Let not Metrics drive you

Should the Metrics drive operations, or the strategy drive execution for better results? Never should anyone chase their own tail.

I see lots of so-called leaders use umpteen metrics to drive their tactics (like resource utilization, revenue/employee, customers retained and lost, etc.)- when you start getting into this mindset, you would be always catching up and trying to make a fish climb the tree to get fruits (yes it happens – engineers get shifted from one domain to another without re-skilling just to meet the numbers). At the end of the day, one ends up always reactive.

If you a strong leader, get the strategy to form objectives that make execution meaningful, and one can arrive at metrics this way, with some minor course corrections on a continuous basis. You need to think ahead as to what makes your product or services sell, where do you have to re-train and up-skill your employees now to be beneficial in one or two years down stream, what customers are expecting from you and how do you put plans to fulfill their need etc. This way the entire organization will look up to you for steering the organization forward. Think ahead, have a great team around you, act decisively and rock & roll.

What does a Product Manager do?

Nowadays one of the hottest job titles that you would see everywhere is a Product manager.  If you open up any job sites, the numbers of jobs for product managers are plenty. But what do you mean by a Product manager and what do they do, and how are they different from other roles in the organization? Although none of these are set in stone, this article would try to educate you well about the role itself and how it differentiates from other roles.  This is written for a medium to large sizes corporation in mind, because in start-ups there would be the same person donning many of these role hats.

     Product manager is typical of any product development organization who sells a ‘whole product’ (hardware system ergonomically packages/stand-alone software like a security software or a productivity software) but rarely found in a professional services organization. This role is not well described or absent in semiconductor chip industry (where the chip by itself is not a product but has to go into a system to become a product), or an IP company, or any physical component manufacturing company. When I say a “whole product” it would have one to many hardware components, a box or an external package, the firmware and a software solution that enables the product to the customer. Say a Fridge or a TV or a tablet computer.

      Product manager is someone who is accountable for the build, the marketing and the sales of the product to the end customer (a business or a consumer) that meets specifications and manages the entire product life cycle from ideation to handover. A customer here is the one who buys and pays for the product. A Product manager’s life starts with articulating the “why” of the product along with the strategic marketing to find a place in an organization offering (why is it important to be in the roadmap of the offerings?), and then is the person behind the “what” of the product from an end-customer perspective.   He comes from the business side of the organization and should have a handle on the user experience story of the product to ensure SUCCESS of the product.

    From the project management definition, let us be clear on responsibility vs accountability: The accountable personis the individual who is ultimately answerable for the product and has all the ‘veto power’ for the product.  Only one accountable person can be assigned to a product.    The responsible personis the individual(s) who actually completes the tasks associated with the design and delivery of the product. The responsible person is responsible for action/implementation. Responsibility can be shared.

    A product manager needs to have a combined skill of a strategic marketing person (who defines the market and the product initially and create the opportunity to sell), a product marketing (one who defines what features get sold to what customers) and a technical marketing (who is responsible to work with technical team to define and deliver specifications of the product).

 So, how is it different from the other roles with the organization?

  • Project Manager(PM): A project manager is accountable for “when” the product gets delivered or deployed.  A project manager, whether the project gets delivered in the waterfall mode or the Agile mode, is the one who takes the product from planning to delivery, and lists out a list of tasks, deliverables and milestones at various intervals of product delivery timeline, draws the interdependencies between the teams and works with the engineering team to ensure the timelines are being met (or highlights the risk if it is not for business to take a decision)
  • Delivery Manager(DM): A delivery manager is responsible for “what” gets designed and developed by the engineering team (may be different iterations here to reach the “what” that is being asked by the product manager), and then “how” it gets delivered to the business unit, working closely with the project manager to ensure the timelines are met.
  • Account manager(AM) – This is a role more common with professional services organization as the person responsible for a particular customer account (yes, it can be there in product development organizations as well). In fact, product manager has many customers for his/her one product whereas an account manager has one or two big customers for which many products may be rolled out.
  • Product Owner(PO):  This is akey role in Agile/Scrum methodology of project management who defines what (priority) user story gets developed and delivered along each sprint (or blocks of timelines), and creates and maintains the backlog of user stories for the agile team. Yes, PO is also ideally from the business side of the organization, and has the power vested in him to accept or deny the delivery from the Agile team at every iteration.  He is the user advocate sitting in the development team. There is a good possibility a PO would report into the Product manager for a particular product.
  • Product marketing manager (PMM) – although some of the responsibilities may be shared with the product manager, a product marketing person ideally is responsible for developing positioning, messaging, competitive analysis, product’s USP, and to work with sales team to generate and close opportunities.  I personally do not see very many product marketing roles now as I believe this may have morphed into a product manager role with added responsibilities in many organizations.

      Again, due to other budgetary and resource factors, nothing here can be taken in absolute terms as responsibilities unique to a particular role, but it is essential we understand the differences in expectation between the roles.   In short, if you have the skills to take a product from ideation through planning through development, and constantly are marketing the product along the way, and delivering it to the customers and they are delighted about it, then we can say that you are doing a pretty good job as a product manager.

Lack of success is not failure

Recently read: “Lack of success is NOT Failure. But lack of trying is.”
Nadal, Djokovic, Federer are all Tennis greats – they play to win and compete well, but they do not win every time they play. Messi and Ronaldo are again soccer greats – they play mesmerizing football but they do not win all the time. IN 18+ years, Tom Brady won the NFL 6 times(SuperBowl titles) for Patriots – not every time, and he got them almost all the time to the Division title. Not every ball that Glenn Mcgrath bowled got a wicket nor did Sachin score of every ball he faced- but they keep at it. That is when they become LEGENDS. Be in an individual or a team, it about attitude and diligence to play the game and work harder – keep on trying and persistence pays dividends. Let not success get to your head. 

Gather stakeholders before you fight

” Never engage in a fight you are sure to lose. Bide your time and strike back only when you are in a position of strength” Stieg Larsson.
Almost all businesses operate this way. While biding time , they get powerful stakeholders to gather strength. If you are alone and believe in yourself, then collaborate and compete. If your ego is the only one guiding you, then start praying.

Newton’s 4th law of Business

“Newton’s 4th law of Business”: For every action, there are consequences in the business world. If the consequences are positive, you are hailed as a great leader but if it is negative, the swords are dangling on top of your head. So, as mature leaders, it is best to analyze each action before you take it for the potential consequences so that you can manage them better once you take the action. Never act on impulse.

