Last Build Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2006 19:35:39 GMTCopyright: NOINDEX
Wed, 06 Sep 2006 19:35:39 GMTHappy Onam to All!Here is an interesting true life tale of an inspired individual that you may or may not have read. Hopefully, Sharatbabu will become an example to others thereby helping shape a better tomorrow for India.The inspiring rags-to-riches tale of SarathbabuShobha WarrierAugust 31, 2006Original Rediff Article Sarathbabu When 27-year old Sarathbabu graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, he created quite a stir by refusing a job that offered him a huge salary. He preferred to start his own enterprise -- Foodking Catering Service -- in Ahmedabad.He was inspired by his mother who once sold idlis on the pavements of Chennai, to educate him and his siblings. It was a dream come true, when Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy lit the traditional lamp and inaugurated Sarathbabu's enterprise.Sarathbabu was in Chennai, his hometown, a few days ago, to explore the possibility of starting a Foodking unit in the city and also to distribute the Ullas Trust Scholarships instituted by the IT firm Polaris to 2,000 poor students in corporation schools.In this interview with rediff.com, Sarathbabu describes his rise from a Chennai slum to his journey to the nation's premier management institute to becoming a successful entrepreneur. This is his story, in his own words.Childhood in a slumI was born and brought up in a slum in Madipakkam in Chennai. I have two elder sisters and two younger brothers and my mother was the sole breadwinner of the family. It was really tough for her to bring up five kids on her meagre salary. As she had studied till the tenth standard, she got a job under the mid-day meal scheme of the Tamil Nadu government in a school at a salary of Rs 30 a month. She made just one rupee a day for six people.So, she sold idlis in the mornings. She would then work for the mid-day meal at the school during daytime. In the evenings, she taught at the adult education programme of the Indian government. She, thus, did three different jobs to bring us up and educate us. Although she didn't say explicitly that we should study well, we knew she was struggling hard to send us to school. I was determined that her hard work should not go in vain.I was a topper throughout my school days. In the mornings, we went out to sell idlis because people in slums did not come out of their homes to buy idlis. For kids living in a slum, idlis for breakfast is something very special. My mother was not aware of institutions like the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, or the Indian Institutes of Technology. She only wanted to educate us so that we got a good job. I didn't know what I wanted to do at that time because in my friend-circle, nobody talked about higher education or preparing for the IIT-JEE.When you constantly worry about the next square meal, you do not dream of becoming a doctor or an engineer. The only thing that was on my mind was to get a good job because my mother was struggling a lot. I got very good marks in the 10th standard exam. It was the most critical moment of my life. Till the 10th, there was no special fee but for the 11th and the 12th, the fees were Rs 2,000-3,000.I did book-binding work during the summer vacation and accumulated money for my school fees. When I got plenty of work, I employed 20 other children and all of us did the work together. That was my first real job as an entrepreneur. Once I saw the opportunity, I continued with the work.Life at BITS, PilaniSarathbabau. Photograph: Sreeram SelvarajA classmate of mine told me about BITS, Pilani. He was confident that I would get admission, as I was the topper. He also told me that on completion (of studies at Pilani), I will definitely get a job. When I got the admission, I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was excited that for the first time I was going out of Chennai, but there was also a sense of uncertainty. The fees alone were around Rs 28,000, and I had to get around Rs 42,000. It was huge, huge money for us. And there was no one to help us. Just my mother and sisters. One of my sisters -- they were all marrie[...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2005 00:56:12 GMTIf you always believe what you see then do you believe this ?
