March - April 2002   
  Vol. 2 No.2   
Know Your Founders Oddities, Eccentricities, Etc. Of Enduring Interest Back to Main Page Editorial

3D PLM Software Ltd.

3D PLM Software Ltd.

Geometric Software Solutions Co. Ltd. (Geometric), a specialist in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software development and Dassault Systems (DS), the world’s leading provider of 3D PLM solutions, signed a Joint Venture on January 23, 2002.

The new company, to be named 3D PLM Software Ltd., will have an initial equity base of Rs.1.30 crore, of which Geometric and DS will hold 70 and 30 per cent respectively.

(L-R):Bruno Latchague,Executive Vice president,Research & Development, Dassault Systems, Manu Parpia, Managing Director, Geometric Software Solutions CO. Ltd. with Francis bernard, Executive Committee Advisor, Dasault Systems, at the launch of 3D PLM Software Ltd. on January 23,2002 atthe Godrej Bhavan roof garden.


Manu Parpia, Managing Director, Geometric, will, in addition to his current role, steer 3D PLM Software Ltd, as its Managing Director. Speaking on the occasion, he said: ‘‘We believe this joint venture reinforces our strategy to build expertise in the PLM space, while seeking to build alliances with market leaders. After a satisfying association with two DS Group companies, SolidWorks and Spatial Corp., we are pleased to now extend Geometric’s capabilities across the DS Group.’’

Bruno Latchague, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, DS, said: ‘‘Geometric has greatly contributed to the success of different brands in the DS Group through an outstanding partnership. The creation of 3D PLM Software is the natural next step in this partnership, extending our global company to leverage the technical expertise Geometric has proven it can deliver to the DS Group, 3D PLM Software will increase our R&D capacity by bringing dedicated and focused skills and resources.’’

Geometric has launched fresh recruitment initiatives to attract IT professionals. Manu Parpia added: ‘‘We believe this Joint Venture presents an exciting opportunity for Indian IT talent to work with a premier PLM company to develop truly world class software solutions.’’

‘‘Excellence through Leadership’’ ?Dr. J. J. Irani

At the end of last year, Dr. J. J. Irani, Director, Tata Sons Ltd., and former Managing Director of TISCO addressed a distinguished gathering of industrialists at which the Press was also invited, on the subject of ‘‘Excellence in Industry through Leadership’’.
Dr. Irani began his address with the remark: ‘‘I have spent my life in the mundane world of metals, materials, men and management, lived my life by a few old-fashioned principles and derived a few simple, rudimentary lessons from my four decades in the business of creating value’’.

According to Dr. Irani: ‘‘economic value creation is getting more and more concentrated in what we know as Corporations. Advances in technology have made globalisation a reality, but is globalisation good for all mankind or is it, as critics say, making the rich richer and the poor poorer?’’ These are just a few random doubts which assail the modern man today.

What is the purpose of being in business? Dr. Irani’s answer is ?Leadership: ‘‘Once we define Leadership, we can get into the semantic of what is excellence. David Rockefeller’s speech to the American Bar in 1972 reminds me of the days when I used to be the Managing Director of Tata Steel, wrestling with the manifold issues of managing a Staff which was more than 70,000, a city of a million people, and dealing with a State Government of more than 80 million. And, of course, a series of actual or self-appointed leaders.’’

Dr. Irani spoke of the few principles he derived from life and the few lessons he learnt from it. He lived by five basic tenets which he strongly believed in and practised.
(1) ‘‘The primary aim of Industry should not be to make money. The aim should be to serve customers and other stakeholders ?the result would be to make money. And pursuing excellence would enable it to create even more wealth.
(2) ‘‘The wealth thus created should be made available for the benefit of the community and the Nation.
(3) ‘‘In the creation of wealth, care must be taken to not only protect the environment, but enhance it, so that this world, which, as they say, we have borrowed from our children, is left in better shape for them.
(4) ‘‘Leadership in business is living by these ideals and leading by example.
(5) ‘‘In today’s world the only constant is CHANGE. Leaders must, therefore, anticipate change, drive it, make it acceptable to all stakeholders, and turn threats into opportunities through their Vision and their Action.?/font>?/td>

Born Lucky

Dr. Irani informed the audience that he was lucky to have been born into the house of Tatas, as it was from them he learnt the art and philosophy of doing business the Tata way. ‘‘I really had no choice, because it is the only business house I have any personal experience of.’’

