A Drive to Pescadero , California

We went on a week-end drive on 16 September to Pescadero , 45 miles away from San Francisco  through State Route 1 . The old state highway passes through some sparsely populated places and many beautiful beaches on the way , the Half Moon Beach , the most notable  among them. The drive took us about 75 minutes and the week-end traffic was normal.

Pescadero is a very small hamlet , part of San Mateo County , extending 4 square miles , population around 650 only ,living in about 200 households – mainly a farming community. The place is only 2 miles away from the Pascadero Beach on Route 1 ,14 miles south of the Half Moon Beach. The climate is wet and cool in Winter and mostly dry in Summer . There are many farms and lumber mills around with some good camping places.

The history of Pescadero dates back to 1833 as part of the MIssion Santa Cruz pasture. The place is also connected with the Wells Fargo Stage Coaches legend .An article in the Wells Fargo messenger states that a stage-coach salvaged and refurbished from the clipper ship Carrier Pigeon which wrecked at the nearby Pigeon Point in 1853 carried passengers and freight for 40 years on the Pescadero road for the Wells Fargo Company. Intel co-founder Gordon.E Moore also resided here till the age of 10 and his childhood home Lunasea still stands there.

The high point of our visit to Pescadero was our sumptuous lunch at the well-known Duarte’s Tavern with some choice white wine , sea food delicacies like jumbo fried prawns with artichoke and rice , artichoke soup and some very good pies . An enjoyable experience away from the city looking at the rustic countryside and farm lands on one side and the many beaches on the ocean front.

The American Dream

The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods …

Yesterday, while on a morning walk through Duboce Park in our neighborhood in San Francisco, we noticed the above message attributed to Harvey Milk, former Mayor of the City, on the wall of a school at the end of the park. The park itself is a microcosm of American social life where we find veterans, youngsters and their pet dogs enjoying a sunny day with plenty of open space to walk around, play and dream! I noticed with interest, the attention to detail, when I saw a water faucet specially designed for our canine friends.

We love San Francisco, where the old quaint Spanish style mansions and Mexican cuisine co-exist with the new-found prosperity of the Silicon Valley and Bay Area nearby. Wealth has multiplied many times over thanks to the IT Revolution but the City still retains its old world charm. A walk around the Alamo Park or the PanHandle over to the Golden Gate Park up to the Pacific Ocean is a great experience.

The expression -American Dream- is attributed to the famous historian James Truslow Adams who wrote in 1931 explaining the concept:

“Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social class or circumstance of birth.”

Earlier in 1925 , F Scott Fitzgerald had used a variety of literary devices in the Great Gatsby to portray the essence of the American Dream. Going forward, till the second world war or till the beginning of the cold war, the American Dream represented the national ethos of the US – a set of ideals to live by, rooted in democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality.

In fact, the American Dream is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The basic idea of the dream came about from the first experiences of the immigrants from Europe to the New World and from the concept of the shifting frontiers in the early stages. Subsequently, Martin Luther King Jr based his Civil Rights Movement in the African- American quest for the American Dream.

The post world war prosperity for the US brought about an expanded meaning for the American Dream into four different attributes, namely Dream of Abundance, Democracy of Goods, Freedom of Choice and Novelty. While this itself was OK, the unintended consequences were the social divide, class wars and a quest by the political leadership to practice hegemony over the rest of the world. What followed the Cold War was an expression of this want to spread the ‘Area of Influence’ across the globe, reminding one of the 19th Century British Empire where Sun never Set.

The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Arab – Israel Conflict, the Palestinian problem, the Break Up of USSR, The Middle East problems, the Afghanistan War which also resulted in the 9/11 Disaster and the recent North Korean Nuclear Stand Off etc. are mainly attributed to the hegemony of the US in the garb of spreading democracy across the world. The UN has become a lame duck global institution mainly thanks to the Veto Power enjoyed by the US and a selected few. The old NATO and Warsaw Pact stand-off is now being replaced gradually by a new polarization against the US and its allies in the form of a possible Russia – China – Iran coalition to check mate the growing US influence in economic and political terms.

While the political establishment is concentrating on an equitable and desirable “World Order” as perceived by them and looking out for both economic and military measures to achieve them, the Millennials and the young Gen. Z [iGen] couldn’t care less for these initiatives at a huge cost to the US and they want a US which can address their concerns, looking inwards for a domestic ‘new order’.

