Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HR is an asset! Go ahead with your vision!

Mr.Ganesh Chella, the founder of Totus Consultancy (A HR solutions provider). Mr.Ganesh also writes in the Business Line every fortnight on key HR issues. Having read a few of his articles I somehow wanted to meet him and guess I was blessed! I was one of those who were fortunate enough to have an interactive session with him. Mr.Ganesh started the session very poised and continued in an assertive style. His highly encouraging and pragmatic approach made us glued to the session.

He started by giving the statistics of ILO report which reports that as a worst case the world will lose 51 million jobs by end of 2009 and as the best case it will lose 18 million jobs! He makes us vicariously analyze the situation and zeroed in on the key point that our focus should be on knowledge and NOT on job market!

Secondly, Mr.Ganesh provoked us to write on what kind of professionals we wanted to become by 2030. It made many of us streamline our goals and yes we did think of why we were to think that far (2030?, we have miles to go before that!) A few of us had an opportunity to voice their goals and then he explains-why 2030?

He tells us about Victor Franklin’s book “Man in search of meaning” where the author writes about people who could withstand the brutalities of Hitler’s concentration camp (Auschwitz). Mr.Ganesh asked us about a similarity that these people shared. He said that all of them had something significant to do in their lives! Mr.Ganesh strongly believed that if one has an incomplete yet significant duty to perform then that fire in him if self will make him move towards the goal!

In fact he gave us a simple thumb rule to be an expert in any field of your desire! A thumb rule which Beatles followed before their first grand performance, a thumb rule by which Bill gates worked and a thumb rule which made A.R.Rehman get his Oscars! Wondering what it is? Well, all one has to do is to put in 10,000 hours of unperturbed dedication and the 10,000 plus 1 th second one will gain a mastery over it!

Once one is clear with what he wants to be by 2030, he will work towards it. Are you willing to make great sacrifices to achieve your goals? Then every day ask yourself “what am I going to do today to get there” and break the dawn with this thought lingering in your mind. It’s your turn to pen your 2030 goal if you haven’t but do remember to START with the END in mind!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SSN EDC- Interactive session with two successful entrepreneurs!

Mr.Kannan of Perfint Technology and Mr.Sunil Cherian from Burger Man enlightened and shared with us their experiences and challenges that they faced.

Mr.Kannan spoke about his team wherein each of them sacrificed a high paying job to start their entrepreneurship endeavor. Their initial step was supported by an Angel Investor.

He added that their organization is built on strong values of Performance, Integrity, Innovation, Customer focus and the time. Mr.Kannan also shared about his project experience and wanted everyone to take up their project seriously for it can make good careers! Further he said that there is an emerging market for health care and wanted to tap it.

Next Mr.Sunil started his speech with a video 'The Secret 'and added that it highly motivated him. According to Mr.Sunil, 'When you work for something, from nowhere the ideas will come and all you need to do is to grab it!'. He asks us to take every spark seriously for who knows it might be a million dollar idea!

"A small concept of 5 feet by 5 feet is the area of my business. It is 25 sq feet because I started thinking of the feasibility first. I wanted to be visible and dint mind starting small as far as I was making it big. I can sell anything! And even if you give me a dead body I will sell it", he asserts!
He shared that a lot of money was initially lost in the business, added that he learnt from every mistake and the more the number of mistakes, the more he know his business.

When asked about the reason behind the name of 'Burgerman' he said, "A milk man brings us milk; a post man brings us post and likewise is the burger man! It's a kiosk and will remain the same. It’s affordable but not cheap. We don't say we make the best burgers, all we say is that we serve good burgers”.

During his short speech Mr.Sunil revealed why he chose entrepreneurship rather than carry on his family business. By the way, his family owns the Kerela Fashion Jewellery. He felt that he shouldnt be one among the many who got trapped into the world of family business and that he should make a mark for himself.

Both the entrepreneurs spoke with a lot of ardor and zeal. Though they are from different fields altogether their speech reflected their common passion for entrepreneurship and the vision to transform lives!

The path to Green Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is easy to conceptualize but hard to explain. I would describe entrepreneurship as the process of incubating ideas, championing their cause, assemble resources to bring the idea to commercial reality and finally to launch it and see it grow. The word “entrepreneur” originates from a thirteenth-century French verb, entreprendre, meaning “to do something” or “to undertake.” An apt etymology!!

To me, entrepreneurship strikes as a ‘creative destruction’ of old ways of doing things and transforming the whole process of running a business. Increasingly this art of entrepreneurship is acquiring a green shade. But this comes as no surprise, as entrepreneurs who often play an important role as engines of change in market based economy are turning ‘green’ just like engines of automobiles which are trying to attain an image of being ‘environment friendly’.