Dr. Irani paid a glowing tribute to Jamsetjee Nusserwanjee Tata, who continues to inspire and guide us. He saw business in holistic terms, lived his philosophy of business, and left behind a rich heritage of ideals which still light our way.

‘‘First of all, there was his patriotism. He was a nationalist with a difference: he was the country’s first business patriot. He realised that true freedom would come not just with political freedom, but with harnessing the forces of science and technology into the economy of the country to improve the life of the people in India’’. As The Times of India wrote in his obituary: ‘‘The advancement of India and her myriad peoples was with him an abiding passion’’.

Perhaps the best illustration of his vision is in the letter he wrote to his son Dorab, about what the city around the Steel Plant should look like. He wrote: ‘Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mahommedan mosques and Christian churches’’.

As expected, Jamsetjee’s successors had absorbed every detail written in the letter. Faced with a cash crunch, R. D. Tata, father of J. R. D. Tata, speaking to shareholders said: ‘‘We are constantly accused by people of wasting money on the town of Jamshedpur. We are asked why it should be necessary to spend so much on housing, sanitation, roads, hospitals and on welfare. Gentlemen, people who ask such questions are lacking in imagination. We are not putting up a row of workmen’s huts in Jamshedpur ?We are building a city’’.

Tata Steel spends Rs.100 crores annually on the township’s maintenance and other services, irrespective of how the Company’s business is doing.

Many in business passionately believe that business should focus only on maximising profits. Dr. Irani, while quoting the economist Milton Friedman, said: ‘‘the business of business is business’’.

In pursuing the objective of profit maximisation, ‘‘society is most benefited because it means resources are being optimally utilised.’’

‘‘There has never been a dilemma in my mind on this score. Let me make one thing clear. It is not that I have ever had any doubts about the importance of profits as a motive for doing business. The profit motive continues to be the best proven method to spur the efficient production of necessary goods and services. Jamsetjee Tata was never diffident about making profits.

‘‘Please the customer with services and products so that he stays with you and is happy to pay a premium for them’’.

Dr. Irani in paying tribute to Sohrabji Godrej and to our Company said: ‘‘in our own country, Companies like Godrej, under the inspired leadership of the late
S. P. Godrej, have had a sterling record in combining entrepreneurship with concern for the environment.

‘‘We had the instance of ‘Infosys? the No. 1 Company, who walked away with awards for providing the best leadership and for being the best corporate citizen. This is not a coincidence.

‘‘Jamsetjee and J. R. D. Tata faced different challenges. Technology then was not bursting on as many frontiers as it is today. Today’s business leaders have an unenviable task. In today’s world, I repeat, the only constant is CHANGE. The world is not revolving any faster around its axis, but ask anybody in a leadership position and you will be told that it certainly seems to be spinning faster.

‘‘Today, Leadership is all about Anticipation, Communication, Motivation and Action. Business leaders have to be ahead of the curve in anticipating threats and opportunities. ‘NIKE?was the first to see an opportunity in outsourcing manufacturing into low-wage countries’’.

At present Indian manufacturers are facing their greatest challenge ever. Ten years of liberalisation has woken up everybody ‘‘from their relative slumber of the days when Marketing was not very different from Rationing’’.

Opportunity For Youth

It is said old people are always nostalgic about their ‘‘golden days’’ and are virtually overcome by ‘‘gloom and doom’’. To Dr. Irani ‘‘age for me is an issue of the brain not the brawn. I wish I was 40-50 years younger, because I believe that the youth of India have an opportunity not given to several centuries of generations before them to actually make the country matter on the world stage’’.

You will naturally ask ‘‘Why?’’ Dr. Irani gives two reasons. (1) ‘‘For the first time in history, wealth creation has become almost wholly dependent on what lies between the ears. Indian society has always valued learning, but Indian learning has not had the addendum of the benefits of industrialisation to turn that learning into wealth. (2) ‘‘For customers and employees it will increasingly matter what you stand for. Every brand is rapidly becoming a commodity in sustainable development and in social responsibility, which will become more a differentiation for the customer.

