Archive for July, 2006

The joy of giving away

July 9, 2006

It was interesting to see the news item that Bill Gates is planning to spend full time on managing Bill & Melinda Foundation activity from 2008 and started the top management transition to Ray Ozzie & Craig Mundie. Interestingly, our own NR Narayana Murthy announced the transition of handing over the mantle in 1999 and actually handed over charge in 2002; he is also stepping down as Executive Chairman on Aug 20, 2006 when he turns 60.

In yet another development Warren Buffet has agreed to transfer several billions of dollars to Bill & Melinda Foundation over the next several years.

India has always held “giving away” – power, position, money – in high respect. “Tyaga” is considered the pathway to Heaven. It is interesting to note the “capitalists” following our “Dharma” than people of the “land of Dharma”!

Just Do it

July 8, 2006

ET (7/7/2006) is collector’s choice. For a change it was edited by seven-person “Team Infosys” (in place of Team ET). Under the overall direction of NR Narayana Murthy Chairman, CEO Nandan Nilekani, COO Kris Gopalakrishnan and the other three co-founders and Directors, Srinath Batni, SD Shibulal, and K Dinesh, along with CFO TV Mohandas Pai did a superb job of editing newspaper with a telling effect.

Narayana Murthy was in his elements with his Editorial that included with a mantra – “just Do it”. He had the following to stay “Let the teachers go to school on time and teach the children. Let the doctors go to hospitals on time and tend to the patients with care. Let the government officers be in the office promptly at 9 am, do their work well, take quick decisions and earn their living. Let the public construction projects run three shifts instead of starting at 11 am and stopping at 5 pm. Let the media reserve the prime time and the front page to heralding the success of this hardworking majority, rather than focusing on the misdeeds of a few. None of these can be stopped by any evil power in the society. We have to win the war of honesty, decently, national pride and hard work over corruption, vested interest and petty politics. Let us start today by doing best what we are expected to do, without worrying whether our neighbors are doing it. I do not think there is any other solution to this country’s ills. Just Do it”

With great positive stories –

    “Alai Magal” social service organization as a way to meet the challenges posed by “Tusnami”
    Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar taking positive attitude in Bihar
    Nirma chairman recalling his “pride” – Nirma story
    Rajat Gupta narrating his ISB experience,
    Jayakar Jerome recalling his glorious BDA days
    Dr Devi Shetty sharing his passionate Narayana Hrudayalaya experience
    MAHE Chairman Pai recalling his “private sector education” experience
    PT Usha talking of success in sports
    Balakrishnan of Lintas talking of success in media
    Expats KR Kim of LG India talking of his huge success in India and Albert Bruner talking of the upcoming Bangalore International Airport
    E Sreedharan of Delhi Metro (and Konkan Railways) talking of project execution,
    Tirupur project managing to execute drinking water project under Public-Private-Partnership mode
    ITC taking IT to villages thru e-Chaupal
    Minister Arun Shourie talking of his contribution to IIT Kanpur (through 100% utilization of MP Local Area Development Fund)
    V Siddhartha of “Coffee Day” fame talking about his success
    and the “capstone” piece
    Railways Minister Lalu Yadav “transforming” the giant Indian Railways –

the issue is nothing but a “collector’s choice”.

Quality must translate to “owner’s pride”

July 7, 2006

NR Narayana Murthy, Chairman, Infosys pointed out to the need for quality going beyond metrics and tools. In his talk on July 7, 2006

“Quality challenges for Indian software professionals”

at IIIT-B as part of the launch of South chapter of Bangalore SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network), he narrated the situation in 70’s and 80’s when typical Indian households were so proud of their Sony Trinitron TV at their homes, that they would not leave any opportunity to drive the conversation to TV, and make sure that the guests visiting home notice the fact that they are one of the proud owners of SONY Trinitron TV!

Murthy exhorted the Indian software professionals to aspire for the same position.

Will the companies who hire Indian software professionals / companies, do the same thing? Will they tell their friends with a sense of pride, that they got their software written by company x from India and they are damn sure it will work flawlessly day in and day out?

That alone will be a sure indication that Indian software has arrived.

Evolution of CIO

July 5, 2006

There were two iterations of CXO Today’s events “Evolution of CIO” (once in Bombay on 24th June and later in Delhi on 4th July 2006) where a CIO along with me talked about the changing role of CIO these days. The audience consisting of about 70-80 CIO’s in both the cities added a lot to the discussion.

The points that got discussed veered around the basic question, “Should CIOs become CEO’s?”

It was clear that today’s CIO is increasingly finding him more aligned to business and end users than mere technology. Normally along with COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, CIO is equally competent to become CEO. But he/she should pick up the skills – people skills, marketing skills and domain skills.

Not every CIO will be ready; not every CIO will make it.

But those who are willing and those who succeed in picking up those “life skills” of a CEO will be unstoppable!