Better you chances of success by:
– having a critic as your asset although it can be unpleasant, so that you can consider the criticism objectively before you act, and
– never repeating the same mistake twice – you should have learnt the lesson the first time. There is no mercy for two failures due to same or similar actions to the same or similar problem – “two strikes , you are out”. Seek out to mentors before you act if unsure.

When do you need a job?

Irony of any job seekers: When you want a job, you cannot get it. But when you find a job, you do not need it then. Unfortunate. If you are satisfied where you are and your boss supports you, there is no reason for a change but this is when all these calls happen.
Always remember, in a free world, you cannot be locked in forever. And when it rains, it pours. Realize there are no such thing as a bad situation, it is you who has to create outcomes based on whatever situation gets presented to you. Keep the faith and be positive.
Yes, you would see a lots of recruiters who do not respond back and this speaks a lot about the company you want to join. Yes they do get lots of profiles but there is no harm in sending a note as a process for everyone who applies(remember this can be automated as well).
Make the best of what you have at that time

Yoga – Basic tips for a practitioner

Yoga is primarily about three things:

  • Balance – literally and figuratively, it gives balance to life.  There are many postures that you need to stand on one leg or do some exercise with one limb at a time which really gives you the right balance.  You get to find your right equilibrium as you continue doing the asanas.
  • Flexibility – since all the parts of your body are being concentrated upon, both external and internal (without you being aware of it), this gives a slight edge over any exercises done in the gym as this tones mostly the external body.   It is important you make a conscious effort to slowly increase your stretches and not just do the motions associated with the yogasanas.  It is important you get better and fitter as days go by rather than being in the same state of flexibility. 
  • Discipline – One needs to be regular in practicing Yoga and ensure you are doing the yogasana with proper guidance from an expert.   What Yoga gives you in return is also to live a disciplined life free of anxiety, stress and ailments.  I always say this, what you give it gets multiplied and given back as more discipline.

Healthy notes

  • Eat a healthy and timely diet along with yoga for best results.  If you are doing yoga in the early morning, have your dinner before 9 p.m. and do not consume alcohol.   Your food and character matters if you want to get the best result out of yoga.
  • Have enough good sleep of 6 to 7 hours the prior night.
  • Some yoga teachers’ advice you to turn left when you go to sleep as this is better for digestion, and to turn right as you wake up slowly by sliding your knee and leg down.    Do not crunch your midsection and get up – this causes tremendous disc pressure.  According to leading ortho, the best position to sleep is on your sides.   Once you wake up, rub your palms to produce heat and place the inner palms on your eyes.
  • In all asanas(poses), unless there are some specifics, the inhalation during breathing by default must be done through the nostrils and not through the mouth.
  • If you want to run or walk, do it before the yoga class or couple of hours after the yoga session.

Generic guidelines for Yoga

  • Yoga is about discipline and faith, and you need to commit to your wellbeing.  Perform yoga regularly without interruptions.
  • While attending classes for yoga, please ensure you do not disturb the other classes.  Wait till the previous batch is done before you enter into the room.  Keep sufficient space from other practitioners.
  • Yoga is not to be seen as an immediate cure to any diseases.  It takes time for your body to get conditioned to yoga and ultimately direct and indirect benefits would be experienced by you after about a year of regular yoga.
  • Be firm in your conviction that yoga will eliminate diseases from your body and keep you fit. Our thinking aggravates, or cures diseases.
  • Yoga is all about Symmetry and Pairs which leads to eventual equilibrium – if you stretch one leg, the other leg has to be stretched; if you twist one side then the other side has to be twisted.
  • You observe nature and emulate it through poses that correlate to animate and inanimate objects (posing like Palm Tree, Lotus, Cobra, Fish etc.).  There are many asana that derive their names from these animals and objects.
  • Keep your mind calm and happy and refrain from anger and irritation.
  • Silence is essential while practicing yoga.  No cell phones (not even in silent or vibrate mode) and preferably no watches as well.  You need to have this yoga time for yourself and your body without any disturbance.
  • It is better to do yoga in an open space – in the terrace, lawn, or verandah.  The place must be free from noise and insects.   Do it with a relaxed body (do not keep it tight) and mind. It is important that the yoga is done sitting on the floor.
  • Wear comfortable loose cotton clothing for yoga – you need to have free movement of your body and limbs. Yoga conditions both the internal and external organs.
  • Ensure the yoga mat or blanket is spread on an even surface to get the right postures.
  • Face the East direction while practicing yoga.  If you are doing it in the evening, do it facing West.  You need to face the direction of Sun while doing yoga.
  • There are six Kriyas (purification methods) for balancing the three doshas – Vaatha, Kapah and Pitha.  They are Neti for Nasal cleansing, Kapaalabhati for respiration and lung cleansing, Basti which is for colon cleansing, Trataka for eyes, Nauli for abdominal benefits and Dhauti for stomach and digestive cleansing. Kapaalabhati should be done daily as a minimal Kriya practice and Trataka Kriya can be done regularly (once in a week or fortnight).
  • If you have specific ailments that you need to address through yoga, consult your yoga teacher and your physician and ensure that it is done properly.
  • Always read about the asanas and its benefits from books and articles written by well-known yoga gurus.  Knowing the benefits of the particular asanas well would make you richer.  BKS Iyengar, Sivananda Yoga and Rashtrothana  Yogic Institute are recognized schools of Yoga, to name a few.


  • Practice yoga in the morning on an empty stomach after your daily ablutions and best to do it after a bath.   Asanas come easier after a bath. 
  • Empty your bladder and bowels before yoga. Drink a glass of warm water prior to the yoga. 
  • If you have to do it in the evening, do not rush into it.  Have some quiet time before you start yoga.  Your muscles are adequately stretched in the evening because of your activity during the day.  
  • Yoga must not be done within two hours of a meal.

