Tata group’s real challenge is to find the right successor
Posted by on 25 October

Tata group’s real challenge is to find the right successor

An unexpected turmoil at the top of any business group is counter productive and especially when it is is at the top of India’s foremost business group, the Tatas — a $103-billion conglomerate that operates in more than a hundred countries, employs 7,00,000 people and has a total market capitalisation of over $125 billion (about 7.5 per cent of BSE’s total). The Tatas are not known for boardroom coups, at least they have not been for the last two decades, after Ratan Tata consolidated his hold on the group by easing out satraps in various companies. What transpired in Monday’s board meeting of Tata Sons where Chairman Cyrus Mistry was “replaced” is, therefore, unprecedented. Succession at the top of the group has always been smooth ever since it was founded, and the easing out of Mistry, the chosen successor to Ratan Tata who now returns as interim chairman, is not just out of the ordinary but also a mystery. To soften the impact, the board has drafted the resolution very carefully. There is no reference to the past or to the reasons but only to the future. “In its collective wisdom and on the recommendation of the principal shareholders (Tata Trusts) and in the long-term interests of the Tata group and Tata Sons the Board has resolved to replace Cyrus Mistry as Chairman,” says the resolution. Was it because of under-performance in his role as Chairman? Of course, whether he had a vision for the group and if so, what it was, was always a mystery. Was it because of his inability to take along the top managers? Was it specifically due to his handling of two issues that have caused discomfort and embarrassment in recent times — the legal tussle with DoCoMo that led to an adverse arbitration award of $1.2 billion and the imbroglio over exit from the UK business of Tata Steel? Or was it related to governance issues? With the Board deciding not to elaborate on the reason(s), the speculation that is now on in the media, market and among analysts is certainly not good either for employee morale or the confidence of other stakeholders in the group. Even as it faces the prospect of a legal challenge from Mistry, who remains a director and whose family owns a little over 18 per cent of Tata Sons shares, the group will have to deal with the critical issue of finding a successor. The decision to appoint Ratan Tata as interim chairman is obviously designed to reassure stakeholders, including the markets, and also to have a familiar hand at the wheel. Tata, who’s pushing 79 now, will have to draw upon his immense goodwill to keep things steady till a successor is found. The composition of the search panel and the four-month time limit given to it are encouraging but it is not going to be easy to find the right person, especially given the current circumstances. Though the Tata Trusts own over two-thirds of Tata Sons, any legal challenge from the Mistry family can complicate matters and lead to serious distraction for the conglomerate.  
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Expecting agro-reforms without central support is pointless
Posted by on 22 October

Expecting agro-reforms without central support is pointless

With the central government failing to act on the far-reaching farm reforms suggested by the Shanta Kumar committee, the focus seemed to have shifted to trying and convincing state governments to do the reforms on their own, in much the same way that labour and land reforms have been left to the states. According to a report in The Economic Times, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand has come out with a three-pronged strategy that involves contract-farming, allowing direct purchases from farmers and taking fruits and vegetables out of the mandi laws—having got the PMO’s approval for the plan, NITI will now try and convince states to do the necessary reforms. What the approach doesn’t keep in mind that while states can still be expected to change labour/land laws as this will bring them industry/services and therefore create jobs and give more taxes, they have no interest in farm reforms since the farmers can go nowhere—if states cared about farmer welfare, they would have freed up movement of farm produce a long time ago, removed the exorbitant 14.5% mandi tax in the case of states like Punjab and Haryana, and freed up farmers from the cartel of arhatiyas who fleece them in the mandis. Even in BJP states like Maharashtra—or Delhi when it was under President’s rule—which have removed fruits and vegetables from the APMC Act, this has come to naught since, with no alternative land given for new mandis, farmers still sell in the old cartelised ones. While prime minister Narendra Modi decided not to limit FCI’s role or move towards futures or even cash transfers instead of food in ration shops as suggested by Shanta Kumar, these are critical if any state-level reforms are to take place. If, for instance, the Centre moved towards futures or cash transfers, it can afford to limit wheat/rice procurement. It is only then that, for instance, it can tell Punjab or Haryana that it plans to limit procurement unless they remove the 14.5% mandi tax. Since a large part of the cheap electricity given by states to farmers is based on cheaper supplies from the central quota, this is another lever to get states on board for far-reaching agriculture reforms. Direct cash transfers to farmers, from the money saved by reducing FCI’s role, similarly, can build up a critical mass of farmer support for reforms. Whether Modi likes it or not, unless he moves on the Shanta Kumar recommendations, the chances of the states acting on their own are quite limited.  
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Economic reforms need introspection and course correction
Posted by on 11 October