Has the American Dream suffered in the bargain? I believe so because while the spirit is clear when one goes around the US now, there are visible cracks in the form of income disparities, jobs not easily available with unemployment at 5%, an apathy to established social norms and intolerance raising its ugly head in isolated incidents in the form of shoot outs and religious profiling. Social media bears abundant testimony to this shift in attitudes and at times gives expression to the underlying chasm affecting the American Dream.

A Visit to the National September 11 Memorial in New York



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I visited the National September 11 Memorial on 2 September along with my family. It was a very poignant moment in our lives, standing at the edge of the two large pools with voids in the center where the Twin Towers existed, symbolizing the economic power of USA until the greatest tragedy and disaster of a size never experienced by the humanity before, shattered everything in a matter of minutes on the fateful morning of September 11, 2001. 2996 lives lost, many more injured, business and normal public life coming to a halt, with no trading in Wall Street for two weeks and no flights to the US permitted for 10 days. Estimated Cost of the Relief Operation pegged at $10 Billion, with trillions of dollars lost in business opportunities and stepped up anti-terrorism Operations in the Middle East from where “THE EVIL”  ostensibly operated.

The international credentials of the US took a severe beating, a prohibitive cost for playing the role of a “global policeman” trying to influence the outcome of international affairs, with the lofty aim of upholding human values and democratic traditions. While the ‘Cold War’ days had a method in madness, there were no rules followed by the rogue nations deploying terrorists. The Middle East Crisis and the preferential status given to Israel made many enemies for the US, some of them face less. While many analysts point out serious flaws in the co-ordination of intelligence agencies with the national security agencies during the run up to the event, no one in the establishment in their wildest of dreams could imagine such a dastardly act devoid of any human emotions!

The Memorial is designed with utmost care, taking into account the sensibilities of those who laid down their lives in the horrific attacks of February 1993 and September 11, 2001. The Memorial recognizes the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others and the compassion of all who supported the nation in the darkest hours. The sacred memories residing with the dependents and the global character of the victims irrespective of religion ,country or color of the skin is respected by the Memorial in every minute details. The endless pools with the water streaming into the voids in the center depicts the ‘eternal hope’ of humanity against such acts in future and the names of the deceased etched on the bronze sidewall will always remind a visitor about the supreme sacrifice made by those working in the twin towers at that hour and those fire fighters who lost their life trying to rescue those trapped inside the buildings. The memorial and the museum also depicts the history and many stories connected with the edifice as a tribute to the martyrs.

“May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance”.

Mission Statement of the Memorial

Onam Festival – Down Memory Lane

Today is Onam Day – the day when Keralites all over the world celebrate the harvest festival irrespective of religion, cast or social status.The festival normally falls between mid August and mid September every year ,generally corresponding to the harvest season in Kerala, India. Malayalees await this season with a lot of anticipation and plan various cultural and sports activities for about two weeks . There are snake boat races in many lakes/rivers during the season . Families do the rituals of floral decoration in their courtyard , prepare for the SADYA [ grand feast ] on the Onam day , at times for four days continuously ,wear new dresses , and go out for shopping and movies together.

Looking back for almost three-quarters of a century , I remember in my early child hood , Onam was mainly celebrated by Hindu families , with the legend of Demon King Mahabali associated with Vamana , one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu who defeated King Mahabali in battle. Vamana tricks King Mahabali into asking for 3 things , by which he banishes the king to ” Pathalam ” [ the nether world ] with a condition that the King can visit his kingdom once a year to meet his people. Onam coincides with such visits when the people put up their best to impress Mahabali that the prosperity which he left is in tact!.

I remember my father who was a lawyer used to invite his non – Hindu colleagues to lunch on the Onam Day and we used to enjoy such celebrations. All of us from the household used to serve food to our guests in plantain leaves – a 20 plus course Lunch with at least four  ‘Payasam” [dessert ] . We also used to engage in games like ‘Head Ball ‘ using a leather ball , play in swings , and watch teams of players performing ‘ Tiger and Hunter ‘ games visiting households. Most of the Joint families in those days owned large tracts of farm  land which the farmers tilled. The farmers used to bring ” tributes ” to the landlord , mostly a set of vegetables or fruits and the landlord gave them money or new clothes as return gifts.

Today , Onam has transcended to a festival at the state level with the provincial government leading it from the front organizing many cultural events. People of all beliefs without exception take part in Onam celebrations all over the world wherever Keralites reside  . The colorful festival has now taken a new meaning of societal integration demonstrating the rich traditions of the past to the younger generation.