During Yoga

  • Always start Yoga by chanting ‘AUM’ and a prayer, to relax your mind.  The prayer gives you the focus that you need to practice yoga for the day.  While chanting “Aum”, it is good to split in such a way that “Au” takes 40% and “Um” takes 60% of the time.   One can also practice  the sound of “A” for 2 seconds, “U” for 3 seconds and “M” for 4 seconds as a variation of the same chanting.
  • Always begin yoga with stretches, then Surya Namaskar – 12 times, then asanas and wind down with Pranayama.  If in the morning, Pranayama can be done first and one can practice asanas 20 minutes later.
  •  All forward bending poses are beneficial for persons suffering from either high or low blood pressure.
  • In general, folks with Hernia, high Blood pressure, knee pain, neck pain and those suffering from Back issues must consult their physician about the yoga exercises that should be avoided and that can be practiced.  The Yoga teacher must be kept informed about any medical issues you may have.
  • End your asanas with Pranayama and close it with Savasana for 5-10 minutes.  During Sava Sana, it is imperative that you are aware of your body and concentrate on deep breathing and total relaxation.  There is a possibility of one going to sleep during Sava Sana but once you start looking inward and concentrating on your breathing, your consciousness increases and this is a great way to relax and unwind – it is important that you are aware of your body while doing SavaSana and still relaxing.
  • The last asana before you get into Pranayama should be Pavana Mukhthasana (fold and hold your legs tightly against your abdomen) – there is good possibility of gas escaping during this asana, esp if you had some bad meals the previous day.
  • Once a week, it is always good to emulate the breathing, walks and stretches of various animals like Lion, Tiger, Dog, Cat, Rabbit, monkeys, snakes etc. each of which has its own benefits – each of them is a recognized asana on its own merit.
  • If you get tired while doing Yoga, take a few seconds off and breathe in through your nostril and breathe out through our mouth to relax.
  • It is always good that one devotes one day  just concentrating  on special focused asanas for the eyes (for which you need   a dark room with curtains closed)  culminating with the Trataka Kriya where you gaze without blinking on a light source, and one day just on Yoga Nidra (just  a long Sava Sana with great awareness of oneself).
    • Basic Eye Asanas: (i)Eye balls moving up and down – 10 times , (ii) Eye balls synchronously moves left and right – 10 times, (iii) Left thumb in front, eyes balls to track thumb moving to the left most and back, and repeat with right thumb to the right this time (iv) Left thumb to the front, eye balls tracking the left thumb as it makes a big circle to the left anti-clockwise, and repeat the same with right thumb making a good circle clock wise and  (v) Eye balls to the right top and left bottom – diagonal movement, and then left top and right bottom, each 10 times.

Surya Namaskar

  • According to Hindu philosophy, SUN stimulates all living beings in this world and is to be respected properly.  Sun Bathing to a degree is considered very beneficial in the western world as well.  In Yoga, we worship the Sun as a light source that dispels any inertia within us and its warmth increased our inspirational capacity.
  • After some initial stretches, one does the exercise sequence called ‘Salutations to the Sun”.  This is a series of 10 to 12 steps (depending on who is your yoga guru, some combine couple of steps into one) which is mostly ‘symmetrical’ (meaning your 1st step is your 12th step, your 2nd step is your 11th step etc…).  This has both a physical side to things (meaning it involves a series of Asanas) and a spiritual side as well (seeking blessings of Sun God).  Since your blood gets oxygen during these salutations, these series of Asanas are supposedly good for heart and warms the body up.
  • ON a daily basis, it is usually done in count of 12, meaning you would be doing 12 x 12 = 144 poses during a single day. Some people do a 108 count once a month as a group.  In some yoga schools, which practices 10 steps, they usually do 13 counts. This varies but the core of the asanas does not change from one variation to the other.  The breathing has to be consistent with the asanas being performed.  If one is doing the 10 poses per count routine, they combine the steps 1 & 2 and 11&12 into one pose each.
  • The most common 12 steps Surya Namaskar are the following (Ref: from Wikipedia) which amount to 1 count of Surya Namaskar:
  • Pranam  Asana – EXHALE – Anahata Chakra – Heart Center (Palms together – thumbs touching chest center) – Namaskar position- prayer pose
  • Hasta Uttan Asana (or) Urduva Hast Asana – INHALE – Vishuddha Chakra– Throat Center (Raise arms and hands – lean back- head and chin up) – Raised or upward Arms Pose
  • Hastapaad or Paadhasta Asana – EXHALE – Svadhishthana Chakra – Pelvic or Sacrum Center (bend forward- hold ankle with hands – touch head on knee) – Standing Forward bend pose or hand to foot pose
  • EkaPaada Prasarn Asana (or) Ashwa Sanchalan  Asana – INHALE – Ajnya Chakra – Eyebrow or Third Eye Center (one foot back- lift head-hands on ground) – Equestrian pose.  This is a variation of a Lunge that athletes and weight-trainers use as a strengthening exercise.
  • AdhoMukha Svan Asana – EXHALE – Vishuddha Chakra – Throat Center – Downward facing dog pose.  In some yoga schools, this gets replaced by Chaturanga Dand Asana – four-limbed like-a-stick pose
  • Astanga Namaskara – Hold the Breath – Manipura Chakra – Navel or Solar Plexus Center  (only forehead-chest-knee on the ground) – Eight parts salute
  • Bhujang Asana – INHALE – Svadhishthana Chakra – Pelvic or Sacrum Center – Cobra pose
  • AdhoMukha Svan Asana – EXHALE – Vishuddha Chakra – Throat Center – Downward facing dog pose
  • Ashwa Sanchalan Asana  – INHALE – Ajnya Chakra – Eyebrow  or third eye  Center (other foot back – lift head – hands on ground) – Equestrian pose
  • Hastapaad Asana – EXHALE – Svadhishthana Chakra – Pelvic or Sacrum Center (bend forward- hold ankle with hands – touch head on knee) – Standing forward bend pose
  • Hasta Uttan Asana – INHALE – Vishuddha  Chakra – Throat Center (Lift hands – lean back- head and chin up) – Raised Arms pose
  • Pranam Asana – EXHALE – Anahata Chakra – Heart Center (Palms together – thumbs touching chest center) – Namaskar position – Prayer pose
  • Chakras (wheels) are energy points or node in the non-physical body.   This is the nodal meeting point of the non-physical energy channels or pathways called Naadi.   There are mainly seven chakras described, out of which five gets worked up during the Surya Namaskar routine:
  • Sahasrara  (meaning Thousand Petaled) or Crown Chakra – Located at the crown of the head
  • Ajnya (meaning command) or Third-eye Chakra
  • Vishuddha (meaning especially pure) or Throat Chakra
  • Anahata (meaning unstruck) or Heart Chakra – related to the immune system
  • Manipura (meaning Jewel-city)  or Navel Chakra – related to the digestive systems
  • Svadhishthana (meaning one’s own base)  or Sacral Chakra – related to the reproductive systems
  • Mooladhara (meaning root support) or Root Chakra – located at the base of the spine
  • The 12 steps involve invoking the various names of Sun God.  Sun (and various forms of fire) as a solar deity is common among various civilizations and many religions, including Hinduism. Some people even use it once for every count of 12, each count compromising of 12 poses.  The below are the most commonly used invocations:
  • Om Mitraya Namah! – (Mitre means friend) I Salute the Sun who is my friend and is dear and intimate to us.
  • Om Ravaye Namah! – (Ravi means Thej which is to glow and shine) I Salute Thee, the ever-shining and ever-glowing.
  • Om Suryaya Namah!  – I Salute Thee who gives energy and inspiration.
  • Om Bhanave Namah!  – (Bhanu means Light) – I Salute Thee who drives away darkness and ignorance
  • Om Khagaye Namah! – (Khaga means space) – I Salute Thee who travels through the sky and gives us warmth
  • Om Pushne Namah! – (Pushnaihi means one who provide nutrition) I Salute Thee who provides us food, light and energy
  • Om Hiranyagarbhaye Namah! – (Hiranya means Gold)
  • Om Marichye Namah! – (Marich means Mirage or Power that cures diseases) – I Salute Thee to give me wisdom to differentiate the good from bad
  • Om Adityaye Namah! – (Aditya means son of Aditi, the Mother of all gods)
  • Om Savitre Namah!
  • Om Arkaya Namah! – (Arka means Extract)
  • Om Bhaskaraya Namah! – (Bhaskara means Prakasa – bright)
  • (Some schools add this) On Sri Savithra Surya Narayanaya Namah!