‘‘So what should be the mantra for Indian business? Just one. Go Global in every respect. In your ambitions, in your commitment to business ethics, in your corporate governance, in your benchmarks for value creation, in your communication practices, in everything.

‘‘The temptation to take short cuts can be strong. But as J.R.D. said, we will not have it any other way’’.

RBI to set up wing to monitor payment systems
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to create a new department for monitoring domestic payment systems and facilitate their orderly growth, said RBI deputy governor Y. V. Reddy.

This follows RBI’s recent moves to ban banking access for 23 terrorist organisations and tighten the gates for money laundering. A centralised department will be the nodal point to check misuse of the system.

Business Standard

Thomas Cook: Risk Lines

Come April 1, Thomas Cook India will start selling insurance products in the country. The travel agency will be able to do so because some of its directors have undergone a 100-hour training programme and appeared at the agents?examination, a prime Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) requirement for becoming corporate insurance agents. Indeed, Thomas Cook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director Ashwini Kakkar topped in the exam. The State Bank of India (SBI), which has an insurance arm, still won’t be able to sell insurance products because SBI Chairman Janki Ballabh and six other Directors have neither undergone a 15-day classroom session nor appeared at the agents?exam.

So SBI Life Insurance Company is forced to sell its products through the tied agency force, and cannot hawk them through the banking channel.

Kakkar sees immense growth potential for insurance for outbound travel. This, in turn, will pave the way for travel insurance products. India is among the least insured countries in the world. Countries such as Germany do not allow visitors?entry without an insurance cover. Thomas Cook India’s plan to offer insurance is in line with the practice overseas where travellers insure themselves and their luggage before setting out on long trips.

Business Standard

Information Revolution

That the future may hold many surprises sounds cliched, but it seems apt in discussing electronic literature in the coming years. Especially scientific literature.

Phillip Campbell, editor-in-chief of the science journal Nature puts it a little cryptically when he says that one of the things that’s changing about science literature is science literature itself . With the advent of the Internet, the dissemination of scientific literature has undergone a sea change. Mr. Campbell, who is an aeronautical engineer and studied Astrophysics, did his post-doctoral research in ‘upper atmosphere physics?before joining Nature.

In addition to the traditional publication of scientific papers in peer review journals, scientists are increasingly using the Internet to put up supporting material or databases. A classic example of this is the human genome sequence, which is now available on online public databases. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The emergence of new technologies like ‘semantic web?could change the way information is accessed. Simply put, the semantic web is an extension of search. ‘‘I would hope that it would be more sophisticated and if you put in a search, it would not only give you text and images but also produce a concept that is intelligent,’’ says Mr. Campbell. For instance, if you are searching for earth sciences, a search using the semantic web may give you a 3-D map of the history of the earth.


The Economic Times

Buy-back of equity shares

"The shareholders of Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) have approved the proposal for buy-back of equity shares of the company to purchase its fully paid up equity shares of Rs.4/- each, at a price not exceeding Rs.100/- per share for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs.930 lac. The shareholders?approval was received through a postal ballot conducted in accordance with Section 192A of the Companies Act, 1956, the result of which was announced in the Extraordinary meeting of shareholders held today.

‘‘The Board of Directors of the Company proposes the buy-back of the Company’s equity shares from the open market through Stock Exchanges, as it believes that they are undervalued by the market. The Company believes that this would provide an additional exit route to those shareholders who so desire, and would enhance the shareholder value of the continuing shareholders of the Company. This will also add to shareholder value by reducing the cost of servicing the capital in future.

‘‘Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. is a major player in the Indian FMCG market with presence in the personal, hair, household and fabric care categories. With a turnover of Rs.470 crore (for the Consumer Products Division of the former Godrej Soaps Limited), the Company employs about 850 persons and has three modern manufacturing facilities at Malanpur (M.P.), Guwahati (Assam) and Silvassa (Dadra & Nagar Haveli).’’

Press Release of Godrej Consumer Products Limited