Sunday, December 30, 2012

Values Stronger Than Steel...!

Bharat-Ratan Tata, an iconic corporate leader, retired as chairman of Tata Group after a 50-year run on Friday. He wrote to the employees of the Tata Group…

Dear Colleague,

As 2012 comes to an end, let me wish you and your family all the best for the New Year. I hope that 2013 and the future years bring you good health, peace of mind and great happiness.

This is also the last time that I write to you prior to my retirement as the Chairman of the Tata Group and I want to convey to you how privileged I have been to have had the opportunity of leading this great Group over the last two decades through good times and bad.

Whatever has been achieved has only been possible because of the amazing spirit, the dedication of each one of you and the enormous support and faith reposed in me, for which I am deeply grateful and appreciative. I feel immensely proud of the manner in which the employees and the companies have come together in facing crises from time to time.

These have included adverse market conditions, natural calamities like earthquakes and tsunamis and gruesome acts of terrorism.

The memories of personal sacrifices, loyalty and individual acts of heroism will always remain in my memory, to reinforce the great sense of pride I have in having been a member of this team. We today are a $100 billion Group in revenues. Over the past 20 years our revenues have grown about 20 times and today 58% come from overseas operations. Our brand has emerged as the 45th global and the number one Indian brand.

Our products and services are present in 85 countries. We therefore have every reason to feel proud and feel confident in facing the challenges ahead. The difficult economic environment that we face in the current year will most likely continue through most of the next year.

We will probably see continued constraints in consumer demand, over-capacity and increased competition from imports. There will therefore be great pressure on our companies to reinvent themselves in terms of business processes and to dramatically reduce costs, to be more aggressive in the market place and to widen our product range to better address consumer needs.

We will also need to contain our borrowings and work hard to retain our margins. This environment would once again call on you for your support, your commitment and your dedication to achieve success in these somewhat difficult times.This seemingly gloomy picture however will be a passing phase.

I feel confident that the robust growth that India has shown over the past several years will be re-established and the strong fundamentals in the country will result in India once again taking its place as one of the economic success stories of the region.

The Tata Group will undoubtedly play an important role in the continued development of our country, providing leadership in various industrial segments in which they operate and living by the value systems and ethical standards on which our Group was founded. The future growth of the Group will be led in the coming years by Cyrus Mistry.

I am sure that he will receive from you the same support, the same commitment and the same understanding that I have enjoyed over the years. Tatas are a Group where I feel proud to have belonged and proud to have been associated through the years. I wish the Group, Cyrus Mistry and each of you great success in the years ahead. I hope the Group grows and shines in the coming years.

Yours sincerely,
Ratan N Tata,
Chairman, Tata Sons

Friday, December 28, 2012

Resolution 20-13...!

Today is last working day of the year 2012 or is it Monday the 31st of DEC...? Well, technically and officially it is but psychologically and philosophically it couldn’t be for the simple reason – we are not conditioned to consider any Monday as the last day – just like we are never taught to love anything and anybody unconditionally! Anyway, let’s get back to the point and this is not about ‘New Year Resolutions’, mind you. That has become quite a cliché and has lost its meaning as well as purpose.


I don’t know about you but I have decided following things as my routine – not resolution – for the year 2013. I am not suggesting that you should follow them or respect them, least you can do is you can learn from them and may find some inspiration, who knows! By the way it is not a copyrighted or patented material so please feel free to use, share, distribute or even brainstorm it...! 


1.       Review last year’s ‘wish-list’ and see what else could be eliminated further from it.

2.       Continue the morning yoga without fail irrespective of the location, condition or situation.

3.       Learn at least three more things that has never attempted yet, swimming could be one.

4.       Help at least three more people to understand, analyze, organize and manage their being.

5.       Keep writing all the answers, blogs, comments and discussions on all social media regularly.

6.       Reach out to more and more people to spread the awareness of being and stir their conscious.

7.       Accept a project that would be good learning experience and still be beneficial to the sponsor.

8.       Visit one more country to learn their culture and sense of being, Thailand was great experience.

9.       Meditate more to gain even better control over the emotions, feelings, impulses and reactions.

10.   Socialize more to train the mind to understand other people’s point of view and respect it, however irrational or ‘imperfect’ it may seem.

11.   Make more presentations and conduct more seminars/workshops for broader audience and objectives.

12.   Stop expecting anybody or anything to be ‘perfect’ or ‘as-you-prefer-it-to-be’, this will not only help you feel comfortable but will also soothe the situation.