Meditation – Dhyana

  • Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose) is an ideal pre-pranayama asana because it decongests the lungs and prepares them for intense practice by making both nostrils flow better.  After this and just prior to pranayama, as told earlier, it is a must to lie down for 5 minutes in Shavasana (corpse pose) to get rid of exhaustion.
  • During Pranayama, which is essentially control of one’s breath,  one sits in the ordinary squatting posture and has to remain comfortable?  Siddhasana or Padmasana poses are recommended.   Prana means Life force or energy, and Ayama means control.   Pranayama has to be done properly, otherwise it can even cause harm to the person – it is imperative you learn these under expert guidance.   Just focus on breathing and look inward as this would enable you to concentrate better during the meditation.  Keep your eyes closed during the meditation and be in Chin Mudra (where you bow your head and the chin is down).
  • Keep your back straight and erect, and lower the head to the trunk so that the chin touches the upper chest.  Stretch the arms out straight so that the wrists are comfortably placed on the knees.  In each hand, join the index finger to the thumb and keep the other three fingers stretched out. This is the basic pose for the entire Pranayama routine.  One must sit on a blanket spread on the floor and Pranayama must be done in a clean airy place free of noise.
  • In Pranayama, there are certain units of time:  Pooraka is for inhalation, Rechaka is for exhalation and Kumbhaka is for retention or holding of breadth after full inhalation.  Breathing is done mostly through nostrils, unless told otherwise.
  • Right nostril is Pingala Naadi (Sun relating to body) and Left nostril is Ida Naadi (Moon relating to Mind).  As is said earlier, Naadi means non-physical energy channel or pathway.  As you do alternate nostril breathing, the idea is to bring balance to body and mind.
  • The default Mudra (Gesture)  for Pranayama is the Chin (consciousness) Mudra or Jnana (Knowledge) Mudra: The tip of the index finger touches the tip of your thumb(making an “O”)  and the other three fingers are relaxed and pointing out, with the hands resting on your knees as you are squatting cross-legged on the floor.   In Chin Mudra,  the hands face down and in Jnana Mudra, they face up.
  • Some popular Pranayamas are (each of them  should be done for 5 to 10 minutes):
    • Aum Kar chanting – with the body in chin mudra, and in the ratio of 40% to 60%, call our “Oo” and “Mm” in one cycle and do this for many cycles.   You must be able to distinctly hear three sounds while you chant – A, U and M.  Relax your body , breathe normally and close your eyes as you chant this, preferably for 5 minutes.  Pranav is believed to the mother of all sounds.
    • Naadi Shuddhi or Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril breathing. Sodhana means purifying or cleansing.  Close your left nostril with your right thumb, and inhale deeply through the right nostril, hold the breadth, close your left nostril with your ring and little fingers, open the right nostril and exhale through your right nostril.  Now change the nostrils – with left nostril close, inhale through the right nostril deeply, hold the breadth, close your right nostril with your right thumb and open the left nostril and exhale through it.  This is one cycle.
    • Bhramari Pranayama (Bhramari means Humming Bee) – similar to Ujjayye but when you exhale, one releases a humming sound.   Inhale through nostrils deeply, close the mouth and make the “Mmmmmmm” sound till you exhale completely
    • Ujjayee Pranayama (Ujjayee means victorious) – this is one pranayama that can be done at all times of the day. Breaths in deeply  through both nostrils, fill up your lung, hold the breadth and exhale slowly and deeply.  This supposedly heals spinal problems, and works on thyroid and para-thyroid glands which helps regulate important minerals in the bones and blood.
    • Bhasrika Pranayama (Bhasrika means bellows) – Inhale forcefully by breathing in through both nostrils, and then exhale forcefully through the nostrils making a hissing sound.  Inhalation and exhalation should be of equal duration.  People with high BP, acute asthma and heart disease should avoid this breathing exercise.  A variation of this is to do the breathing in and out only through one nostril by closing the other.
    • Seethali Pranayama (Seethali means Cooling) – this calms the mind and reduces stress, and reduces body temperature.  People suffering from low BP should not do this breathing exercise as this may bring the BP down further.  At the same time, it is good for patients with high BP.  Look straight ahead, roll the tongue and keep it outside the mouth and inhale through mouth, bend your neck and exhale through nostrils for twice the duration as inhalation. This is a great breathing exercise for the hot summer months as it cools the body.  Practice it for 10 to 20 times.
    • Kapalabhati Pranayama – Slowly inhale, and start exhaling forcefully for about  100 times within 1 minute.    Although you may not be conscious of the fact, there is a micro internal of retention after every exhalation. This involves deep breathing and is regarded as a cleansing  and anti-aging practice. It gets rids of hidden stress, aids digestion, boost immunity and  has a positive effect on the six pairs of sinus cavities in the skull. Anyone with high BP or heart problems should avoid this Kapalabathi Kriyah. This can be planned as the last Pranayama to be done in your routine after which one has to lie down in Sava Sana, and must be done daily.