Economic reforms need introspection and course correction

India needs a different approach to grow its economy and must remove bottlenecks so that foreign investors can operate in the country just as its own corporates expand their global footprint, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during his India visit last week. His remarks may appear out of sync with the official discourse on India’s recent economic performance, especially the liberalisation of foreign direct investment and record inflows clocked since the Modi government was sworn in. Mr. Lee’s concerns, however, don’t stem from FDI policy per se, but two intertwined reform showpieces of the NDA — one abandoned after hot pursuit in its first year and another that remains a work in progress. These are amendments to the land acquisition law and improvements in the ease of doing business, respectively. Indian officials told business leaders accompanying the Singapore Prime Minister that they are free to invest in India if they can, on their own, acquire the land to set up shop on. As Mr. Lee pointed out, that makes investing in India virtually impossible — industrial parks that Singapore had proposed in the past remain non-starters. The Centre may not be used to such public plain-speaking, even from Western leaders with longer reform wish lists, but it must take the Prime Minister’s cue for introspection and course correction. Modernising India’s land laws was high on the government’s agenda in 2014-15; an ordinance was promulgated thrice to effect necessary changes till Parliament could pass a law. Global investors were assured that land acquired under the ordinance would be safe from any subsequent changes to the law. But the Centre wilted in the face of Opposition resistance. A model land-leasing law formulated by the Niti Aayog was mooted for States to adopt instead, but a billion-dollar plant is unlikely to come up on leased foundations. Since then, a proposed nuclear plant has moved out from Gujarat owing to land acquisition problems, India’s largest FDI proposal from South Korea’s Posco is all but off, and job creation has hit a five-year low. India moved up 12 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index last year and may rise further. But the index is only based on speed of paperwork in Mumbai and Delhi, where there is little space for big new industries; such rankings don’t directly translate into more FDI. The Prime Minister has set a target for India to reach the top 50 ranks in the index, but getting a construction permit online is no good if large tracts of land cannot be provided job-creating investment. If the idea to bury the land reform was to secure farmers’ votes and, in the process, alternative jobs are not created for the young and those who want to move out of agriculture, castles in the air are all that will be built.  
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Spectrum auction: Who are the losers?
Posted by on 09 October

Spectrum auction: Who are the losers?

New Delhi: Given that telcos bid Rs 65,789 crore, or just a 4% premium over the reserve price for various spectrum bands, it is difficult to believe there are any losers. Unlike in the past, telcos didn’t bid recklessly—in the 2015 auction, bids for the 900 MHz band were 1.95 times the reserve price and, in 2014, they were 1.85 times. Which is why, telcos used up just 41% of the earnest money points they had deposited at the beginning of the auction. Much of the reason for the sensible bidding, it is true, is because no telco licenses were expiring, and therefore needed to be won back at all costs—yet, with RJio taking the market by storm, telcos did need to beef up their networks in a hurry. What most did was to just plug the immediate gaps in their networks and wait for another occasion on which to accumulate spectrum. At the end of the auction, Vodafone plugged the gaps in its 4G coverage in eight more circles, taking the total up to 17; Idea plugged gaps in important circles like UP West and Gujarat and significantly added capacity in Madhya Pradesh, taking its 4G capacity to 20 circles—in UP East, picking up an additional 5 MHz carrier in the 2100 MHz band will allow it to offer 4G-like speeds on what is essentially a 3G band. Bharti Airtel chose to add an additional 4G capacity layer of 2300 MHz frequency in 13 circles and, like Idea, bought an additional 5 MHz in the 2100 MHz band in Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan and J&K to offer 4G-like speeds. Even so, there were several losers, starting with the country’s telecom subscribers who never got to experience the top-class surfing they could have got had the 700 MHz spectrum been sold, but wasn’t, thanks to Trai pricing it at twice its worth. Given how willfully this was done, the regulator also lost a lot of its sheen—that it helped telcos who had spectrum in the nearby 800 MHz frequency band only made the optics worse. In the case of Tata Teleservices, it is not clear why it did not bid for more 800 MHz spectrum in several circles since this would have helped create a 5 MHz block that would be useful for 4G services—now that Rjio has created the ecosystem of phones in this band—and could have been sold to the likes of Vodafone and Idea; alternately, they could have bought Tata’s 800 MHz spectrum and picked up more to create a 5 MHz block. In Andhra Pradesh, Tata had 3.75 MHz of 800 MHz spectrum and could have picked up another 1.25 MHz; picking up another 2.5 MHz each in Mumbai and Maharashtra would also have created a 5 MHz block. RJio used this strategy in Punjab and UP East to create a solid 10 MHz carrier in the 800 MHz band. The biggest loser, of course, is the government which found virtually no takers for its 2100 MHz spectrum. Last year, when telcos were desperate for 3G spectrum to offer data services, the government failed to get this spectrum from the defence ministry. Had it not been for RJio’s entry, it is possible telcos would still have snapped up the 3G spectrum this year, but with consumers now getting a taste of 4G, few telcos were interested in stocking up on the 2100 MHz frequency band; there was more action in the 4G bands like 1800 MHz which saw bids at 6.8% more than the reserve price and 2300 MHz where bids were 4.4% higher. Apart from the fact that the government will miss its budget target by around a fifth, an auction where 60% of the spectrum did not attract even one buyer and where the average bid was a mere 4% higher than the reserve price is really a failed one.
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Inside Mukesh Ambani’s $20-billion start-up
Posted by on 01 September

