Saturday, April 17, 2010

C K Prahalad

C K Prahalad was one of the few Indians who made a mark in the area of management science in the last century. He was along with Pankaj Ghemawat and Sumantra Ghoshal, the few Indians who were at the forefont of management science.
While he was always acknowledged as one of the top most management thinkers, what made him transcend the management field and be acknowledged as a great thinker was his seminal book "Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits".
Incidentally, this book was the first management book that I read five years back. The case that impressed me the most was the ITC e-choupal case. Funny that I am now writing this blog at a time when I am studying in an institution whose alumnus is responsible for creating the e-choupal revolution.
It is indeed a great loss to the field of management science. But ideas last longer than the man himself.
And Prahalad's ideas of "core competency" and "the BOP magic" will live on and help managers to demystify the complex environment in which they operate

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Dantewada massacre and us.....

So they finally struck on a large scale. The Maoists suddenly made national headlines when they killed seventy five CRPF personnel in the Dantewada district of Chattisgarh.
The ET, the mouthpiece of corporate India reported the incident but also reported that FII inflows will not be affected by the incident. However FIIs related to mining companies might see some impact.
Most of us wont care. And several reasons for that;
1.Go out on streets of Mumbai or Delhi and ask people where Dantewada is and I bet 9 on 10 people will give the wrong answer, if they give one that is.
2. Unlike 26/11, this proxy war as called by many in the media is being played out in the forests of an economically backward state. Not in five star hotels.
3.Most of us believe its a simple case of us vs them. Even the hopelessly useless Shivarj Patil put it down to "misguided youth".
4.We (the urban population) have been fed a rich diet of corporates saving us from low economic growth.So the minerals in those areas suddenly belong to Shri Lakshmi Mittal and Shri Anil Agarwal. And we are so proud that Mr Mittal has an Indian passport. As if that qualifies every Indian as a heir to his wealth.
5.PC wants to have a dialogue with these maoists. Perhaps he should hear what Norman Borlaug said "You can't create a peaceful world on empty stomachs and misery".
The issue is development.......Imagine this... your neigbour is allowed to pluck all the mangoes from your backyard and sell them in the market. And you look at all the wealth that he has accumulated from this business. And you have nothing, absolutely nothing. Thats what these people are feeling. They have been pushed to a corner and now they have nothing to lose. We will go to hell, but we will take you with us is their motto. Life itself is living hell for them due to lack of development.
Some say tribals by nature are violent. Hell...I lived with the tribals for two months. They are the most friendly people I came across. They have their own set of rules which respects nature and human beings.
So I urge people to do some fact finding and introspect as to why simple villagers will suddenly take up arms and start killing people....And maybe we can then start a fairly logical dialogue on maoism/naxalism.