  • Have a shower after yoga – give a break of at least half an hour between your yoga session and a bath.
  • You can drink water after 15-20 minutes.  Keep the water in your mouth for a minute before gulping it down.  
  • You should only eat half an hour after your yoga session.


  • If you have any neck, back or knee pain, and have undergone any surgeries, it is better to inform the yoga instructor and do yoga only on your physician’s advice.
  • Do not practice yoga when you have fever, cough or cold.  Do not go to any yoga classes if you are sick as it may infect the other students. Do not practice yoga when you are exhausted.
  • Do not practice yoga in haste and avoid force and jolts of any kind.  Do it calmly and happily.
  • Do not let tension appear on the nerves, nose, ears, neck and eyes during exercise.
  • Take into considerations your age, physical and mental condition, flexibility, capacity, environment and time.  Do not over-stretch but do try to push yourself enough to feel the stretch.  Do it to your capacity.
  • If you are on pain killers, take proper advice before doing any asanas.

References – BKS Iyengar books on Yoga and other Yoga schools of thought like Sivananda Yogic center and Rashtrothana Vedic institute.

Note – there are certain Sanskrit names that I am not able to find meanings of, me being just a basic beginner in the language.

Woodwork for an Indian House – A handy guide

There are lots of home buyers who, based on their affordability and taste, invest in an apartment or a house that is to be built or being built.  But having the structure does not mean it is in a live-in condition which means there is more to it than the building structure to make a place livable.  One of the foremost of them would be to get some good woodwork done to suit your living style and comfort, or have just some basic woodwork done if you have to rent it.  If you want to learn about how to get woodwork done and want a refresher course, kindly read on.

    Be it an apartment, ranging from a single bedroom to a four bedroom penthouse or more, or an house that may have more than one floor, there are two things that the owner has to think of:  two levels of woodworkbasic which are essential, and extra which are needed for more comfort and good living, and the budget for the same. As I scribe this in early 2016, based on the cities you live in and based on whether you are using a local interior designer, a specialized furniture solution provider (like Godrej Interio, Veneta Cuicine etc.) or a carpenter directly, the rates may vary anywhere from Rs 800/sqft to Rs 3000/sqft and even higher.   Any specialized furniture solution provider would give you a limited warranty for a few years and are definitely operate on high pricing and margins (to cover their overheads and real estate costs of their showrooms). 

     My personal experience is to get hold of a carpenter who has done work for you or has been referred to you by someone who has used his services that you had liked, and work with them directly as any furniture designer would add his overhead and still hire from a set of carpenters that they have access to. Also, furniture designers are more into volume and they usually push their way of working with only a handful of options they would suggest for the entire house and will offer only a few set of combinations and never depart for your individual comforts.  If you are renting for sure, you can definitely look at buying off-the-shelf furniture and wardrobes from the local stores or e-tailers like Pepperfry, Urban Ladder or Fab Furnish and set up the apartment – it is important to have wardrobes in every bedroom and your kitchen needs to be done with some cabinets for you to rent the place.

   Various options that need to be worked out realistically:

  • Choice of material – for cabinets, for hinges, for handles, for shutters, for drawers and baskets, etc.
  • Price – is there an upper limit that you bounds your budget?
  • Renting or owning – based on this decision, compromises can be made and options evaluated
  • Brand – if you are particular on certain brands, based on some references, this would define your entire choice more or less.  Brand can be for the furniture designer itself, or brands of each materials being chosen.
  • Room plans – do you have an idea of what you want in each room?
  • Environment – do you live in a coastal or an interior dry area?  Do you live on the main road or inside in a more silent road? Are there termites around the area?

      The entire house (villa or flat) can be divided to two areas: your woodwork needs to be planned differently, but both needs to be absolutely termite proofed:

  • Kitchen (includes kitchen, pantry, utility and balcony areas) – these areas can get wet, especially under the counter and in the utility and generally be used more by many people.  Here it is better to use WATER RESISTANT or PROOF materials especially under the counter and sink, and can use a different material for over-the-counter shelfs.   For bathrooms, it is safer not to use wood but rather goes with Stainless SS, Aluminum or plastic materials.
  • Anything outside the Kitchen – let us call them Other Rooms or Non-Kitchen (includes living area, bedrooms, study room etc.) – these are the areas that can never get wet unless there is seepage through the walls.  Need not be water resistant or proof, but one needs to take care of the bottom of the woodwork as it can get damp, due to mopping. So, whatever material you use, you can put a 3 in border of Al or fiber on the woodwork in the areas where water gets in contact with.

     After you are done with this initial planning, it is recommended you walk into a few showrooms to understand what is available and the terminologies to educate yourself better, and get an idea of what would suit you better, and understand their offerings and their inherent limitations.

   In a kitchen, the builder can either give you a bare structure and you fit in everything – called totally modular, can give some provision of kitchen slab for the counter at some height and some other nooks etc. – which is usually a semi modular (there are some restrictions here) and fully built-up with provision for gas, slabs for storage, provision for electrical appliances etc. – this is the older style of doing kitchen where all you need is to fit a frame and a shutter anywhere if you want to,  and in this article, I am not going to elaborate on this third type.  Whenever someone says modular or semi-modular,  you need to understand they can fit STANDARD SIZE drawers in the provisions given – every manufacturer have adhered to certain dimension specification so that it is easier to choose what goes into your kitchen and then the woodwork around it.  It is important even before you hire someone for woodwork, you need to have a fair idea of the kitchen and its outlay and how you intend to use and where you think the appliances like microwave, mixer-grinder etc. come.  Also ensure there are enough exhaust area for the kitchen and a provision for chimney if you do not have adequate ventilation.  It is important to have the kitchen well-lit as this is the most frequented place in a household at any given time.  Also it would be nice to have lofts in the kitchen with doors to store those non-so-commonly used utensils there.

      I am going to simplify the meaning of semi-modular by suggesting that there are height and width restriction in this type compared to the totally modular one, which translates to lesser number of drawers and/or smaller drawers being able to fit into the design.  All the big players like Godrej Interio, Sleek etc. would readily jump on any modular kitchen but may not be too excited to get into a semi-modular one.  The kitchen designer still will use some carpenter and some back-end machinery place to tool the boxes to certain sizes and they would just come and fit in the boxes during installation – understand their margins would be sky high and it may be impossible to choose what you want in terms of wood and material while you go with these designers as they have tie-ups with few manufacturers directly.

