Archive for December, 2005
I visited Jamshedpur over the weekend to see for myself an India that is fast disappearing despite all the wolf-cries of people like Narayanamurthy and his ilk. It is one thing to talk and quite another to
do and I am delighted to tell you that Ratan Tata has kept alive the legacy of perhaps Indias finest industrialist J.N. Tata. Something that some people doubted when Ratan took over the House of the Tatas but in hindsight, the best thing to have happened to the Tatas is unquestionably Ratan. I was amazed to see the extent of corporate philanthropy and this is no exaggeration.
For the breed that talks about corporate social responsibility and talks about the role of corporate India, a visit to Jamshedpur is a must. Go there and see the amount of money they pump into keeping the town going; see the smiling faces of workers in a region known for industrial unrest; see the standard of living in a city that is almost isolated from the mess in the rest of the country.
This is not meant to be a puff piece. I have nothing to do with Tata Steel, but I strongly believe the message of hope and the message of goodness that they are spreading is worth sharing. The fact that you do have companies in India which look at workers as human beings and who do not blow their software trumpet of having changed lives. In fact, I asked Mr Muthurman, the managing director, as to why he was so quiet about all they had done and all he could offer in return was a smile wrapped in humility, which said it all. They have done so much more since I last visited Jamshedpur, which was in 1992. The town has
obviously got busier but the values thankfully haven’t changed. The food is still as amazing as it always was and I gorged, as I would normally do. I visited the plant and the last time I did that was with Russi
But the plant this time was gleaming and far from what it used to be. Greener and cleaner and a tribute to environment management. You could have been in the mountains. Such was the quality of air I inhaled! There was no belching smoke; no tired faces and so many more women workers, even on the shop floor. This is true gender equality and not the kind that is often espoused at seminars organised by angry activists. I met so many old friends. Most of them have aged but not grown old. There was a spring in the air which came from a certain calmness which has always been the hallmark of Jamshedpur and something I savoured for a full two days in between receiving messages of how boring and decrepit the Lacklustre Fashion Weak was.
It is at times such as this that our city lives seem so meaningless. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata had created an edifice that is today a robust company and it is not about profits and about valuation. It is not about who becomes a millionaire and who doesnt’. It is about getting the job done with dignity and respect keeping the age-old values intact and this is what I learnt.
I jokingly asked someone as to whether they ever thought of joining an Infosys or a Wipro and pat came the reply: “We are not interested in becoming crorepatis but in making others crorepatis.”
Which is exactly what the Tatas have done for years in and around Jamshedpur. Very few people know that Jamshedpur has been selected as a UN Global Compact City, edging out the other nominee from India,
Bangalore. Selected because of the quality of life, because of the conditions of sanitation and roads and welfare. If this is not a tribute to industrial India, then what is? Today, Indian needs several Jamshedpurs but it also needs this Jamshedpur to be given its fair due, its recognition. I am tired of campus visits being publicised to the Infosys and the Wipros of the world. Modern India is being built in
Jamshedpur as we speak. An India built on the strength of core convictions and nothing was more apparent about that than the experiment with truth and reality that Tata Steel is conducting at Pipla.
Forty-eight tribal girls (yes, tribal girls who these corrupt and evil politicians only talk about but do nothing for) are being educated through a residential program over nine months. I went to visit them and
I spoke to them in a language that they have just learnt: Bengali. Eight weeks ago, they could only speak in Sainthali, their local dialect. But today, they are brimming with a confidence that will bring tears to your eyes. It did to mine.
One of them has just been selected to represent Jharkand in the state archery competition. They have their own womens football team and whats more they are now fond of education. It is a passion and not a burden. This was possible because I guess people like Ratan Tata and Muthurman havent sold their souls to some business management drivel, which tells us that we must only do business and nothing else. The fact that not one Tata executive has been touched by the Naxalites in that area talks about the social respect that the Tatas have earned.
The Tatas do not need this piece to be praised and lauded. My intent is to share the larger picture that we so often miss in the haze of the slime and sleaze that politics imparts. My submission to those who use phrases such as “feel-good” and “India Shining” is first visit Jamshedpur to understand what it all means. See Tata Steel in action to know what companies can do if they wish to. And what corporate India
needs to do. Murli Manohar Joshi would be better off seeing what Tata Steel has done by creating the Xavier Institute of Tribal Education rather than by proffering excuses for the imbroglio in the IIMs. This is where the Advanis and Vajpayees need to pay homage. Not to all the Sai Babas and the Hugging saints that they are so busy with. India is changing inspite of them and they need to realise that.
I couldn’t have spent a more humane and wonderful weekend. Jamshedpur is an eye-opener and a role model, which should be made mandatory for replication. I saw corporate India actually participate in basic
nation-building, for when these tribal girls go back to their villages, they will return with knowledge that will truly be life-altering.
