from losing one’s own self esteem, they are becoming victims of a deadly disease called "AIDS". They can’t come out of this whirlpool over-night but they can work towards a more honest and simple living. They can approach the government and raise their concerns to the authorities. The result may not be positive instantaneously but may present a better world to their future generations. (Anyone who has read the "11 Minutes" by Paulo Coelho can appreciate my line of thought.)

Last stop would be Amchi Mumbai’s,"Dharavi", which is often branded as the biggest slum habitat in the entire world. I have often seen the place in the news channel coverage and also in the various documentaries telecasted on the TV.I want to be a part of the people there, live in the chawl and be like one of them.Make the dabbawalahs my best friends and understand how they have impeccably practised the "Six Sigma" norms,the crude way which lot many MNC's are struggling to implement even after years of training and perfection.

19- 24 month.
Since I have limited amount of time left with me now, I would make sure that I draft my "Biography" soon. My inventory of experiences and life would be the main content and the foundation of my book. I would get it proof read by some of the people, I know and few that come to my mind are Rosy, one of my school mates who has already authored two books,Sujatha of the Blogpourri fame and Venky one of my batchmates who is to start his cinematography program in NY soon. Since I don’t know many people from the literary circle, so will bank on these people, can I ? I would read and re-read the entire store of my books: "Amar Chitra Katha", "Tintin", "Asterix", "Archies", "Gabriel García Márquez", "Paulo Coelho", "Ruskin Bond", "R K Narayan" and lot others. I would make sure that I blog daily and keep my parents with me. The time I spend with "Chotu", she would be 4 years by then, the right age and time to shout, dance and turn the house into a stable when her maa (my sister) is back from work. Show the world that it’s the naughtiest that rule the world. I would spend atleast an hour late night everyday to talk to all the people who matter to me a lot and whom I value, adore and respect in life.

Then on the penultimate day, I sleep after having a simple dinner and that’s it, a "simple" goodbye. I came to this world single, lived life single and then died single having seen my bit of world before I reached the maturely mature 30. "Amen".

"Saala in this country of 100 crores junta, ek auur tapak gaya"

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

MBA + Idli Sambar Food Chain = Dreams & Optimism Unlimited

The last Saturday gone by, I was going through my usual round of morning newspaper and there was one news headline that excited me. The news was an "IIM Ahmedabad" grad Sarath, from the class of 2006 turned down a job offer of Rs 8.5 lakh per annum from an IT firm to pursue a career in catering. Of late we have been hearing a number of Indian grads getting into the shoes of entrepreneurship but they all tried the tried and tested waters of business.

Sarath stands apart because he hails from a humble background and he used to sell "idlis" in his childhood to meet education expenses and support his family. Even today, his family makes only Rs 2,000 per month. All that would soon change, he hopes. Sarath graduated from BITS, Pilani on a Tamil Nadu government scholarship. He did his IIMA degree also through a sponsored scholarship.(Source : Times of India.)

More than the entrepreneurship stint that Sarath is going to start, I believe in this business plan and his decision.The reasons for me thinking so are as follows.

1. Sarath has had the knack to understand the pulse and taste of the crowd to whom he was selling "idlis" . That mode of thinking was polished and fine tuned in a business management class room with the intrapolation and extrapolation of market driven factors,finance,strategy and networking. So Sarath has a strong business plan in hand and all it needs is a masterly execution.

2. Food is a basic need of man. The Indian economy is on a bullish track now and as per predictions this wave is going to sustain. Ok, we assume that this is going to happen, in that case since most of the Indian crowd now prefers to eat at least twice a week outside, his investment will definitely return compound dividends. Now assume, tomorrow something unexpected happens, the market falls and the Indian IT and economy comes to a standstill, even then his investment will break even. The basic reason is man is going to eat at any cost and since he is not targeting a Western or European chain of eatable items, his target base is very vast. So the crux of the matter is "Sarath always has a win-win option may it be any scenario". If someone knows how the KFC (i.e. Kentucky Fried Chicken) chain spread its tentacles the world over from a modest start can appreciate the strong foundation of his decision.

If you are from Bangalore and I am pretty sure that you would have come across a food joint and chain by the name MTR. MTR = Mavalli Tiffin Rooms.

The history of MTR Foods dates back to 1924, when the Maiya family started a small restaurant in Bangalore. In 1951 the restaurant came to be known as the Mavalli Tiffin Room. It was by then famous for the owner's passion for perfection and the superb quality of its south Indian cuisine. Even these days, if you go to the LalBagh MTR you can feel what authentic and traditional food is all about. (Don’t try Sundays, if you want that make an advance booking/reservation). The Mavalli Tiffin Room is and will always remain a symbol of pure and perfect south Indian food. The legacy of purity and perfection continues with the MTR ready- to-eat range of rice meals.

With time and following the same traditional way of doing business, MTR has expanded at an exponential rate. Earlier it started with only food items and later it diversified into "masalas", "ice-cream" and "packed food". Of late it has started its own outlet called "Namma MTR". It is MTR's food parlor-cum-store and serves as a one-stop shop for the entire range of MTR food products. The "Namma MTR" outlet is a unique amalgamation of three parts: The retail outlet, food court and concept kitchen.

The retail outlet stores the entire range of MTR products. The food court has a menu, which comprises of exciting, innovative snack items, which are hygienic and nutritious. These items include the Dosa Wrap, a dosa with all the accompaniments that people can eat on the go.

A small tiffin house of yesteryears has today balance sheets and profits which touch around Rs. 150 crores. I am not sure about the exact number (as I had read that in a business magazine few months back) but as far as I remember it is definitely in this range. MTR which earlier used to do business the crude way using pen, paper and the telephone to manage its supply chain, logistics and financial transactions has now turned to SAP, an ERP business suite to facilitate better returns in the modern day business. This is the era of e-business and they have adapted to the same. (Check the link here) to know the bandwidth and the coverage of MTR’s business.

End result: An excellent and well managed food chain having a wide network. Pure "desi" food. Sarath is not making software or gadget for any MNC and selling it to a client based abroad. He is feeding yummy food to us at a reasonable rate and is also using the IT to expedite his processes and business.

Great plan and shine on. I believe in him, his plan and I see him as the next age Indian "McDonalds" king.

Keep reading and remain connected.