    Now to re-iterate , one may have three choices, for both kitchen and outside kitchen – either fully outsource the woodwork to an established name-brand furniture designer, work with your local designer where you may have some flexibility in choice of materials although this would still be labour and material contract, or go with a traditional carpenter provided you have a good idea how your kitchen has to be structured – in order of pricing, the carpenter would be the least expensive and you have total freedom to choose your materials and just give him the labour contract.

    For the woodwork that is going outside the kitchen( I would call it non-kitchen or other areas), like the living room TV cabinets, balcony storage cabinet, book shelves in the study room and wardrobes in the bedrooms, the woodwork options remain the same and does not vary between rooms. 

     In both the woodwork process is to first measure the area, manufacture the three sides of the boxes or carcasses (can be laminated on one side or both sides), then manufacture the doors for them, install them with hinges, have the baskets and draws fit in with the slides, and based on the materials used may need polishing as well, and after that the handles on the doors.  This is pretty much how things get done. One can always choose a different material for the boxes and the doors, and different thicknesses as well.  It is important to remember that the hinges used for installing the doors also vary according to the thickness of the doors.

    Now some of the material types commonly used for the boxes or doors, all are priced per square foot:

  • MDF (Medium Density Fibers) – not suitable for coastal area where there is lots of dampness as these warp over time.   They come in pleasing glossy finishes and in lots of patterns.  It is advisable not to use MDF even in dry areas under the counter top as the water would make it warp over time and you need to replace the MDF every seven years or so. MDF and steel would be the two cheapest options you can get.  If you are doing woodwork for a rental property, it is OK for you to go with MDF or Steel.
  • Plywood – stronger than MDF and comes in different thickness and the common one used is a 16 mm ply.  Thicker the ply, more expensive it is.  If you want it to be thicker, one can use a ¾” or a 19 mm ply as well. They essentially come in many denominations, but two of them are widely used – BWP (boiling water proof) or BWR (boiling water resistant) and a better quality and stronger MR (Marine Grade) and there are different ISO specifications for the two – IS 303 vs IS 701.  A ply is usually finished either with a laminate or a veneer – veneer needs polishing to be done.  The good quality names with ISO certified manufacturing processes are Green Ply and Century Ply, and the other brand that is commonly used is Kit Ply.  All plys come in standard 8 ft. x 4 ft. dimension that you need to cut and use.
  • Real wood like Teak or Sheesham (Indian Rosewood) or Sal – usually the thickness of real wood is larger and is about 20-26 mm, and they definitely need to be polished.  You may get thicker wood but it is not advisable to use thickness above 25 mm. There are various grades of wood that you can choose from, and usually a first quality Burma teak is hard to find and is very expensive. One needs to treat them properly for termites.  This is the most expensive of the choices and usually folks go with it if they do the woodwork for their own house that they would live in and not to rent.  It has to be maintained well and durability is high as long as the polish is done regularly.
  • M S Steel – thinner profiles, termite proof, dent-prone, and rust prone and needs to be painted often.  It can come with any color of your choice as it is easier to paint over.
  • Aluminum and Glass – mostly for DOORs.  This is just glass on aluminum frames. This is mostly a choice that competes with Ply and glass for over the counter woodwork in the kitchen so that you can see what is inside.    Aluminum is expensive.

     The windows and doors of the house are usually painted as they need to be water repellant.  As for the prepared woodwork which does not really gets wet (except may be a little  in the kitchen under the countertop), the three most common choice for the transparent coating are (applicable only if you use real wood or veneer, and not applicable at all if there is a laminate or MDF):

  • French polish – least expensive, does loose shine quickly and is not long lasting.  Recommendation is NOT to use this for your woodwork.
  • Melamine – turns yellowish in over 7 years, but most widely used by all although can be laborious to get the right finish
  • Poly Urethane (PU) – most water resistant and long lasting, and excellent for protection but most expensive of the three.  It is said to darken over time, and also turns light yellow over a longer period.

      Although there are a wide variety of manufacturers for laminates, the company which seems to have the most market share in decorative laminates and support from the carpenters today is Merino.  Laminates go on one side or both sides of the boxes and on both sides of the doors.   In India, most of us call these products as Sun Mica as this was the company which came first and like Xerox is used instead to photocopy, so is Sun mica used to refer to laminates.   It is always better to not look at pictures but rather check out the real samples and see them in both sunlight and artificial light to ensure you are satisfied with the right color.  The catalog or the computer colors are not to be trusted. They usually are 1 mm or less thick, and used as overlay on ply or rarely on wood by using glue, and since they are artificial blend of paper and resins, they come in various colors and stains.

     As for veneers, which are real wood slices and hence natural, again there are lots of manufacturers and you can choose what grains you want and then go with the same.  Most of the folks usually choose a teak grain to make it looks like wood which would always give a warm feeling.   Veneers are more expensive than laminates, and they give a richer look than laminates although latter is more scratch resistant and waterproof. When one uses veneer, you need to polish the surface first and regularly for upkeep.

    Coming to the boxes or carcasses, they are either made of MDF, ply or steel. If made in ply, they need to have laminates on both sides and many a times even the side that goes against the wall.   It is enough if you use a  maximum 16 mm thick one for the ply as we need to ensure the width of the box can still carry the drawers and baskets that come in particular widths  and heights only. 

    In all cases, while measuring, the dimensions measured – are just the width and height as the depth (z) is usually 2 ft.(rarely 1.5 ft.) , be it for the wardrobes or the loft – this is more standard.  So, all the quotation would be given for Height x Width in price/sqft and you can compute the stuff yourself.  Ensure the measurements taken are correct and try to validate it properly across each line item when the quotation is given – it is better to do it twice or more to get the actual measurement up front as the payments are based on the quotation based on initial measurements and not the final woodwork measurements done. The more information and more patience you see from the vendor, the easier it would be to work with them at a later stage. Ask all the questions up front and once you are near finalization, make a document of what your expectations are and get a specific quote for each line item (if the budget prevents you, then you can easily scratch a line item or two).  When it comes to labour market, there is always a good chance of being held at ransom by the vendors who provide the service – ensure all the payments are milestone based and they need to agree to it – hold on to 5% of the payment a month after they are totally done.  They would hear only the ‘money language’ and this is the only hold you have on them.  Do not get caught in their own payment modes which as a customer you can definitely change and document – as a customer, please ensure you get to dictate your terms clearly.   If the vendor does not sign the document with all the accepted rules and conditions, walk away from that vendor as it would be NOT be worth your time to be working with them.  Also sign and get receipt for every money transaction that had taken place.