Entrepreneurs play a critical role in eventual adaptation of green business practices by wider business community. The new age entrepreneurs innovate, design and launch new products and services which are eco friendly and also try to address the problems of global warming. This new breed of entrepreneurs also inspires, and in most cases, forces existing firms to improve their efficiency. They follow new methods of marketing and help reconfigure existing business models.
This is an exciting area to be involved in. At its best, entrepreneurship is about harnessing the enthusiasm, initiative and creative energy of individuals. When this dynamism is applied to developing business solutions that help move enterprise along more sustainable ways, then the results will have the potential to be truly fascinating—and rewarding.

India’s has the world’s largest population of youngsters i.e. below the age of 35 estimated at about 500m+. Just imagine the benefits our country stands to gain even if a small percentage of youngsters decide to take the plunge and become ‘green’ entrepreneurs. Hope the dream becomes a reality.

Role of NEN in promoting Entrepreneurship

Do you dream of leaving your thankless job, increasing your financial security, and your freedom? Do you wonder what the future will bring if you stay in the rut you are in now? Are you looking for more independence and a chance to own your own business? Want to improve your standard of living?

Then you are the perfect candidate to taste the spirit of entrepreneurship and most probably it is the way ahead for you.

There are many Indians who are ready to sacrifice anything for their passion! A passion to make a difference! NEN helps all the mushrooming novices to sprout. NEN was started by alumni of pioneer institutions in 2002 to help struggling entrepreneurs get a hold in their markets. NEN, since its inception has been a pillar of strength and providing support to all budding entrepreneurs.

Do you have an innovative idea? But are you worried about the funding of your venture? Well if you have a novel idea and a passion to work for it then NEN is the right place! They have a close network of Venture capitalists and angel investors to whom can put forth your ideas and if you are able to convince them with your ideas they will fund your venture!
For more details visit NEN

Green ideas for a clean SSN campus!

This post of mine is going to be on How to create a Greener SSN. No doubt ours is one of the most beautiful college campuses in terms of scenic beauty and greenery. But there is always room for improvement. If each individual does a little, we will have a huge impact on our stewardship of our college and thus of our earth. Here is a list of things of what students can do. For it is the individual drops that make an ocean!

Keep campus clean! One can find lots of wastes and rejects near the stores and in the grounds. College grounds crew spends a few hours a day picking up litter on campus that not only makes campus unattractive, but could otherwise harm soil quality or the "critters" that share our property! Make sure you use the “USE ME” and not litter our beautiful campus.

Be involved in "green" events on campus such as E-Week, Earth Day etc.
Start an Ecological Club.

Recycle tires, batteries, fluorescent lamps and ballasts, computers, scrap metal, concrete.
The equipment in science departments often uses the most power. Further, these equipments are often not turned off with regularity, and therefore waste a lot of energy.

Using natural light is also very simple. Instead of turning on the light, open the blinds. When arranging class rooms or hostel room, place desks and reading chairs near windows so natural light can be used as much as possible.

Ask yourself "Do I NEED it?" (i.e. the lights on, surplus office supplies, stationary)
Sometimes dried plants and shrubs are burnt in our campus. We could probably come out with a better way to get rid of them.

Establish a policy of shutting off I have myself witnessed many times the hostel TV being switched on for no reason. We should switch TV and radios when not in use. Using a screen-saver is not the same thing as a sleep mode; screen-savers do not reduce the energy use of an appliance.

Some measure can be taken to conserve water within the campus and inside the hostel like, by not allowing water to run continuously when washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or shaving. Take shorter showers. Showers use between 20 and 40 litres of water every minute.

I encourage all SSNites reading my blog to come out with more ‘Green Ideas’ and help create an ideal, clean and picturesque SSN college campus.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Inauguration of E-Week SSN EDC 2009

The Annual E Week Celebrations of Entrepreneurship Development Cell of SSN kick started with the speech of successful entrepreneurs like Mr.Sarath Babu-the Food King of India (Alumini of IIMA), Mr.Sunil Vishnu-cofounder of the Evam Enterprises theatre group (Alumini of MICA) and Ms.Vishnu Priya-coordinator from NEN.

Many of us say “If only, I had a few more bucks I would have become a.…”
But, Mr.Sarath says “Good that I didn’t have enough money because that made me work harder and strive longer to turn my dreams into a reality” There were thousands of hurdles in his life and those obstacles were perceived as steps of opportunities by him! This is just a tip of an iceberg.This small boy from Madipakkam in Chennai has made it big with his chain of food outlets and restaurants.