13.   Watch more theatre on stage, films in Cinema hall and ‘BUY’ some books to read that will grace the library like ‘BECAUSE HE IS’ by Meghna Gulzar.

14.   Enjoy few, if not all, weekends by outing with family and friends to develop that connect and strengthen the relation.

15.   Spend a long vacation with the people I want to be with and not have to be with.

16.   Lead the team by way of education and realization and not by rules and regulation.

17.   Control the tendency of being judgemental, try being more and more fundamental.

18.   Accept the things that are beyond your control and stop grieving for them.

19.   Develop the material for the ‘School of Being’.

20.   Live the life to fullest... in a natural way.

21.   Continue being myself...!  


Why I stopped here? Have I run out of idea or words? Or do I think this is more than enough for a year? No... none of it is true. The reason I closed it at 21 is I love the golden rule of 21 which is applicable in the 21st Century more than ever. And 21 is the age a person hardly forgets in his entire life, I believe...!


Keep 21, Be Aware and Have A Wonderful New Year 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The Japanese love fresh fish. However, the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.


 To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.


 So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.


How did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend?


 To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state...



 As soon as you reach your goals, such as finding a wonderful mate, starting a successful company, paying off your debts or whatever, you might lose your passion. You don’t need to work so hard so you relax. Like the Japanese fish problem, the best solution is simple. It was observed by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950's.



"Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment."

— L. Ron Hubbard


The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a good problem. If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are happy.

 You think of your challenges and get energized...

You are excited to try new solutions...

You have fun...

You are alive...!


If you have met your goals, set some bigger goals. Once you meet your personal or family needs, move onto goals for your group, the society, even mankind. Don’t create success and lie in it. You have resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.


Put a SHARK in your TANK and see how far you can really go...!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


In the United States, the fiscal cliff is a term used to refer to the economic effects that could result from tax increases, spending cuts and a corresponding reduction in the US budget deficit beginning in 2013, if existing laws are not changed by the end of 2012. The deficit—the difference between what the government takes in and what it spends—is projected to be reduced by roughly half through 2022, although the Congressional Budget Office estimates this will probably lead to a mild recession in early 2013. This sharp decrease in the deficit in such a short period of time has come to be known as the fiscal cliff.


Well, that is about America the powerful country on the face of the earth in more than one sense. Good or bad is another story. The people who have ‘Sale’ as national unanimous policy could be concerned about this imminent ‘economic’ development. What about the global citizen? What about the girl in a remote village of some underdeveloped and underprivileged country.


Thinking from part to whole, for the world as whole it is not only fiscal cliff, it is far more serious and threatening than that... A moral cliff! Exactly the opposite if I can say so. Right on the lines of the explanation of fiscal cliff if we try to define the moral cliff it would be “The consciousness effects that could result from greed increases, value cuts and a corresponding reduction in the living beginning in 2013, if existing practices are not changed by the end of 2012. The deficit—the difference between what the human contributes and what it consumes—is projected to be reduced by roughly half through 2022. This sharp decrease in the values vis-à-vis the price in such a short period of time would be known as the moral cliff”.    


So what do you do to counter this moral cliff?


Actually the answer is very simple to propose and extremely difficult to compose... Ask questions, collect answers, organize resources and take action. That is what you will do if you’re lost in an unfamiliar place, won’t you?


This simple one-line-four-part policy could actually save you. By the way don’t worry about saving the planet; it was there trillions of years before you and it will be there zillions of years after you. Moreover it has all the capabilities and conditions to sustain the entire cosmic phenomenon happening around it incessantly. If that wouldn’t have been the case, it would have not come into existence in first place. So stop crying to save the earth and save your species and others too if you are sensitive enough. The weirdest thing about it is, the moment humans cease to exist on earth it would not only recover itself but would be healthier, richer and greener in matter of months if not days...!


Now the interesting part is... where is the questionnaire I can refer to ask the questions? Although it is a vast and probably unending list for individual perception but in a broader and larger vision towards humanity and consciousness I am suggesting few questions here to provide an impetus.


If you are told that you will lose your memory for a certain period, would you like to go on a vacation during that period? It means – You will not remember where and how you went, what you did and what you enjoyed?


Make a sincere effort to probe into the length-breadth-depth of this question and a bunch of questions would popup at every moment of realization. This would get interesting as you keep going and rewarding only if you remain honest throughout the journey...!


Merry Christmas, Have a Wonderful Year Ahead...


Live a Fuller life, Be Aware and All the best!