    Carpentry nowadays goes like this:

  1. The final plan is approved and both the parties are in total agreement of what goes where. Advance amount anywhere from 25% to 40% is given up front for the vendors to get the materials.
  2. The boxes or carcasses get manufactured (mostly elsewhere and rarely in-house) and they would be put in place at the right places inside the house.  Usually 2-3 weeks.  The second payment gets made which would be usually 20-30%, overall 70% of the payment gets made here.
  3. Now all the slides or runners that go inside the boxes are attached to hold the kitchen accessories.  Since the kitchen gets used the most, it is better to put the more expensive soft or silent slides(go for a good quality German make like Blum or Hettich)  and for outside the kitchen an ordinary slide (like Ebco) would be good enough.
  4. It is important to have all the kitchen accessories (baskets, rollers etc.) available and fitted inside the boxes. These can be bought, delivered and installed within a day.  From now on, the security inside the house should be increased.  Take photos after installation and give the key only to one dependable person who monitors and overseas the execution of carpentry.
  5. The door, which can be a different material than the boxes, is cut and made and then installed.  Holes for the handles are put in place.  If you want to attach a dustbin or a detergent holder on the door, it has to be conveyed to the carpenter as this may require some extra provisions. Usually the detergent holder and the dustbin go under the sink and it is better to keep the pot and pans and the spices around and under the cooking area. If the laminates or veneer are needed, now is the time it gets glued and nailed to the doors.  Once the doors are in, the carpenter and his men would be staying in your house for about a week or two.  Ensure again in the document that they need to work 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day if you are contracting it wholly to the carpenter and if you can provide for evening meals and provide them lights, they can stay till 8 p.m. Faster they do the job, better it would be.  Again the main carpenter’s daily wages is about Rs 700 to 800, two more carpenters who work for him would take Rs 600- Rs 700/day each and a helper who gets Rs 200/day.  The price may vary by Rs 50 to Rs 100 based on the city you live in from these norms (based on early 2016 rates).
  6. Now the hinges have to be purchased for the doors and attached.  Materials used can be stainless steel or brass or bronze or steel with nickel plating.  Again, use a soft concealed hydraulic ball bearing hinge for the kitchen and ordinary butt hinge for other rooms.  The number of hinges to be used is based on the height and weight of the door, and the size of the hinges would depend on the thickness and the width of the door. Based on how the door needs to get attached in either a framed or frameless box, there can be three overlay options (Full, Half and Inset) to do it which must be planned and understood much ahead.   Now the third payment gets paid.  Usually 80-85% of the payment gets paid by this time.
  7. After all these things, final finishes on the cabinets and doors gets done.  The dado bars in the kitchen and grip bars in the bathroom gets attached.   Some nails in other rooms can be driven in. Hold on to the carpenter for all these small things that you may need to run around once they are all gone. All polishes get done, if any. The handles to all the doors and drawers are installed now. Now you would be able to see and appreciate the final woodwork properly.  Once he is done, after inspections and any minor repairs that are found get done, 95% of the payment gets made.  The remaining 5% is to be given about a month after you regularly start using it and ensuring all is perfect.

       While doing the doors on wardrobes, it is easier to fix a mirror on one of the doors with a beading around it so that it can be used as a dressing mirror – the mirror must be a good quality one like Saint Gobain or Modi Guard. The lofts would just have a frame, doors and ordinary hinges and NO Boxes inside. While measuring for the wardrobes and cabinets, first one has to ensure you are not obstructing any light points or switch points. While doing any woodwork under a window or an opening, ensure that this does not get affected by rain that may come in.    Do not do any woodwork in the bathrooms due to the high moisture inside and instead go with the plastic cabinets that are available off the shelf.

   While making tables, beds and chairs with real wood, it is always better to look around online for what you are looking as getting this done by your carpenter would be very expensive- also the talent of carpenters who can actually go a decent job here would be limited.  Buy them directly either online or through the traditional furniture store.  If you have the time, get hold of a good woodworking factory in Rajasthan or Uttarakand through a good reference and even mail order them.  Anything with bamboo, one can always look at Assam and the North East for options.  Remember, when it comes to wood, even your experience carpenter cannot attest to the quality of it by just seeing it.

    Hope you enjoy the woodwork to your apartment and find this article useful.


Why are certifications costs so high?

As a consultant, I have been taking some certifications in the areas of my expertise as I find many clients insisting on certifications.  Going through the various certifications, I started doing research on more of them which may not be related to what I do and find the cost of the certifications to be exorbitant, the pre-requisites of some to be logistically impossible and the validity to be a little less.

    Governing bodies like Project Management Institute(PMI), the professional associations for Six Sigma(‘the gate keepers’) like IASSC and ASQ and global best practices companies like Axelos for ITIL and Prince2 charge an arm and leg for their certification. On one hand, they would like to have their certification more accessible by having many more to take this up globally (they always talks about growth rate) but on the other hand, their unreasonable pricing does act as a deterrent even for interested folks to take this up.  Are they trying to position themselves as the elitist group by making the fees unreachable for a common man?

    Let me talk about a few pricing here to paint the reality better:  PMI membership is $129 and PMP certification test fee is $405 or $555 depending on whether you want to be a member or not, and PMI-ACP test fee is $495 for non-members.  AXELOS charges $195 and #345 for their Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner test respectively, and IASSC and ASQ charge $395 and $538 for non-members respectively for their Black belt exams.  This is just the test fees and the training is extra.

    Where the per capita income of many countries are either less than or equal or little over these costs, it is frightening to see what thought process these governing bodies have. Let us say in the case of India where the Gross domestic product per capita (nominal) is $1582 to $1617 (as given by UN, World Bank or IMF) and for China is $7617 to $7990, and the countries like Vietnam and Philippines somewhere in between, this is a serious concern as half of the knowledge industry seems to be from these countries.    As you can infer, the certification costs is a significant part of the per capital income in these countries, if not more – what are these bodies thinking?

    And the pre-requirements are more stringent as well for a few of these (like ASQ and PMI) which is reasonable but they also have to understand that it is difficult to get projects done vetted by their manager as people in Asian countries tend to move a lot between companies and it is rare to get hold of the earlier managers they had worked for, unless they have stayed in touch personally.   Added to this the validity of some these certificates are only for a few years after which there is a mandatory renewal process to maintain your certification.  There must be a better way out here.