Many of us complain of power cuts and here is a man who has topped his studies amidst that. Mr.Sarath says, “For those who had electricity, they had a lot of distractions like watching television, listening to songs, or getting carried away by surroundings. I can see only my book from the light of the kerosene lamp but my friends have other things to see and that is the competitive advantage I enjoyed” he explains and chuckles. That’s the kind of positive attitude that we need to absorb from him!

In fact Mr.Sarath adopted an interesting strategy to save his energy. He reduced his communication to 10words/day which in turn increased his concentration manifold!
Mr.Sarath has conquered many hardships and it was his passion that made it all possible. When Mr.Sarath fell ill with viral fever, just one week before belling the CAT entrances, he didn’t give up and rather was working harder. ‘I have come this far not to quit’, he said to himself. That’s the kind of dedication one needs to have to succeed!

The world hardly remembers about 10 lakh personalities who walked this earth and Mr.Sarath is all set to enter that hall of fame! He dreams of a hunger free nation and soon we are going to witness his dream turn into a reality! Our best wishes for that too!

And next in the list came the enthusiast from the field of drama, full of life and energy! “Everyone here is born and studies in a good English medium school, gets into one of the top colleges, then a well paying job in a top company, later gets married and then his son or daughter carries forward the vicious cycle. So how are you going to be unique” questions Mr.Sunil who captivated his audience with his “fatafat” talks, entertained folks with his humor and exalting abundance energy levels!

Many of us have enjoyed fling kite when we were young and felt on the top of the world when we did that. What happened to us now? Where has our kite gone and why aren’t we flying it anymore? Where did the flame of doing something from the heart vanish, he expressed anguish! Feel passionate about the things you love doing and do that every time you feel doing it. This formed the base of his speech.

He also rightly pointed the flaw in our education system especially the flaw in the counseling system wherein a 12th standard student has to merely utter the name of the department he wishes to join and about which he has no clue at all. Don’t say I am being bounded by the system, change the rules, break the system, he advocates!

Mr.Sunil briefed us about the importance of grabbing opportunities and taking calculated risks with the following example. If you were on a top of a steep valley filled full of fierce sharks and you see a small wooden plank floating in it, what would you do? Who knows what will happen when you jump and hence the most important thing was to jump! Jump! And who knows you may unleash that you know to fly!!!

It was interesting to note that both the entrepreneurs pointed out that their "mothers" were a major source of inspiration in making them tread the path of entrepreneurship!
Kudos to Mr.Sarath and Mr.Sunil!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Green IT

"The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs,
but not every man's greed"
— Mahatma Gandhi

Every company is becoming environment conscious! When the economies are turning blue the societies are enhancing the green! With the increase in carbon emitters there is a serious concern of the environment changing into red! Carbon Emissions are one of those Eco Economy indicators and Green IT is an initiative to reduce carbon emission by IT/ITeS firms.
Every employee can contribute to Green IT by:
-Shutdown computer and other peripherals before leaving for the day.
-Set the power settings of one's computer to switch of monitor, hard disks and machine appropriately.
-Follow printing etiquettes, like double sided printing, using one sided papers for rough drafts.
Not only employees, even company’s management can try:
-Leveraging Hardware Virtualization to consolidate hardware
-Calculate Carbon foot prints - Calculator
-Purchasing ClimateSaverComputing, EnergyStar or other equivalent certified equipments.
-Encourage work from home on weekends and if possible on weekdays too.
-Design IT Strategies and Policies
-Two/four wheeler vehicle pooling

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Green Valentine

Today is a day for which millions of hearts around the globe eagerly await! The day of hearts!
For those who have proposed and waiting for a reply, I hope and wish you get a green signal soon.
For those already in love let’s see how green one can get to make this Valentine an ever green one!

Gone are the days where you bought those lavish pendants or trendy watches for your beloved ones (I agree that these were getting heavy on your pockets too). Well it’s time to take a twist, a green twist rather. Why not try giving eco friendly jewels or eco friendly solar watches?
Also anything made out of love is the best thing ever, so let your imaginations run wild and plan out and make some handicraft for your dear ones for it will stay ever green in their memories!

Plans of going in a cruise or long drives have become old fashioned so plan out something very special for just two of you. How about a long walk? You can freshen up the memories and relive them! For it is rightly said that a long journey is just like a few steps when you walk with someone who truly loves and cares for you! Guess it’s the right time for you to make your friends envy with green :-)

To wrap it up, in this valentine, irrespective of whether you are committed or single, show your love for the earth and you will find that it reciprocates with greater love!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

SSN EDC (Entrepreneurship Development Cell) Presents E-Week 09, Feb 14th to 19th

Hey friends!
Visit SSN EDC and I am sure that the opportunities that NEN and SSN together give, you are not only going to take away a lot of gifts and prizes but will also benefit from rich experiences and exposures!