Here is wishing HAPPY ONAM to all.

A Long Walk along the Line of Control [LC] in Kashmir

I served as the Logistics staff officer in the rank of Major  during the mid 70’s in a Brigade HQ close to the Line of Control [LC ] in Kashmir for 3 years. I got this job courtesy my qualifying in a 10 month long staff course in 1975 at the Defense Services Staff College [DSSC] at Wellington, South India. At Wellington, we were 300 officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force including about 60 officers from friendly foreign countries, all selected through a competitive examination. Thus, we were a privileged lot in many respects. During our training, we were exposed to many facets of military strategy, military history and international affairs as well as a detailed study on staff duties in field and peace conditions. We also participated in a number of war games practicing various scenarios simulated with  imaginary enemy threats both in the plains and mountains.

It was during the DSSC training, that I got exposed to the concepts of LAC [Line of Actual Control] referring to the de-facto international border between India and China after the 1962 war and the CFL [Cease Fire Line] between India and Pakistan in Kashmir after the 1947-48 war which got modified based on the Shimla Agreement of 1972 after the Indo-Pak war of 1971. We also learned about the Durand Line marking the border between Afghanistan and British India [later with Pakistan], the McMahon Line between India and China decided about unilaterally by Britain in 1917, which became the border between India and China in the North East, and the Radcliff Line delineating the International border between India and Pakistan after the partition.

What was noteworthy about all these demarcation exercises was either natural water shed principles [where water flows to each side from a hilly feature] or based on ground realities at a point when hostilities were halted by both sides. In both the cases, lines were drawn first on maps and adjusted marginally for tactical reasons without scant regard to the people and their ethnic background  affected by the delineation. This resulted in frequent border violations and negotiated truce following such incidents. At the Brigade level, we had flag meetings with Pakistan Army representatives when such issues came up. This is what we normally refer to as a No War – No Peace Scenario obtaining in our artificially created borders.

As per the Standard Operating Procedure [SOP] of our Brigade, the Commanding Officer of the Battalions along with his subordinate commanders, the staff officers of the Brigade were required to familiarize on the ground with the LC as a detailed knowledge of the lay of the ground astride the LC is essential in ensuring its defense. Soon after joining duty, I set out on my tour of the LC in a small team with adequate security escorts. I covered the entire LC in 3 days walking about 6 hours  during the day, spending the night at forward posts. What I experienced amply illustrated the points I mentioned above – Villages divided arbitrarily between Indian controlled area and Pakistan controlled area on the LC, at times, water available on one side of the LC, large minefields laid on both sides marked with barbed wire etc. In one case, we saw an abandoned house with one window on the Indian side and another on the Pakistan side with LC going in between.  We also noticed live mines on the hill-side  drifted to the road side, making it very dangerous to walk without precautions [walking only on the beaten path]. Many a times, during local festivals or at a marriage ceremony, people cross over the LC at great discomfort to the border  security forces but mostly with tacit understanding of the local commanders.

The porous nature of the LC has now become an advantage for Pakistan  trained infiltrators and terrorists to cross over to the Indian side to engage in subversive activities. We now live with this scenario for the last 70 years without a permanent political solution to the problem. As and when a solution is found, many adjustments will have to be made to correct the aberrations on the ground to make sure durable Peace between both the countries. I can only hope that this happens in my lifetime!

From Military Service to Corporate Jobs – The Indian Experience


Today , I read about a commitment by Starbucks to hire military veterans  and their family members publicly stated as a branding exercise !. What a noble way of recognizing the contributions made by the Armed Forces of USA ! . I am also aware that the US Government and the Industry gives utmost priority to employ Military Veterans in Civilian jobs after their engagement with the Forces. In the UK , there is a Govt sponsored Career Transition Partnership [CTP ] to connect military veterans with the Civil Industry.

Hiring veterans from the military is a good business , according to a research through in – depth interviews with individuals representing 69 companies across the US , by Margaret C Harrell and Nancy Berglass from the Center for a New American Security . Advantages as per this report for hiring military veterans are –

Leadership and Teamwork skills , Character , Structure and Discipline , Expertise , Decision skills in a dynamic high risk environment , Proven success and Loyalty .

Back home in India , in spite of  a full fledged Resettlement Directorate functioning with the Ministry of Defense , and various appeals made from time to time , only a very small percentage of the Armed Forces  veterans who retire at a comparatively younger age get a second career in the civil .  Of late , there are many isolated initiatives by many agencies to conduct training programs and orientation programs but these are yet to create an impact because of the lack of willingness of the Corporate World to come out with a process to enable this. There is also no stated policy or commitment from the Government to facilitate this transition.