   On the good side, I also see a handful of these associations(like BCS) having different pricing depending on which country  you belong to, although it may sound unfair to the higher paying countries, I believe this is a much needed step in the right direction.

   So, I guess if the certification bodies are really serious about welcoming a qualified global workforce to take on these tests as part of their personal continual learning initiative, it time they look at the fee structure, the pre-requirements and validity of most of these test, without diluting the intent or the value of these certifications.

Why are the Japanese not getting a handle on Indian consumers?

Toshiba and Sharp of late are closing down part of their units in India and trying to find other vendors who can take over the assets.  Sony sold their PC business a while ago. Also they seem to have problems of their own in overstating their accounts globally. They seem to have lots of inventory lying around that they need to dispose.

      Be it TVs or mobile phones or other consumer appliances, the Japanese have found it hard to understand and play well in the Indian consumer appliances market which may be the second largest market for them in the world today.  It is going to be Numero #1 because of its youth that are rising up the ranks and would dictate the demography over the next two to three decades.  So, it is not the right time to pack up your bags and leave.

     Japanese products would always be revered for their quality but given these times where quality is a given or a not-much-of-a-care (if the shelf life of the item is small like cell phones), not much can they leverage this value in the Indian subcontinent.   Let along their Hondas or Toyotas, they are struggling everywhere in the Indian B2C space.  

     Here are a few reasons that they are not able to make any dent in India:

  • Lack of proper electronic presence – unlike a LG who has displayed all their specifications that includes prices on their website and have their own website over and above the normal distribution channel, I do not see many of the Japanese companies having their digital presence.  As an example, let me take the case of air conditioners- no pricing details are available, no proper and complete comparison data is available between their own models, and no completeness in their specification.  The MRP should be mentioned clearly and the websites must include both Made in India products and imported goods.   And to make matters worse, they do not seem to be pushing their products through the Flipkarts and Amazons in all cities and towns.  They should also be able to sell online directly to the consumers.
  • Lack of physical presence too – not too many chain outlets carry Japanese products.  Either the discounts and commissions do not work out for them or the products are not fast moving for the outlets to store them , both of which can be easily fixed by being on par with what other manufacturers do.  Actually since most of the Japanese firms want to get a foothold first, they need to do better in both these fronts to have the outlets be able to have a smaller shelf life for their products.  One would notice that the outlets would try to sell a LG or a Samsung even if you tell them you are looking for something else.  Their concept of Solutions Plazas do not seem to work – I happen to go to couple of air conditioner’s Solutions Plaza and they do not even seem to have proper display units on any of their products.
  • Lack of transparency –first, as I mentioned, is pricing – the prices of the consumer products are not advertised on their website.  Second, no mention of a point of direct contact for either sales or support which is important to ask a query or lodge a complaint.  Why are they trying to hide from the consumers?  Many sales queries must be directly handled by the manufacturers and they must assist the potential buyers with the right outlets to go buy their products.  Third, most of the dealers mentioned in their website, are not email friendly – even if any query is sent, no reply comes back.   Overwhelming the consumers with more information is better than not sharing most of the important details.  And in the management side, which I have personal experienced,  the Indian managers working for Japanese companies feel that they do not have any say in significant matters, and none of the top decisions are taken by accommodating them in the loop.   Being open and honest to both consumers and employees is essential.
  • Perception of higher quality can only get you so much – gone are those days Sony had a Trinitron that was regarded the best in class when it comes to Video.   Now if you look at Samsung LED TV, they are truly world class and best in the industry.   The challenge is for the Japanese to deliver superior products at the price points dictated by the market. Japanese cell phones in India do not seem to be renowned for their quality unfortunately.  If the quality is what gives them respect, having some superior proactive servicing capabilities DIRECTLY is what would make things better – if they are outsourcing this service, they must ensure that the parts are available at an affordable price and the quality of technicians are superior and well trained.
  • Not going with global standards – SONY’s biggest mistake was to use their own standards, either physical or electronic and trying to go at it alone without shepherding the global players with it.  Remember Memory sticks and Beta Max?  Once they understand the world is going in a different direction than theirs, it is important to deliver on those standards with reliable products.
  • Pricing it properly– one of the 4Ps of Marketing taught at any management school is PRICING.  For a consumer market like India, majority being middle class who are very price conscious, pricing their products ON PAR with other competitors is critical.  Quality is not going to get you a higher price, because most of the products today are use and throw and no repair or service work takes place.  There is a life time for every product after which most of them gets replaced and not repaired.  For example in cell phones, other than APPLE who have a price advantage because of the  eco systems they built and grew, others compete  on PRICE – I see no Japanese players  in the cell phone market other than Panasonic.  In any product, try not to price yourself out of the market.  Indians want to get what is available in Japan at the Indian price.
  • India is NOT a dumping ground – the strategy that I see Japanese using is to dump their older models into India and keep the fast moving newer models only in certain other markets.  This is totally unacceptable and unethical as one can be surprised as to how much wealth certain Indians have.  I take another example of a refrigerant R22 used in air conditioners which has been either banned or being phased off in other countries, due to its ozone depleting nature, but I see most of the air conditioners from Japan still trying to use the same.   If they are truly conscious of both the market and community, they must take an active role and lead from the front. 
  • Local Leadership and better management – Indian manager are more used to USA and European style of functioning where you feel empowered and decisions moves faster.  But in all Japanese companies in India, I do see only a Japanese expat at the top. Decisions are painfully slow due to the consultative group culture that they practice in Japan and it looks like most of the Indian inputs are not taken into consideration. Outside of Japan, they need to start operating their local subsidiaries differently.   Speak Latin while in Rome.   Being more visible among employees and end consumers would be helpful for a profitable journey.
  • Make in India with high quality – I see lots of assembly and integration work happening, but not everything needed for an appliance gets manufactured in India. They need to have a long term vision and will to make it big in India, and have processes that are identical to their worldwide factories and must be able to export Made in India products to other countries as well. This way we can be assured as well that the price of parts are cheaper and are available for the lifetime of a consumer product.

      It is easier to run away but it is tougher and more challenging to stay put and find your way through the market.  If your cost and hence your price comes down, if you have a good direct sales and service presence, if you are able to be more transparent to both consumers and employees, if you empower the Indian management and allow them to make some decisions, if you are able to change your direction on the drop of a coin, if you have a higher presence both physically and electronically, if you offer India the latest and the best technology, then there would be no fear of failure.   Do your homework properly before entering or expanding in India.   By walking away, do not leave the old Indian customers high and dry.

This article was written in 2014