Corporate India can do it but most of the time is willing to shy away. For those corporate leaders who are happier winning awards and being interviewed on their choice of clothes, my advise is visit Tata Steel, spend some days at Jamshedpur and see a nation’s transformation. That is true service and true nationalism.
Tata Steel will celebrate 100 years of existence in 2007. It won’t be just a milestone in this company’s history. It will be a milestone, to my mind of corporate transparency and generosity in this country. It is indeed fitting that Ratan Tata today heads a group which has people who are committed to nation-building than just building inflluence and power. JRD must be smiling wherever he is. And so must Jamsetji Nusserwanji. These people today, have literally climbed every last blue mountain. And continue to do so with vigour and passion. Thank god for the Tata “
I have been contemplating for a while now to put up a list of kewl sites and blogs that i think needs more people to look at. not that the sites deserve any publicity. But then most people who read my blogs wouldn’t be surfing to see them anyway…Oh just kidding…well, if you have any sites that I should look at do post a comment …Ciao then.
My Christmas Gift
Some cool freewares for downloads…I have been visiting them for ages now…Highly recommended.
Take a look at what this dude has done to his home with Christmas Lighting…Its a >4mb download…but it sure flipped me
Pope John Paul
Even the new pope has a blog.
50 Greatest gadgets in the last 50 years
PC worlds listings of the 50 greatest Inventions in the last 5 decades. Take a look and see how many you own. Well if you are in India most of them aren’t available here and you know why…
White House Tapes – The Kennedy Assassination
A secret audio tape recording that I came across on the web on the JFK assassination…check it out if you are a conspiracy buff
George Bush – A Poem
The Poem on Dubya in the Pakistani alimentary School text books. The First alphabet in the poem and Dubya’s pic however isn’t highlighted in the text books.
Lowest fare Airline Tickets – International
A blog that gives you details on how to get the lowest fares on airline tickets in the Americas. Gives some useful insight. I do not guarantee any authenticity, but worth taking a look.
Visual Depiction of our world
A good illustration of the world around us.
Dante’s Inferno test
Want to know where you are going in your after life?. Take this quiz.
Forgot a Birthday?
Don’t worry if you forgot a birthday. Heres a website that will list out names from a database (they claim) of 120 million people. While you are at it you may also want to check out the names database
“Learn poker through the bad experiences of others because you won’t live long enough to make all of the mistakes yourself.”
I thought it would be a good idea to start thinking on a name for the restaurant…it would make things a lot easier…we have come up with a few names that sound real cool and is in sync with our idea of the restaurant
“Saffron Haveli” , ” Cinnamon Courtyard” “Tamarind Temple” ,”Ginger Kitchen”,
“Ajmeri Gate”, “Dilli Chutney”, “Tandoori – Dil Se” ,
“Spice Surprise, ” Magic Garlic”
Except for Magic Garlic (I really like the name ) which has already been taken all other names sound very original…Do you have any names for us…do write in…I know of a few people who are already working on it…including ‘Pravina’
Heres what you should remember while sending us names
- send us a name for a fine dining Indian restaurant in Bangalore, India serving North Indian Cuisine
- Try being original ( its so easy these days…just google it…lol…yeah i am amazed myself on what google does…really!)
- The name should preferably have a combination of two words which rhyme or has a good ring to it. One Indian and the other “English”
- Avoid using slang and words that do not relate to food.
- If we choose your name…I promise a free meal for two any day at your convenience at the restaurant…:)
I am leaving for kochi…later tonite…i wouldn’t be blogging for a couple o nights or mebbe even more…
Do you know any blogs on Indian restaurants in India???
I have been wanting to read blogs by Indian restaurant owners and others related to the restaurant business…If you are reading this and you know of any such a blog please post the link as a comment or email me, I would be very grateful.
Did a tour of Sadashiv Nager and New BEL road sites with John yesterday…It was a bit disappointing…Sadashiv Nagar location is gone… Someone had hired it already. I saw pooja materials on the second floor. Man sites just disappear faster than they in Bangalore these dates…BE QUICK OR BE DEAD!!! “Yeah only sites where the business’ have failed stay available for longer” John said
John liked the Sadashiv Nagar location… He said that the area is not 750 sqft as mentioned to me…I felt the same too yesterday…probably the morning light had made the site appear large the last time I saw it. Yeah and I was in a hurry too that day. However he was really impressed by the location. His wives family stays very near Bashim circle.
We then visited “Neel” and then went to the New BEL road site. “Yeah this would be 2200 sq ft. So how long would it take for the site to be ready?” he asked ” mebbe another three months.” I said ” or even sooner if we approach the builder. Pizza Hut ( which is about 300 mts from the site) came up in just a month…” I added. “Pizza Hut..they have the money…”he let that hang.