The general public and the Corporate World know only about the primary role of the Armed Forces – defending the nation against any external aggression. Therefore , the only skills that they generally attribute to the military officers and soldiers is in the domain of security jobs and at times general administration.  In today’s  hi -tech and most complex military environment , the men [ and now women ] in arms , possess  very high degree of expertise in many fields of technology and engineering which can be gainfully utilized by the corporate organizations. In addition, the excellent managerial and people skills of the officers  who have been tested in high pressure situations with an ability to taking responsibility for their actions and getting things done first time , can be exploited by the society at large . They are quick to learn , picking up new skills and can adapt to new circumstances with ease.

I had read a paper on this titled ‘ Share our Brain Ware ‘ in the first Army – Industry partnership seminar organized by the CII [ Confederation of Indian Industry ] at New Delhi in 1995 while I was serving as a Dean of the Management Training Wing at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering at Secunderabad . It was well received by the participants and some follow up action was initiated to get the details of skills and expertise from the Army sources for dissemination to CII member organizations. We also had successful Army / Navy / Air Force Officers who made a mark at Chairman / MD of public sector undertakings and other large organizations addressing the gathering.

I claim to have succeeded in my transition to the civil on my retirement from the Army after 30 years of service. What helped me was the following credentials –

A degree in engineering , my exposure to the discipline of management through various courses in premier Army institutions , a MBA from the Indore University obtained while in Army Service , my 3 year tenure as an Assistant Military Secretary at  the Personnel Branch at the Army HQ dealing with career planning and placement of senior officers in command appointments and my tenures as Managing Director  of an Army Base Repair facility manned mainly civilians who are governed by the factories act , followed by my tenure as Dean at the MCEME .

I had a successful civil career spanning 10 years with the IT Industry , working with a global IT Company  as Head of Operations and later as Corporate Head for Knowledge and Learning for their Indian Arm. I also worked for another 10 years as the Executive Director of HYSEA – Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association [www.hysea.in] , the only state level association in India for IT Companies .

I am not an exception – there are many more such profiles in the Armed Forces – with Army , Navy and the Air Force looking for a suitable break with the Industry . A few years back , the Indian Institutes of Management came out with a 6 months training program especially packaged for the officers of the Armed Forces . This was a welcome step but I remember many of those who qualified in those program , reaching out to me at Hyderabad for referring them to someone known to me. Therefore , there is a dire need to institutionalize this transition and I am sure the corporate world will benefit immensely from the well honed skills of the Military Veterans and at the same time fulfill a societal obligation they have to the nation. I sincerely hope the noble example I quoted in the beginning from the US will motivate the Indian Industry to take note and come forward to address this issue .

What Decision is good for your survival ? – Bhoop Singh’s LMG

As a Leadership and Management student and trainer over the last two decades , I have come across large volumes of books , research papers and stories on Decision Theory , Decision Process , Heuristics , Game Theory,Decision Trees and the like .But , no one can ever tell you with certainty what is good for you in a given circumstance except yourself ! .You may take inputs from multiple sources , get your decision reviewed up the hierarchy , but finally you are responsible to decide what is good for YOU .

The following story which periodically do the rounds in the Army Circles and many times used by me in my training sessions will illustrate this point. Before we go to the story , let us understand the concept of positional defense at a forward Army post facing the enemy in a mountainous terrain.  Our troops generally occupy a piece of high ground overlooking a possible enemy approach and try to dominate it both by observation and fire power. In the smallest field formation called a section consisting of a dozen soldiers , the main fire power is provided by the Light Machine Gun [LMG] which can fire a salvo of rounds in an automatic mode at the approaching enemy column. From an enemy stand point , the attack will be mounted to neutralize the LMG post at the first instance before the attacker fight with the others dug in . In defense , the positions and sighting of the LMG is reviewed up the chain from the Section Commander , Platoon commander, Company Commander and the Battalion Commander .  In the case of some key locations where guarding and defending a possible enemy approach is vital for the success of the defensive battle , at times the Brigade Commander may review the gun positions prepared by each section . Needless to say,this management review process holds good in civil life also whether in the government or with the industry .