Inside Mukesh Ambani’s $20-billion start-up

Mumbai: At the vast open-plan headquarters of Indian telecoms start-up Jio, billionaire oil tycoon Mukesh Ambani stands in short sleeves beneath a digital tracker that logs every new subscriber to his service. The 59-year-old is India's richest man, and his Reliance Industries oil & gas group is the country's most profitable. Now, though, he's betting at least $20 billion on building, from scratch, a national digital empire stretching from phones and hardware to home entertainment and custom-made apps. The ambitious Jio project could make Reliance the most comprehensive provider of telecom and internet services across India - and give it unprecedented access to the country's untapped 'big data': how millions eat, shop and have fun. "For Reliance... data is the new oil, and intelligent data is the new petrol," Ambani said in March, explaining his drive to move closer to India's consumers. Reliance has said little publicly about Jio, and even less about the potential for wide-scale data mining in a country where consumers have not, to date, made a big deal about online privacy. But top executives are clear on the opportunity. "It's called Deep Packet Inspection, and what you can do with the analytics of that is mind-boggling," said a senior Reliance executive, referring to a practice that digs into 'packets' of data created by computers for efficiency, mining them for information. Jio is unlikely to contribute significantly to Reliance profits anytime soon, but is hugely significant for its future. Reliance has dabbled previously in consumer sectors, yet Jio is seen as an opportunity for Ambani to set a new course for a company still dominated by his late father, its founder. Jio is also a potentially landmark opportunity for India, where smartphone usage has ballooned and services like mobile payments and online entertainment have become commonplace. The prospect of Jio, which has not yet been commercially launched, has raised hopes of cheaper, more reliable data for Indian users. It has already drawn queues at some stores by offering free connections with unlimited data for a three-month period, allowing it to test its network. That has stirred rivals. India's largest wireless provider Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) this week cut its 3G/4G data tariffs on prepaid connections by more than 40 percent, after halving them a month ago. But Jio - named from a Hindi exhortation to 'live on' - is behind schedule and over budget, say several former employees, who, like current staff interviewed by Reuters, did not want to be named. It was initially expected to launch by end-2014, with total capital expenditure within $15 billion, they said. Reliance has never provided a specific date or figure, and declined to respond to specific queries for this article. According to filings at the commerce ministry, Jio has more than Rs 32,500 crore ($4.9 billion) of long-term debt, and other liabilities topping Rs ​58,000 crore, as of March. In addition, Reliance has spent over Rs 29,000 crore on Jio and is expected to invest more - all adding up to more than what it has been spending on its core refining and petrochemicals business. Reliance says its oil business is pumping out cash, and any investment in Jio has to be ambitious. Two-thirds of India's 1.3 billion population are not online, and Jio hopes to capture 100 million users - nearly half of India's current smartphone users - within a year of launch. Ambani, who employees say taught himself to code, ran Reliance's nascent telecoms operations in the early 2000s, before a feud with his younger brother Anil triggered a split and a bitter non-compete deal. Mukesh took the family's energy business and Anil the communications assets, setting up Reliance Communications (RCom). Before long though, Mukesh was laying fibre cables again and set up a subsidiary, Rancore, to build its own mobile telephony technology. In 2010, Mukesh's Reliance Industries bought Infotel Broadband - on the day Infotel won nationwide spectrum - and decided it needed to offer more than a high-speed 4G network service. Instead, it would pitch an all-internet service, where even voice calls would be carried as data, cheaply, beating its rivals Airtel, Vodafone and Idea on quality and speed, according to Jio officials. Airtel, Vodafone and Idea declined to comment on Jio. Naveen Kulkarni, co-head of research at Phillip Capital, said the Jio technology was "very efficient from a cost point of view," but needs India's smartphone ecosystem to evolve, making it unlikely Reliance will make money from Jio for at least five years. At Jio's biggest campus, a sprawling cluster of glass buildings, manicured lawns and giant Jio logos outside Mumbai, the scale of Ambani's vision is evident. Reuters was offered a rare opportunity to visit the site earlier this year. The campus has 15,000 employees working for Jio alone, plus hundreds of consultants and service providers working alongside the group. There are large guest houses and hotels. In a single hall, Reliance has put on show everything from its e-payment mechanism and music-streaming app to its messaging app, sleek Jio smartphones - sold at a fraction of the cost of an iPhone - connected cars, and even a replica home. "As they go out, they will have a very aggressive posture," said Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India. On campus, Ambani, who flies in by helicopter once a week, was flanked at his desk by his eldest son, Akash, who is Jio's head of strategy, and by Manoj Modi, a long-serving adviser, and a reminder of the influence of trusted employees, most from the oil business. One company insider said the Jio logo is actually a mirror image of the word 'oil,' reflecting in a way Reliance's journey from oil drilling to data mining.  
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The rise and transformation of Sindhu
Posted by on 21 August

