About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
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The Values Sermon: Pause and Reflect

“Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can’t accept who you are.”

― Turcois Ominek

From her book “Masquerade”

The incessant sermons on values made me risk writing this article. Political, Social & Business leaders, TV anchors, columnists and activists of all ilk, tell us about how they are the upholders of values and those they badger are eroding values.

Let us pause and ask the basic question: What are values? I doubt if many of us do this reflection before we hold forth on its virtues or lament its decline. In very simple construct; Values are strongly held beliefs. Values are complex mix of all the beliefs that we accept as universal and those that are specific to certain religion, ethnicity, nationality and social groups. Read more »

Decoding Quality Concepts

In 1950, Japanese businessmen turned to an obscure American W. Edwards Deming to help them rebuild an economy shattered in World War II. He taught Japan’s manufacturers how to produce top quality products economically. The Japanese used that knowledge to turn the global economy on its head and beat U.S. industry at its own game. Read more »

Change the Discourse: Say No to the Talent Hype

One of the banes of modern business vocabulary is our penchant for hyping up everything. The more high sounding a word the better we all feel. I can illustrate it with a dozen examples, but choose not to bore you. For the purpose of this article let us examine the consequences of abusing the talent terminology. Read more »

Segmentation Conundrum

Who hasn’t heard of the famous saying by Henry Ford, concerning the Model T, that customers could have any color as long as it was black. It was a reflection of the mass marketing of the time. Great economies of scale were achieved by mass producing standardized products for an apparently homogenous market. Model T produced tremendous affordable output but was not very good at responding to demand for variety, customization or design changes. As a consequence, Ford eventually lost market share to General Motors, who introduced annual model changes, more accessories and ‘choice of colors’. Read more »

The World and beyond of Innovation

300 years back men of science, believed that disease and pestilence were spread by odour. They could not conceive the existence of microbes, since it was not visible to naked eyes. When Dr. Edward Jenner talked of sterilisation they scorned at him and treated him as a mad man. Early humans were seized to the possibility of the wireless propagation of sound and images through huge distances. These were mythological stories which captured the imagination of everyone. The flight of fantasy was not limited to this, humans in flying machines flying to distant worlds, was also conceptualised as a possibility by the human mind. The majority including the learned received every new idea (innovation), either with scorn or dismissed it as a fantasy. In both these cases the proposer was viewed as an impractical dreamer; worst a mad person; sometimes even a heretic.

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The Dynamic World of Performance Measures

Management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” The full portent of this phrase struck me like an avalanche when I landed a new job in 1999. It was the era of work-out and six-sigma. Every activity in my new Company required to be captured in the form of a process chart and the performance of each process had to be distilled down to a fine measure. My early rites of passage involved spending countless hours preparing dashboards, a euphemism for MIS. We optimized the real estate of each slide to the maximum extent possible by using the smallest possible font. Not surprisingly, we succeeded in showing nine graphs on each slide along with sub-text in a grand attempt to showcase the value creation of HR intangibles in the language of quantitative measures. I daresay we were far ahead of the strategy consulting firms who excel at making slides that are not just unreadable but perhaps intelligible only to the person who puts it together. Of course, we mastered the art of torturing numbers to make them confess that we were truly worthy of a seat on the high table or so we believed. Read more »

Insights into enabling Rural Livelihood

Historically, India’s rural economy has been based on agriculture and related activities, but with increasing population and decreasing land holding, the dependency on primary livelihood is at risk. India’s current education system places overemphasis on cognitive learning for all. Many drop out unable to cope with this by-rote education system. This system does not recognise that everyone is not suited for cognitive education. Many will excel in a system which places a premium on vocational education. Unequipped with education that enables livelihood the youth fall prey to poverty and crime.

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My Tryst With Writing

My blog, theotherview.in completes a year on 12th August 2014. During this year we have posted 39 articles, on an average one article every 9 days. There has been the odd long gap like this June. There are a few colleagues to whom I owe a big thank you.

The first in my list is my friend Indrajit Gupta, who conceived and built Forbes India as its Editor. He first gave me a platform to write on a regular basis on Forbes India’s blog space. I was an unknown & untested writer with no track record of writing anything on a regular basis, when IG reposed faith in me. This was not the only contribution of IG. He gifted me with a mentor. I had met Charles only once, before IG had suggested to me that I will benefit a lot if I were to be edited by him. I did not think twice, because I knew that without a mentor I will go nowhere with my amateur writing skills. Read more »

The Collective Moral

Inserted by a bunch of Victorian puritans in the mid-18th century, an otherwise innocuous provision of India’s Penal Code has come to be at the heart of an important legal and moral debate 150 years later. The challenge to Section 377, which proscribes sexual acts “against the laws of nature” was brought forward by LGBT groups seeking to ventilate their grievance against how the State machinery was utilizing the law as a tool of extortion. The  brief victory before the Delhi High Court apart, the Supreme Court has all but put paid to the hopes of the aggrieved groups with only a last-gasp curative petition still pending resolution in July. Read more »

Identity: Personal Insights

Robert Ludlum in his thriller “The Bourne Identity” has enthralled us about the identity search of a secret agent called Jason Bourne. After 2 sequels no one is certain of the identity of Ludlum’s protagonist, who unlike the Gods, fought evil without being aware of his original identity. For time immemorial the eternal search of every human is, “Who Am I”. The Hindu mythology tells us that the form is impermanent; it is a vehicle for realising a purpose. So even the Gods when they assume a form have to shed it through death and what remain immortal are the original characteristics and not the incarnation attributes. Read more »

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About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
Read more »


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