Now , the story . In a section of Army Troops occupying a defensive post in a mountainous terrain , Naik Bhoop Singh was in charge of the LMG . Considering various enemy approaches and selecting a post which gives him the best field of fire with the widest sweep of the gun possible , Bhoop Singh dug up his position in a forward slope selected and assigned to his section by the Company Commander. Later on , his Platoon Commander reviewed the lay out and suggested a different position for the LMG and asked Bhoop Singh to move his gun there and dig again. Bhoop Singh did this and moved his gun there. Soon, the review by the Company Commander followed and as luck would have it , Bhoop Singh was asked to move his gun to another position which according to the Company Commander gave Bhoop Singh better field of fire to inflict maximum casualty on the attacking enemy ! . Bhoop Singh dug up his new position and moved his LMG .

On the following day, the Brigade Commander accompanied by the Battalion Commander visited the defenses to review the layout down to the section level. The Battalion Commander discussed some details reviewing the gun positions with the Brigade Commander considering various threat perceptions. Bhoop Singh’s LMG position also came under review . The Battalion Commander instructed the Company Commander to select a better location for Bhoop Singh’s LMG . Before leaving , The Brigade Commander casually asked Bhoop Singh to tell him where he would be comfortable to locate his LMG  to face the attacker effectively . Bhoop Singh smartly saluted him and told him that he would like to site  the gun where he dug up the position originally !. The Brigade Commander told him to go back there !. Moral of the story and the Decision Process – It is mostly your  ‘ GUT FEELING ‘ that holds good both in war and in business !

 

Inspection Blues !

An Inspection in any organization is a major task involving month long preparations , brushing up all the SOP’s [Standard Operating Procedure ] , and many rehearsals before the D Day .There is always an element of  ” window dressing ”  to hide any possible shortcomings in the system , especially in the upkeep of facilities and equipment .The main purpose of an Inspecting Officer is to judge  the state of  ‘ fitness ‘ of an organization to discharge its intended role. In the case of Armed Forces , it is  to test  the ‘ battle readiness ‘ of a field force when there is no war  around. Thus , peace time soldiering is all about training for war and periodic inspections including technical inspections .

The incident here happened at Bareilly  in UP during the late 60’s where I was posted as the Adjutant in the rank of Captain in an EME Battalion. Our operational role was in the UP – Tibet  border against any possible threat from the Chinese. It was my job to ensure that all administrative aspects about the inspection was taken care of which included a ‘ book inspection ‘ by the staff of the divisional Commander  and above all  pull all the strings to get a good impression of the General during his visit to the battalion which includes a working lunch at the Officers Mess .

I got into the act and ensured that everything is taken care of in its minutest details. I came to know from the ADC to the divisional commander  that the General was very fond of gardening  and always appreciated good potted  flowers . Our Officers Mess lacked a good garden and I had noticed some good flower pots painted in blue with a variety of seasonal flowers with the neighboring Signals Regiment . The adjutant there was a good friend and I borrowed about two dozen flower pots from him for our Inspection. After a successful tour of the Battalion in the morning , the divisional Commander along with his staff came over with our Commanding Officer [ C O ]  to the Officers Mess for lunch. While walking in , the General noticed the freshly painted flower pots with good flowers and appreciated the same .  Everything went off well and my CO was very happy .

It so happened , our battalion was the first to be inspected by the General and the Signals Regiment was the last after a gap of two weeks or so . During the visit of the divisional commander to the Signals Regiment , unfortunately , there were some glitches while they were tested for establishing communications with the higher HQ and the General was not very happy with the CO about this lapse which reflected poorly on the ‘ fitness ‘ aspect of the regiment. When , he moved into the CO’s office for a final chat ,  he saw the same flower pots he noticed in our officers mess , this time displayed in front of the office of the CO of the Signals Regiment . I heard  he sarcastically commented to the CO there ” Come on Colonel , I am sure you can at least  have your own flower pots in front of your office ! You don’t have to borrow them from the EME Battalion ! ” .  The adjutant of the Signals Regiment , I believe , got a strong reprimand from his CO for this fiasco and did not speak to me for some time! . Inspection Blues!

An Inspection in the land of the Kanchenjunga

 

I am glad to refer my readers to one of my blog published last year in guftagu @ amolak.in. Hope you like it. The scenic beauty of this Himalayan State  , friendly locals , inhospitable weather with treacherous terrain especially at higher altitudes , eye ball to eye ball contact with Chinese  troops at the passes like Nathu La , Jelep La , Cho La  etc are still fresh in my memory . I am very closely following the Doklam Stand off which is in the news these days.