He didnt say much about the restaurant…It was around 4 pm and they were closing down after lunch…We saw a the last people leave the restaurant while we entered the restaurant. Neel serves only buffet lunch… and It looked pretty impressive…even when it was empty…. I was told when we had dined there that the restaurant was owned by some people in the movie business. Since I was new then the name didn’t stick….Some Art director if I remember correctly…neways
There is a restaurant very similar to this on the ring road…I heard John say…This would be about 5000 sq ft. The guy would have had the land for sometime and decided on the restaurant. I said the food was bad here…but the ambience more or less makes up for it. Neel had close to 100 foot falls every night i guessed and that would go far higher on weekends…
I remember the visit to Pizza Hut on Sunday evening…Its been about a couple of weeks since they opened this outlet on New BEL road. I spoke to a steward there he said we do aound Rs 40000 per day on week days and Rs 80000/- on weekends….Roughly put thats 1600000 a month… phenomenal stuff. I had jumped when i heard that…but then they are a brand…established and spend a lot of money on advertising….would like to see their numbers after about 4 months….Tittu had said…I personally had felt a little queasy in my belly after that veggie cheese shock. Pizza hut was rocking though it was packed when we were there.
Coming back to “Neel” That does a good turnover too. But how much of it is related to the sale of liquor i wonder….”It costs about 15 lakhs to get a liquor licence” John said…”and its very difficult to get one…But I have a friend maybe we can use him..I dont know if he would be willing to help….”well…I guess thats just another way of saying buddy it would cost a helluva lot more than 15 if u wanted a liquor licence…if you are thinking of one. “Do they give out just beer and wine licence…?” I asked….Maybe will have to check”… i heard him say.
We reached home a while later…Tittu was feeding Antra. She had just got back from school…he had worked from home yesterday as the maid was on leave… Had got Jonh home to introduce him to Tittu (Jacob)
Tittu was a tad disappointed when John said that the New BEL road had some disadvantage as in parking space…We found it difficult to cross to the other side of the road when we had gone “site seeing”.
Tittu wanted to know how we could take it forward with John.Having told John that we were deliberating on weather to have a North Indian cuisine ( tittu) or a continental and chinese cuisine (me) restaurant he was pretty clear – he wanted us to finalise the cuisine the location and what we wanted to do first before he could take it forward. Knowing John…he wanted to do it professionally….he asked us to prepare a business plan and give him a hard copy before he would take it forward….” list down all that you would like to do…deliberate on them and eliminate what you think is not feasible” he said.
He said he had 3 assignments on currently but he would be willing to take it forward if we were interested.
So the business plan it is…I have already started work on it….Tittu would be putting in his thoughts…I hope that is ready asap…
Tittu is off to Mumbai and Delhi for the week…mebbe he would visit Punjabi by nature that classy Punjabi restaurant that he so raves about and wants to replicate….lets see…am waiting for the pix with my fingers crossed.
Gopi called…they have planned a trip to karwar on Jan 2nd… He only named Hemanth…he probably wanted to keep the names of the women a secret. Would have been fun joining them but then this would be my first Christmas and new year with folks since 1993…Wouldn’t want to miss out on it…Appa and Amma would be visiting Bangalore later this week and staying on till 2nd…and tittu would be having the housewarming also then. Have got work to do now…will have to move my stuff to the other bedroom. Appa and Amma would be using this for their stay. I guess Karwar is Out…mebbe later….another time…
Spoke to Sudhakar yesterday…told him some cock about loosing his number…but briefed him about our plans…he didnt believe it then….i guess hes started to believe now. “Are you serious…?” he asked me…”you would have a lot of spade work to do…wouldn’t you?” Yeah….so much work ahead. Told him to check on the mail i sent him and revert…He wants me to use Sidharth, his son to design our logo and mebbe even give him the work for the interiors….I felt some sadness in his voice….I think i know why frenchi bad mouthed him….yeah but then i will never fully know the reasons…
Srikanth my senior from School came by today – he works with tittu at Sun Microsystems…Laughed about school and other things for half an hour…he is doing well for himself…I think he got the jitters after the last flooding in Bangalore…he is leaving for Mumbai tonight so he came to park his car here – fearing floods…
She loves Cartoons, Icecreams and her favorite songs are Schnappie – the krocodile, and Bob the builder
This pic was taken last week
This is a painting she did today…she’s named it “flowers in a banana lake”
Received this mail today…better safe than sorry…huh? 😉
Extremely Important – NO JOKE
D uring the next several weeks be VERY cautious about opening or launching any e-mails that refer to the World Trade Center or 9/11 in any way, regardless of who sent it. PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, "WTC" STANDS FOR THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. REALLY DANGEROUS BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY, THINKING ! ITS A STORY RELATING TO 9/11!
BIGGGG TROUBLE !!!! DO NOT OPEN "WTC Survivor" It is a virus that will erase your whole "C" drive.. It will come to you in the form of an E-Mail from a familiar person. I repeat, a friend sent it to me, but called and warned me before I opened it. He was not so lucky and now he can’t even start his computer!
Forward this to everyone in your address book. I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all. So, if you receive an email called "WTC Survivor", do not open it. Delete it right away! This virus removes all dynamic link libraries (all files) from your computer.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE