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Sunday 30 October 2011

Workshop on 'Business and Competitive Intelligence' at IIT

One group  working on competitive strategies in the 'War  Game'.
Prof. Prakash Sai (IIT) and Prof. Murali Dharan (MGSM) looking on
Department of Management Studies (Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai) jointly with Madras Management Association and Macquarie Graduate School of Management (Macquarie University, Sydeny) organised a two-day workshop for the senior corporate executives on 'Business and Corporate Intelligence" on 28th and 29th October 2011.  

In the highly competitive world, all the companies are required to compete globally to fight for their space.  Before preparing for the competition, the companies need to spend enough time to know about their competitors also.  This is known as 'competitive intelligence'. It should be done in a legal and ethical way.  It is reported that many of the Indian Corporates do not take the 'competitive intelligence' seriously and hence they lose many good projects. China is one of the good examples of using competitive intelligence and hence, they are dominating in the world as a powerful nation. 

Probably for the first time in India (since no data is available), IIT has organised this workshop to create an awareness about 'competitive intelligence among the Indian Corporates. .

As part of the workshop, they also organised a 'War Game'.  They divided the participants into four groups.  Each group represented one major existing company viz. Infosys, TCS, Accenture and IBM.  The groups were given before hand the real profile of each company and they were also advised to collect more details about their company and their competitors through various other sources.  

An Imaginary Government e-Health project worth of 10 billion dollars, spread over 10 years was given as the project for 'bidding'.  The groups have to prepare their competitive strategies based on their strength and the competitors' strength.  

Finally, all the groups were made to present their strategies for evaluation.  The concept of 'War Game' can also be used in the training workshops.  It is reported that some of the major MNCs use this 'War Game' concept within themselves, to understand more about their competitors.  Some of their own employees will be made to represent their competitors in their 'in-house war game'. 

At this stage, I am reminded of a Thirukkural, by Saint Thiruvalluvar who wrote this following couplet 2000 years back.  This Thirukkural summarises how modern day corporates can manage the competition.

வினை வலியும் தன் வலியும் மாற்றான் வலியும் 
துணை வலியும் தூக்கிச்செயல் -  Thirukkural 471

(Before undertaking any task, weigh judiciously (1) the nature of the task on hand, (2) your own strength, (3) Competitor's strength and (4) the strength of your support team, allies and partners.)

PodUniversal Edition 142

This Thirukkural shows, how important is the 'Competitive intelligence' before undertaking any task.  Please watch 8 minutes interview on this workshop.

This video may also be watched from http://youtu.be/6eouWvA7IlM

Monday 24 October 2011

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) Platinum Jubilee Commemorative Oration - "Corporate Governance"

Live Blogging from Taj Coromandel, Chennai - 24th October 2011 - 5.55 pm
Live Blogging Team :  Mr D. Murugesan, A.R. Sridhar, Prasanna,(all from IOB) under the guidance of Mr Prime Point Srinivasan and Mr V. Rajendran of Cyber Society of India
The live blogging team welcomes you to the grand event of the Oration of Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Corporate Affairs.
Please keep refreshing your browser for continuous updates.
Many eminent personalities of Chennai were present in the hall.  Prayer song was rendered by IOB's Amrithavarshini team.
Bank's CMD Mr M. Narendra presented a shawl and a bouquet of flowers to the Chief Guest.

Welcome by CMD of IOB
Mr M. Narendra CMD welcomed the gathering and the Chief Guest.  He explained  the development of Bank since its foundation in 1937. He stated that  the total business as of Sep 2011 had crossed Rs 2,91,000 crores.  The Bank had opened its 2,250th branch in the holy town of Sringeri. 
Corporate Governance has become an important aspect in Banking Industry.  Dr. Veerappa Moily is a very competent person to talk about the Corporate Governance. Dr. Moily's tenure as CM of Karnataka is hailed as one of the best.  He has contributed a lot in the education field.  Dr Moily Was Chairman of several commissions. 
Dr. Moily is an eminent lawyer.  His books prove his literary skills. 
After Mr Narendra's welcome speech, Dr Veerappa Moily made his presentation on 'Corporate Governance'.

Dr Veerappa Moily speech
Dr Moily appreciated the growth of IOB in the recent years and also appreciated the good work done by Mr Narendra, CMD. He was confident that IOB would move from the present 7th position to 2nd or 3rd position in an year or two.
He goes on to say what Corporate Governance is and what an important role it plays.  India should occupy 2nd or 3rd in terms of governance.
Corporate Governance has to be value based.  Senior leadership should have strong values.  A good governance is not just compliance but performance.  Business should be principle-based.
Though many circulars are issued, they are not practised effectively to bring in an ideal governance.
Cadbury Report in UK brought about many reviews in India.  Best Practices Code have been introduced.  Corporate Governance is an ethical attitude issue.  
Indian banking has undergone many transformations.  Performance and credibility and sustainability of the Indian banking system is the best.  But, despite this, we should not feel complacent.  Best practices have to be formulated.  Good governance is the most important characteristic of the banking system. 
Denationalisation was professed by some.  But nationalisation of the banks in India is a good thing which has happened and because of this only banks have stood the test of time.  Even in the nationalised stage, banks have shown their competitive spirit.
3 reasons for the need for good corporate governance in banks
1.  For retail depositors
2.  For loans and advances - opaque
3.  Contagion effect - if one bank fails in corporate governance it might affect the system.
By stipulating standards, regulators ensure corporate governance.
Objectives of Basel II are also in sync with the objectives of good corporate governance.  RBI has also come up with many standards.  European Commission has come out with good corporate governance standards. 
Each individual has a role to play in corporate governance.  The collective performance of the individuals make the corporate governance.
"Occupy Wall Street" is an example of the effect for ineffective corporate governance.  Banks and FIs should ensure good corporate governance because they are the pillars of an economy.
Some economists say that competition will ensure good corporate governance.  Banking industry may be exposed to less competition.  Hence, Banks have to take more efforts to ensure corporate governance.
Liberalisation policy has to be gradual.  Reforms needed to rebuild economic movement.  Success of the Indian economy depends upon the expansion.  India's economic reforms have contributed to the growth rate.
Present crisis in Europe is the most serious crisis in banking system in Europe since 1930.
In India, there is a need for infra spending.  Biggest challenge is to ensure that the current concerns regarding the present crony capitalism do not lead to do any damage to liberal capitalism. we use to tie you with red tape.  now you are welcomed with red carpet.
Country can march forward if economic and political freedom are ensured.  Banking sector should become the models for setting the standards of corporate governance.
IOB has been a pioneer in setting high standards and wish that the Bank gets the award for the best governance.
Minister ended his speech with thanks to IOB.
Mr Narendra and Mr Bansal, Executive Director presented a memento to Dr. Moily.
Mr Bansal, Executive Director, proposed the vote of thanks.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Disclosure of IT risks should be made mandatory for all Indian companies - Cyber experts

Dr Santhosh Babu IAS, IT Secretary of Tamilnadu Government
inagurating the Media Workshop
"Disclosure of duly audited IT risks should be made mandatory by SEBI for all Indian companies for the information of investors, as it is being done in US" said cyber experts at the Media Workshop held at Chennai Press Club on Saturday the 15th October 2011.
Cyber Society of India (CySI),  one of the pioneer bodies in India established in 2004 to create cyber awareness among the public, conducted a Media workshop on Saturday the 15th October 2011 at Chennai Press Club. Dr Santhosh Babu IAS, IT Secretary to Government of Tamilnadu inaugurated the workshop.  Mr Bharathi Thamizhan, Joint Secretary, Chennai Press Club delivered the key note address.  Around 30 media professionals participated in this workshop. 
While welcoming the participants. K. Srinivasan, President of CySI emphasised the need for introducing cyber related lessons at the school level itself, so that the students are prepared to understand the cyber challenges and the consequences of cyber law.  
Dr Santhosh Babu IAS explained how  Tamilnadu Government is implementing e0Governance in the state.  He also said that the Government is planning to recruit officers as 'Information Security Officers' to manage the information security.
Mr Bharathi Thamizhan, Joint Secrretary of Chennai Press Club explained how online media has grown compared to the print media.  He also explained the how the new gadgets like IPad have changed the style of communication.
The inaugural session was followed with a panel discussion.
Mr V Rajendran, Vice President of CySI and Cyber Advocate explained some of the important features of Cyber Law and the penalties involved.
Mr S N Ravichandran, Joint Secretary of CySI and Cyber crime investigator explained the risks involved in social media networks and how cyber crimes were committed using various internet media. He also explained how the investigators are able to book the culprits, wherever they are.
Mr M L Srinivasan, a well known cyber security expert emphasized the need for transparent disclosures of IT risks by all corporates in India, as it is being done in US at the direction of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Annually, the Auditors include the financial risks in the Annual Reports for the information of invesotors.  Same way, he insisted SEBI also should  issue guidelines making the disclosure of IT risks as mandatory in the Annual Reports for the information of investors.  
Dr Muthukumaran, an academician turned cyber security expert discussed on increased security for net-Banking  transactions by way of advanced 2-Factor Authentication methods. He also stressed the need for Indian companies getting ISO 15489 certification for preservation of records.  Due to the technological changes, the data stored in the servers, become unreadable over a period of time and banks and other organizations find it difficult to provide digital data for more than 10 years. Government need to store citizen data for several decades under e-Governance model. Hence, the data should be stored in neutral digital data format, so that they could be presented even after several years.  Dr Muthukumaran said that ISO 15489 certification guides an organization  on maintenance of archived digital data in the proper format.  Unfortunately, in India, so far, only one company had gone for such certification and all other companies, including banks should go for such certification immediately, he said.
Mr Nurullah, a senior Tamil Journalist anchored the programme in an interesting manner.  Mr Shanker Kumar, Secretary, CySI proposed vote of thanks.
Please see the photo stream of this event.
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Prime Point Foundation is a non-profit Trust incepted in December 1999, to create Communication awareness among all the people.

K Srinivasan (Communication Strategist ) is the Founder and Chairman the Trust.
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