The National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) – An unabated eye opener for all mushrooming talents which is creating a paradigm shift in the field of striking innovation!

SSN group of institutions (SSN) – An esteemed institution rendering excellence and fostering talents in the field of education!

Imagine when these two forces come together what an energy they would be generating!!! Jointly they are going to be an exponent in shaping the futures of many in tapping the enormous radical green energy! Let’s join them in unleashing the power of an ENTREPRENEUR and in creating a massive GREEN awareness! "Go green, The world is our business!"
Rush in! The race is already on!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ways to make our valley GREEN !

I happened to lay my hands on a magazine which discussed 50 ways to save our earth or 50 ways to make our valley green or 50 ways to lessen global warming; in a nutshell 50 ways to make THE difference! Just thought to share some of those with you and contribute to the difference :-)

-Come to the light
If you have not switched to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that uses one third of the power than the conventional bulbs then you are living in environmental darkness.

-Grow eco friendly walls
Instead of concrete compound walls which consumes loads of cement and brick which are huge carbon emitters, try raising a trend of having fences by growing bamboo trees instead. They are far more eco friendly and act as great sinks for carbon.

- Catch the bus
The principal option for reducing energy use in our cities is to ensure that mass transport is efficient, comfortable and reasonable. This would ensure that fewer people use other forms of individual transport.

- Go for electric vehicles
Looking for a new car? Go for electric vehicles like Reva which are suitable for city driving. They are emission free and give a good speed too!

- Quit the plastic covers
Planning to go for shopping? Take cloth or paper bags along as you shop so that you can avoid those plastic covers that shops offer you.

- Building codes
With large commercial buildings mushrooming, the government launched the Energy Conservation Building code (ECBC) in 2007. It was designed to optimize energy use in buildings. It is estimated that if such norms are followed than the energy consumption will be reduced as much as 30%.

- Computers off
Many people think that they save energy when they allow computers to be screen saver mode. It not only consumes power but also increases carbon emissions. So it’s better to turn off the computer when you don’t use it.

- Save paper, Use mails
Instead of penning down your thoughts on reams of paper made from felling trees, try mails instead. Its economical and reaches faster!

- Walk or Talk, Avoid to drive
With petrol prices galloping, its time to abandon those long drives. Walking a Km would not only save money but help you cut your flab around your waist. With phone calls becoming cheaper, you can try discussing the matters over the call as well.

- Plant more trees
Plant more trees in front or at the back of your house. Trees have shading effect that can make your house colder during summer. Besides, trees can absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis purposes. This directly reduces the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Make sure at least on your birthday you plant one!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Do you remember the mentos ad? A guy walks backward pretending to escape and eventually ends up achieving the objective. A think out of the box instance!
How about the insurance ads which makes a direct appeal to our hearts!
Why to miss the latest Madhavan and Vidhya Balan’s Airtel ad where they express themselves :-)

Advertising is the means of informing and influencing the general public to buy products or services. The need for a few things always exists and the role of advertising is to trigger the feel for the need and make people buy the products. Many are the times when we have checked out various shops and products (getting impressed with its commercials). Be it the media of print, audio or visual it is the advertising that makes a product successful.

THE MAGICAL WORD ‘FREE’: When people get additional quantity or anything in addition for the same price, it is definitely making an appealing offer. For it is rightly said that a little extra goes a long way.

THE EYE CATCHING ‘NEW’: People tend to check out anything that is new and untried and the products with this key word is able to trade much faster and better for the same reason.

THE MAGNETIC ‘BRAND AMBASSADORS’: Brand ambassadors like Shahrukh, Sachin and Amitabh are successful to pull the crowd. Ardent fans of celebrities go for a product which gets endorsed by their icons.

THE ‘POPULAR TAGLINES’: The high recall value of many products is because of their taglines. Maggi-only two minutes, Vodafone- wherever you go one network always follows, Coca-Cola- little drops of joy etc are a few of those that stick to our memory.

Advertising strikes the right chord when it attempts to create an emotional bonding, especially when it comes to sectors like Insurance, Banking and Real estates. Though companies hugely invest in advertising it is through word-of-mouth that constitute a large portion of sales. A classic case was the establishment of a 1000 Crore company started by Mr.Lakkubhai Pathak which sold food ingredients for domestic households without spending a penny on marketing strategies. Another living example is GOOGLE which has already created history in the world of searches.
So whats your favorite ad :-)