Friday, November 30, 2007

Amar Babu (89BMD), the new Managing Director of Lenova India

Nov 27th: Lenovo today announced the appointment of R K Amar Babu as Managing Director, Lenovo India. Amar will be responsible for the overall business and growth for Lenovo in India.

Amar Babu has more than 17 years of multi-functional experience of which over 10 years have been in leadership roles. He was most recently the Chief Service Delivery Officer of Idea Cellular Ltd., and a member of Idea Cellular’s Executive Committee.

Prior to this, Amar served as Managing Director (South Asia), Sales & Marketing Group, Intel Technology (I) Pvt. Ltd., and was in charge of Intel’s business in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), as well as all sales and marketing operations. As an integral part of the regional management team, Amar’s mandate included driving business growth and strengthening Intel’s brand and presence.

Before that, Amar was Vice President (Operations) for HCL Information Systems, where he was involved in all key strategic decisions and responsible for consumer, channel and retail business. Amar’s achievements at HCL include leading the marketing and operations resulting in significant business growth, and re-establishing HCL’s Toshiba business...

...Amar has also worked at Citibank NA and HCL Hewlett Packard Ltd. Amar is a Management Post Graduate from XLRI, Jamshedpur and has an Engineering degree in Electrical & Electronics from PSG Tech, Coimbatore.

Monday, November 19, 2007

XLRI Homecoming 07: The Idli Boy Steals the Show

Jamshedpur Nov 18th (The Telegraph): A packed Tata auditorium listened with rapt attention to Sarathababu Elumalai, who was here to share his rags-to-riches story during the XLRI annual Homecoming ceremony.

The other speakers on the topic "Entrepreneurs - Carpetbaggers or Nation-Builders" included, Mr S Sivakumar (Chief Executive, ITC Agri-Business), Mr Manish Sabharwal (CEO-Founder, Teamlease), Mr Gautam Mallick (CEO-Founder, LSI Financial Services).

The youth from Chennai, an IIM graduate who refused a brilliant job to start a catering service, said: “I was born in a family of five children in Chennai and my mother worked with the government’s mid-day meal schemes. The money was not sufficient to sustain the large family, so she set up a small idli shop near our home in one of the slum areas of Chennai.”

The founder of FoodKing Catering Services, which today serves home-made hygienic food to offices in Ahmedabad and Goa, recalled how in Class IX his teachers had to persuade him hard not to quit studies.

From selling idlis on the pavements of Chennai to binding books for students, Elumalai had done it all till he reached BITS, Pilani. “I had never heard of the institution as we never got such an exposure. Someone told me that if I study there I will get a job,” he said.

After the engineering degree and a three years’ stint in the corporate world, Elumalai moved to IIM (A).

“The kind of salary and position an IIM graduate is offered is very difficult to turn down. But if I had not taken such a decision, I would have never been able to start my business,” he said.

The business, which started with a mere Rs 5,000 and a small kiosk at Ahmedabad, has today spread to over six branches employing over 175 people whose only job is to supply nutritious home-made food to corporates.

“It was an idea that I chanced upon during my internship at Pilani when I learnt that 30 per cent of the country’s population go to bed without food,” he said.

“More than working for somebody I wanted to give jobs to people like me, who did not have other means of livelihood.”

Soon his company would venture into other cities and provide employment to at least 15,000 people.

And while Sarathababu surprised everybody with his stories, XLRI today too put its first step in the same direction. After almost three years of negotiations, the much talked about Social Entrepreneurship Trust (SET) was formed today.

Aimed at funding and supporting innovative social entrepreneurship ideas, the trust which is the first of its kind would also work for different tribal upliftment projects in Jharkhand and would provide scholarships to tribal youths for further studies....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

XLRI alumni set for homecoming with ethical recharge

Jamshedpur, Nov 14 (Financial Express): In a world where alomost everyone wants to earn more profit by any means, the alumni of XLRI, spread all over the country and abroad, are set to gather here for the fourth 'homecoming' this Saturday. Amid fun and nostalgia, they will recharge themselves with ethics, values and care for the society at large--things they learned here during their student days.

"It's a homecoming where they touch trees and visit fond places of their student days…" said Bushen Raina, president of the National Alumni Association of XLRI.

Like the previous three occasions, this year too around 250 former students representing six decades of the B-School will be here. They will also be representing various famous groups and companies spread across the world.

"Focus on ethics, values and the society at large that the institute inculcated in us are very important tenets to become successful as managers," said Raina, himself an XLRI student of the 1973 batch.

During the first 'homecoming' in 2004, a debate on 'Ethics in business is an oxymoron!' was organised. Wipro CEO Azim Premji and ex-CEO of Indal/Haldia Petrochemicals Tapan Mitra were among the panelists. This year, the debate will be on 'Entrepreneurs: Carpetbaggers or Nation-Builders', and the four-member panel will include E Sarathbabu (founder of Food King Catering Services Pvt Ltd), Manish Sabharwal (founder & CEO of TeamLease Services), S Sivakumar (chief executive, ITC agribusiness/e-choupal) and Anjan Dutt (a social and cultural entrepreneur-cum-director/producer). Business World deputy editor Rajeev Dubey will act as the moderator.

According to Prof Madhukar Shukla, OB & strategic management teacher at the B-School, even today every batch is sent to interiors of Jharkhand/Orissa for a month to gather experience on rural economy and to help people residing there. These trips are arranged in association with NGOs.

An XLRI team had recently designed a model course for computer-illiterate young people of Jamshedpur to give them an idea of how to operate a computer.

"Priests used to play a major role in our education here by way of setting examples by offering their services to society," recalled Radhakrishnan Nair (a 1984 batch student), chief human resource officer of Tata Steel.

The National Alumni Association and its Jamshedpur Chapter have set up the XLRI Social Entrepreneurship Trust, a registered one, enabling the alumni to contribute for good causes.

The association is set to institute the Distinguished Alumni Award from next year, criterion for which will be laid down and announced during the November 17-18 meet.