One of our patrol party strayed  into Chinese territory across the international border in 1980 . They were apprehended by the Chinese troops and were taken to Yatung , the local military HQ at the Chinese side of Nathu La for questioning .  We got them back after a week through negotiations at the Field Commander level. One Medical Officer , Captain , who was part of the party later told me that they were looked after well and every evening they were shown the Hindi movie ‘Awara ” .

Please also see my blogs on ” An Indian Rope Trick ” and ” Field Punishment ” which narrate  my experience and encounters in Sikkim.

Re – Imagining Infosys – Come back of Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani is back with Infosys after a gap of 10 years , this time on a SOS call from the co-founders and the board  to release the bellwether IT Company from the recent controversies it got mired into , initially with the strong criticism on the board’s functioning by Narayana Murthy [NRN] , the co-founder of Infosys in 1981 with a shoe string budget , followed by the resignation of Vishal Sikka , the first CEO  from outside ,  selected by the board unanimously in 2014 to re-position the company to meet the market challenges posed by the competition and technology necessitating a new business model . Sikka delivered in 3 years and took the company to a better standing among its competitors but  his style of functioning and the tacit support he received from the board  [ now without any founders as its members ] was  not received kindly by NRN . The ” fight ” went out to the market and the Organization suffered in its standing in the public eye.  The stake holders including the clients in 45 countries with a market cap of more than $ 34 billion and the co-founders  who own 12.8 % of the shares could ill afford this situation and immediately did a rescue act by recalling Nandan to take charge  and steer the ship to safety , balance and future prosperity.

I have been closely following Infosys , at least from the late 90’s when they established their  facility at Hyderabad . I believe  , the then Andhra Pradesh Govt had to have several meetings with NRN to persuade him to open a branch at Hyderabad . I had an informal meeting with Chandrasekhar Kakal ,the first center head nominated for Hyderabad in my office with Metamor at the Cyber Towers when he came over to check with me on the availability of a temporary office for Infosys. He finally managed to get a few seats with the STPI [ Software Technology Parks of India ] facility in Cyber Towers on rent . Today , Infosys has two major world class facilities in Hyderabad employing more than 30,000 professionals and is a dominant player in the Telangana IT Eco System.  As the Executive Director of HYSEA [www.hysea.in ] I had close interaction with Infosys , Hyderabad and all the Center heads from Kakal , Narry , Ravi Kumar , and Manisha has been members of the Managing Committee of HYSEA [ www.hysea.in] I met Nandan Nilekani during 2005 over a break fast meeting with HYSEA’s Managing Committee and was greatly impressed by his professionalism and a ” no nonsense ” approach to anything in  business and life.

Nandan has been largely responsible in taking NRN ‘s legacy forward when he stepped into his shoes as CEO of Infosys . The culture , value system  , corporate governance , and impeccable credentials of Infosys is well known in the Industry. He later on became the public face of the Company and took it to greater heights and profits making it a truly global entity. It is therefore proper for all concerned to bring him back in this moment of crisis to do the balancing act and chart its future with a new board . I heard his press briefing today thanks to an on line coverage by Economic Times , and was very happy to listen to his deliberate and measured  words to the media at the same time stating his immediate priorities candidly. He started by saying he is back because there is no one else , partly joking but otherwise meaning every word of it !. He assured that he represented 100 % of all the stake holders and has a  ” clean slate ” to work on ,assisted by a newly constituted board and the second rung of leaders in the company. His tasks are to build consensus , bring in stability , find a new CEO from among the insiders/ outside / Infosys alumni who moved out in the past to other organizations with the help of a search committee under Kiran Majumdar Shaw , CEO of Biocon , and work with clients , institutional investors co-founders and all others in this endeavor  . He specifically mentioned the need to ” patch up ” with NRN , the industry icon whose concerns needed  to be addressed on priority.

Nandan Nilekani  joined Infosys first at the age of 26 in 1981 , was its CEO during 2002 -07 , continued as its Co- Chairman till he left to take up his job with the Govt of India , heading the UIDAI project , another path breaking  performance which earned him great accolades from all. He is back  with Infosys at the age of 62 to  stabilize the company using his consultative skills as its HCF or LCD as he jokingly stated to the media today. Having read all his books , starting from the seminal work  ” Imagining India ”  and observed him and his style of Leadership from a distance , I am very confident that this new task is really cut out for him and he along with his team will bring this very resilient global company to greater heights and glory very soon.  As he himself stated today , this is also one form of serving the nation , while answering a question from the media. Time to Re-Imagine Infosys , Nandan .