The rise and transformation of Sindhu

Up against the reigning two-time badminton champion, the top-ranked Carolina Marin, in the gold medal match at the Olympics, PV Sindhu was expected to give it her all. And she did. More than the results, what stood out this month was the manner in which she played. Moving steadily towards becoming a more all-round player, she shed the tag of being ‘ever-so-inconsistent’. In the course of her campaign in Rio de Janeiro, she evolved into a champion, occupying the court as someone meant to be counted in a match, right to the end. In the final, Marin, despite losing the first game, not once played like anything less than the favourite she was; thereby she cast a confirmatory glow on Sindhu’s challenge. In the third game Sindhu evened the score at 10-10, till it finally slipped away. She has made history for India by winning a silver medal. But more than the medal, she has furthered the trail blazed by Saina Nehwal, firming up India’s place on the international badminton map. Match after match, Sindhu produced exemplary performances against higher-ranked rivals in the knockout phase. In fact, her three-game victory over Canada’s Hong Kong-born Michelle Li to reach the pre-quarterfinal was the turning point. Li had beaten Sindhu twice in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Thereafter, Sindhu was more at ease. It is hard to believe that just a fortnight ago no one really gave her a chance at the medals podium. All this while, despite two World Championship medals, Sindhu had remained in the shadow of Nehwal. She began her Olympics campaign with nothing to lose, and leaves the competition with everything to realistically aim for. With Nehwal tragically felled by an injury at the Olympics, Sindhu carried the dream forward, surprising even her fans with the punch in her strokes. Chief national coach Pullela Gopi Chand, who has overseen Sindhu’s game since she was eight, has often said that once she adds power to her strokes, she could be expected to realise her true potential. That she did so is a tribute too to the mentoring he has provided. A former All England Open champion, he has done more than anyone else to transform a sporting landscape in India where the odd individual occasionally cartwheels into the big league, into an ecosystem where clusters of excellence are nurtured. Such an endorsement of excellence could not have come from anywhere else. For badminton players, unlike their counterparts from tennis or golf, the Olympics are the biggest stage, and a medal at the Summer Games is their most valued prize. This is how, at just 21, Sindhu has already announced her place among the greats.  
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Azim Premji is one of the biggest softies: TK Kurien
Posted by on 19 August