Monday, December 24, 2012


The wise develop successors, pave the way for them and make room for them to walk on it. Two Living Legends of India, who have always been the prodigy of this notion, just did the same thing. One in the industry segment and other in country’s favourite sport, regarded as almost a religion with millions of devotees! It was neither sad or bad, nor even good or great... just natural.


Instead of making a big and totally unnecessary and insensible fuss of their retirements, it would be insightful and enriching to learn a few things by studying the glorious journey they had with high commitment and even higher aspirations and that is the reason Ratan Tata was referred to as Sachin Tendulkar of Indian Industry; it is an honour for both...!


Both these ‘Padma Vibhushan’ awardees, the most deserving of the honour, had raised the bar in their respective territories so high that now it’s their successor’s responsibility to either maintain the dignity and glory of it or raise it even higher if possible. What these two jewels in India’s ‘Taj’ have done is they marked the tracks as well as the beginning of the path to follow that will lead India  to the glorious era which was there in the pages of distant history of India.


Although there is no need to list the contributions of these ‘celebrities in its truest sense’, here are one of their quotes that I found most profound, characteristic and a life lesson...

“I don't believe in taking right decisions...

 I take decision and then make them right”.

 Ratan Tata


You can see and learn from the TOP 10 Achievements of this IDOL by clicking the link below –


I never played with a runner in my entire life, even in schools, because only I know where the ball is going and how hard, when I hit the ball, something my runner will never know about

 Sachin Tendulkar

 To learn and get inspired from what world has to say about this GOD of cricket, follow the link

 There are too many things common in these two maestros, but the greatest and scarce being –

 Committed Conviction empowered by Dedication and Determination!

 India will always be grateful to them and be proud of these two sons...!

 Way to go India!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Art of Listening...!

What differentiates Human from all other species...? Apart from the physiological anatomy, all other things like basic instincts and birth and death are common to all the species that breathe. However there is not a single example of any other species than Humans, not even the Apes, who has evolved faster and greater by transcending the boundaries of natural evolution by leaps and bounds. But where have they reached with this enthralling speed of development is another question though...!
There are two basic abilities gifted to humans but all other species – to be able to THINK and to be able to LISTEN. Here I would like to probe into the difference between ‘Hearing and Listening’. Hearing, keeping out the legal and administrative aspects of the term, is the ability to sense and feel any audible sound that falls on the ear membrane. It’s a different story that the interpretation of ‘Audition’ takes place in the brain and that is not our focus, at least for now.
As far as listening is concerned, I have prepared a very simple definition of my own – It is a skill through which a person I am trying to communicate to, hears to what I ‘mean‘ and not what I ‘say’, and assures me that he or she has understood what I meant exactly. Simple... isn’t it? Well, it really is if you can ‘listen’ to what I am trying to ‘mean’!
An interesting example of what people mean when they say something else is the expression ‘interesting’ itself! When a person exclaims ‘Very interesting...’ to your statement, 99 out of 100 times it means ‘That is clearly nonsense...’ and you take it as ‘They are impressed...’!
Listening forms the basis of communication – a blessing to the human beings and the foundation of civilized society we live in today. Active listening is the key to any communication and it is supported by following characteristics –
1. Attentiveness – It means alertness, concentration and energy to be willing to listen.
2. Empathy – This underlines the psychological connect with the speaker, feeling the emotions.
3. Perception – Ability to learn, understand and sense speaker’s perspective and intent.
4. Involvement – Response, feedback and agreement encourages the speaker to elaborate.
5. Generosity – Patience and sensibility to defer the judgement and reactive attitude.
The list could be bigger than this for the detailed analysis and study of ‘Listening’, but as the basics are right anything has better chances of getting fulfilled, so is communication. What good listening ensures is better communication and best possible output. This applies to anything that falls under the title of ‘communication’ but becomes most critical when it comes to business or professional communication for the simple fact that it affects the stakes of several holders at a broader level.
Most of the ambiguities, conflict, disorder and frustrations are outcomes of poor listening than inability, indifference or inefficiency of the people involved in the process. All leaders, managers and top executives has to be the best communicator than anything else as any task, process or project could be broken down to extremely simple and doable structure with the help of –
1. Objective – What needs to be achieved
2. Deadline – When it needs to be achieved
3. Methodology – What procedure to follow to achieve it
4. Resources – What resources would be needed to achieve it
5. Report – What the outcome should look like
If all these points are communicated in black and white and the ‘feedback’ is listened to at the outset, there are hardly any chances of the disarray that breaks into tantrums and panics. How many of you know that counselling is nothing but active listening...!
Stay tuned, Take care, Be aware and keep listening...!