Azim Premji is one of the biggest softies: TK Kurien

Bengaluru: According to TK Kurien, Executive Vice Chairman of Wipro, Azim Premji is one of the biggest softies that you can ever find. Mr Kurien was talking to ET Now in an interview on Azim Premji completing 50 years at Wipro. Azim Premji on Wednesday completed 50 years of leading Wipro. A known philanthropist, Premji is accredited for driving Wipro through diversification and growth. Premji is presently the Chairman of Wipro. “He (Premji) is very much like a coconut. He is very hard outside, but he is very soft inside,” Kurien said in the interview. Kurien credits Premji for being the “rock of comfort” for Wipro, especially during tough times. “…When the joint CEOs left it was very very tough phase. That was a phase where the organisation itself was fairly disturbed. I think the biggest role that Mr Premji played in all these phases was that he remained the rock of comfort for many of the employees,” Kurien said. “He has been a very steady hand. And many people in the organisation know him personally. So the ability of people to go to him with their troubles and for him to listen to them has been one big differentiating factor for us. We are not a typical management based organisation. We are still an organisation where people listen to people and we are an emotional organisation at the heart of it, and that is what has really helped us,” he added. Talking about Premji’s current role in the organisation, Kurien said, “He has decided to take a slightly different role from what he did in the past. I think what he has done is, he realises the fact that the business has become too big and too complex, so he still follows an open door policy as far as people are concerned, but the reality is that people who joined 10-12 years ago, those are the guys who know him well. They have the courage to go and talk to him. So things have changed a little bit.” Asked whether he ever found it difficult to face Premji for an appraisal after a tough quarter, Kurien quips, “Not really!”. “One of the biggest qualities in him, which really forms the skeleton of the organisation is the ability to look at yourself critically,” he explained. “I don’t think we have ever said we are great when we are not doing well. We have never said that we are great when we are doing well either. And that’s because we always look at ourselves in the mirror and say, can we do better? I think that’s a quality that goes down at every level of leadership. So you will never find a Wipro guy standing up and saying how great he is. It will never happen,” he added.
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Naked dining restaurants on trend; odd but true
Posted by on 14 July

Naked dining restaurants on trend; odd but true

London: When it first made headlines, everything about nude bistro struck as unusual. But, now it is on wheel, trending in leading capital cities across the world. Beginning with Britain and Japan, more cities are expected to adopt the trend, making their populace feel different. To begin with the nude restaurant in Japan, it had an Indian name, The Amrita. Though there was a discriminatory policy that forbade entry of overweight people and those over the age of 60, that too faded away, considering the augment need and urge from people. Still, some rules remain in place. People with tattoos will not be allowed in as tattoos in Japan are associated with crime syndicates known as Yakuzas. It is not uncommon in Japan for many public places to refuse entry to people with tattoos. That's not all -- Customers will also not be allowed to use their mobile phones and would be required to lock them away during the dining. Opened in June, Bunyadi at the central London venue will offer gowns, changing rooms and lockers to guests wanting to digest the sight of their own exposed skin while getting their chow on. More than 32,000 people had signed up, prior to its opening, for a chance to dine at Bunyadi, a pop-up restaurant billed as the UK capital's first "naked food experience”. But only 42 diners a time will fit in the restaurant, meaning that many of those hoping for a naked lunch, or dinner, will be disappointed. "I'm both surprised and excited by the response," Seb Lyall, whose company  Lollipop is behind the venture, told media. The Bunyadi is offering an entirely natural dining experience, operating without electricity and gas, serving food on handmade clay plates with edible cutlery and asking diners to cast off their mobile phones and even their clothes, if they want to. Upon entering The Bunyadi guests are taken to a private room where they may change into a gown, which they can wear or remove during the meal. There is also a “clothes” section for those who wish to remain dressed while dining. Kashan Kafoor, a customer, wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “I felt welcome as soon as I stepped into the unmarked building. Along with the (optional) nudity and raw foods comes the ban of devices, I definitely felt more engaged with my company and our waitress - a rule I'd like to see more restaurants adopt. I have never had a more comfortable dining experience. “I think the whole experience really hit the nail on the head, both for food and for what it stood for. I felt so relaxed, comfortable, free! It 'just worked'. As someone who has to constantly be on my phone for work - not having anything on me was wonderful - my partner and I talked, laughed and genuinely connected in a very natural way,” says another customer Lizzie West. “The idea is to experience pure liberation. We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to. We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked,” says Lollipop’s founder Seb Lyall. The reviews and posts on the social network regarding the new experience announces the possibility of emerging much more naked dining restaurants, at least in the west or in the leading economies across the world. Yes, the world is pacing behind liberation, be it in any form.  
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Parents responsible for lousy relationship with boss: Study
Posted by on 12 July

Parents responsible for lousy relationship with boss: Study

Ohio: To be fair, most bad bosses are not actually terrible people - they are good people in the wrong role. And that is why it is said if someone has a less-than-ideal relationship with his/her boss, it might have something to do with how they were raised. Thus says a research study published in the journal Human Relations which studied how childhood bearing ends up with grappling issues in career life. The research draws on John Bowlby's attachment theory, a pillar of psychological thinking, which says that how you are treated as a child shapes the way you react to the world as an adult. According to this theory, about 60% of people are emotionally healthy as a result of good parenting. Of the 40% of children who grow up with unreliable parents, that is with parents who don’t respond to their kid’s needs, half develop an "anxious" attachment style. In studies, when anxious children are left alone, they “escalate crying beyond all belief, and when the parent comes back, the child just keeps going, like they’re punishing the parent,” explains Peter Harms, PhD, lead author on the study. The rest of children with unreliable parents develop an "avoidant" attachment style, meaning they don't react at all when the parent leaves, and they ignore them when they return. Harms and his co-authors suspected that dynamics in the workplace mirror those of our formative years. To find out, they had supervisors and employees at eight Ohio restaurants answer questions about their attachment styles, job stress, and how much they trusted their supervisors. The conclusions the researchers drew were based on responses from 28 supervisors and 152 employees. They found that employees who'd grown up with good parents weren't affected too much by how their bosses behaved. Neither were those who had avoidant styles; they preferred to just do their jobs and go home. These avoidant types were also less likely to be good team players, says Harms. Employees with the anxious attachment style, though, reported high stress if their supervisors were avoidant. In general, these are people who tend to "complain more in the workplace, or report having more drama," says Harms who is an assistant professor in the department of management at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. When anxious people had good bosses they weren't so stressed out. "Individuals who were anxious but who had supportive leaders could function at high levels," says Harms. The key ingredient was trust. "You have a situation where anxious people want to be reassured, but are nervous that the support they get is shallow or likely to end," says Harms. "A leader who can build a foundation of trust can help them not 'activate' their anxieties in the first place." The findings may also help you be a good "follower" or employee, by changing your perception of your distant boss. "You could look at your leader and think, ‘may be this person has never had a role model to show them what it means to be a good dad or mom’, and the leader is like the dad or mom of the workplace," says Harms. Harms hopes the findings could contribute to more humane working conditions. "We can basically show that there really are no broken people," says Harms. "There are fragile people but they're not necessarily broken, and if we give them a supportive environment, they can like their job." After all, as he points out, the ultimate goal shouldn't just be increased productivity, "but increased well-being."      
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On the screen, but behind the bars
Posted by on 08 July

On the screen, but behind the bars

Kochi: Though police roles are not every actor's cup of tea, mollywood has experimented a lot with police attires. Many actors have done complete justice to the police characters counting Suresh Gopi, Mammootty and Mohan Lal. Prithvi Raj, Nivin Pauly and even Fahad Fasil marked their entry into the police rolls.  Nivin’s Action Hero Biju and Mammootty’s recent movie Kasaba are still having a strong grip on mollywood viewers. But this season’s bell rang also for convicts and their caged days. The life behind bars is now shining strikingly on the silver screen through the films starting from Urumbukal Urangarilla, which later moved on with Kammattippadam and Karinkunnam Sixes. Urumbukal Urangarilla made a unique entry into the field, starring Vinay Fort, Aju Varghese, Chemban Vinod, Kalabhavan Shajon and Mustafa as the prisoners.  The film incites our brain with laughter as well as serious thoughts, especially with the scenes portraying Vinay Forrt's character being trained under the tutelage of a master thief, played by Chemban. Rajeev Ravi’s recent film Kammattippadam, winning critical appreciations across the industry, features the fruition of a gangster from a ghetto in Kochi. A gaster’s story is incomplete without any glimpse of his life behind the bars and so is the case with Krishnan, the protagonist enacted by Dulquer Salman in the movie.  Manju Warrier’s latest appearance as a volleyball coach, that too for the central prison’s team and the movie Karinkunnam Sixes already had its dawn on the viewers resulting positive responses.  The movie flashes a new light into the lives of prisoners, with Manju building confidence and team spirit among them as their volleyball coach. The list of movies featuring the lives behid the bar rolls on with the upcoming movies of Dileep and Indrajith – Biju Menon combination. In the upcoming movie, directed by Sunderdas, Dileep plays a Good Samaritan sort of role who takes on the blame of others and willingly undergoes prison terms. Award winning tele film Mukhamukham’s director Ansar Khan is on his new venture of making a film based on the same, under Jeethu Joseph’s script. The movie features the story of two jailbirds, playing by Indrajith and Biju Menon, who are being moved from Peerumedu to Ernakulam. Anyway, the unseen panorama inside those gigantic walls are expected to reach the common public through these films. The locked up living, the confined or enslaved life of those caged birds are all to be unveiled, may be from quite a different perspective, in the silver screen.  
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