Sat, 22 Oct 2005 22:20:00 GMTThe Special Column below appeared in Reddiff India Abroad on October 21, 2005.How M S Oberoi became India's greatest hotelierM S Oberoi | October 21, 2005I was researching India's Industrialists when I met Mohan Singh Oberoi (1900-2002) for the first time. It was 1982, he was no longer a young man. Courtly as always, he offered to make my job easier.He would write a note on himself, which I could use as background material. The note arrived a week later and lay among my notes for the next twenty years.As the managing editor of The Smart Manager, it gives me immense pleasure to publish this short autobiography as a tribute to India's greatest hotelier.The Oberoi Group, founded in 1934, owns and manages thirty hotels and five luxury cruisers across six countries under the 'Oberoi' & 'Trident' brands. The activities of the Group include airline catering, management of restaurants and airport bars, travel and tour services, car rental, project management and corporate air charters.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- M.S. Oberoi M S OberoiI was born on August 15, 1900 in a small village, Bhaun in district Jhelum, which now forms a part of Pakistan. The story of my life has been, in many ways, a dramatic one -- full of difficulties and hardships, in earlier days and later a spectacular rise to the position I now hold.But this was not achieved without incessant toil and a daily fight against tremendous odds. Yet it was a challenge to prove myself. When I look back to those days, as I sometimes do, in moments of leisure, I am thankful that I was able to accept this challenge and make good.These reflections also make me feel humble for I realise it was with God's help that I achieved what the world calls 'success.'My father, Shri A S Oberoi was a contractor in Peshawar, who died when I was only six months old. The family consisted of my mother and myself. My earlier days were spent in the little village of my birth. I began my education at the village school. Later, I was sent to the nearby town of Rawalpindi and enrolled in the DAV school from where I matriculated.After this I went to Lahore to join college and passed my Intermediate Examination. My studies were cut short as our already meagre finances began to dwindle. This was a moment of anxiety in my life as I realised that my qualifications would not get me a job.However, at the suggestion of a friend, I went to Amritsar, stayed with him and took a course in shorthand and typing.There was still no job for me on the horizon and I decided to get back to my village, where it would be easier to live than in a big city. There followed a point of waiting and frustration. My uncle helped me to get a job in the Lahore Shoe Factory. My work was to supervise the manufacture and sale of shoes.For a while, things looked brighter but the star of ill luck was still in the ascendant and soon the factory was closed down for lack of finances and I was compelled to return to my village.In India the importance attached to marriage is beyond all reason. Here I was penniless, jobless and almost friendless, but in spite of these very real disadvantages, my marriage was arranged with the daughter of Shri Ushnak Rai, who belonged to my village. I think my bright looks may have influenced my father-in-law.I like to think that in spite of other shortcomings I was a smart lad and he probably assessed that I would make good. The days immediately following my marriage were spent with my in-laws in Sargodha.On my return to Bhaun, a virulent plague epidemic had broken out. My mother told me that since I could not do any-thing to help in such a situation, I should go back to Sargodha and not risk my life.Plague, in those days was a terrible killer and people naturally dreaded an epidemic, which often wiped out villages. Sadly, I left full of apprehension about my future.In this mood of depression, I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper for the post of[...]
Thu, 18 Aug 2005 19:48:09 GMTThe other night while watching a re-rerun of an old "The Tonight Show", Jay Leno made this remark.
Thu, 14 Jul 2005 22:30:27 GMTNYT Op-Ed Contributor A Passage From India by SUKETU MEHTAPublished: July 12, 2005ACCORDING to a confidential memorandum, I.B.M. is cutting 13,000 jobs in the United States and in Europe and creating 14,000 jobs in India. From 2000 to 2015, an estimated three million American jobs will have been outsourced; one in 10 technology jobs will leave these shores by the end of this year. Stories like these have aroused a primal fear in the Western public: that they might soon need to line up outside the Indian Embassy for work visas and their children will have to learn Hindi.Just as my parents had to line up outside the American consulate in Bombay, and my sisters and I had to learn English. My father came to America in 1977 not for its political freedoms or its way of life, but for the hope of a better economic future for his children. My grandfathers on both sides left rural Gujarat in northwestern India to find work: one to Calcutta, which was even more remote in those days than New York is from Bombay now; and the other to Nairobi. Mobility, we have always known, is survival. Now I face the possibility that my children, when they grow up, will find their jobs outsourced to the very country their grandfather left to pursue economic opportunity.The outsourcing debate seems to have mutated into a contest between the country of my birth and the country of my nationality. Of course I feel a loyalty to America: it gave my parents a new life and my sons were born here. I have a vested interest in seeing America prosper. But I am here because the country of my ancestors didn't understand the changing world; it couldn't change its technology and its philosophy and its notions of social mobility fast enough to fight off the European colonists, who won not so much with the might of advanced weaponry as with the clear logical philosophy of the Enlightenment. Their systems of thinking conquered our own. So, since independence, Indians have had to learn; we have had to slog for long hours in the classroom while the children of other countries went out to play.When I moved to Queens, in New York City, at the age of 14, I found myself, for the first time in my life, considered good at math. In Bombay, math was my worst subject, and I regularly found my place near the bottom of the class rankings in that rigorous subject. But in my American school, so low were their standards that I was - to my parents' disbelief - near the top of the class. It was the same in English and, unexpectedly, in American history, for my school in Bombay included a detailed study of the American Revolution. My American school curriculum had, of course, almost nothing on the subcontinent's freedom struggle. I was mercilessly bullied during the 1979-80 hostage crisis, because my classmates couldn't tell the difference between Iran and India. If I were now to move with my family to India, my children - who go to one of the best private schools in New York - would have to take remedial math and science courses to get into a good school in Bombay.Of course, India's no wonderland. It might soon have the world's biggest middle class, but it also has the world's largest underclass. A quarter of its one billion people live below the poverty line, 40 percent are illiterate, and the child malnutrition rate exceeds that of sub-Saharan Africa. There's a huge difference between the backwater state of Bihar and the boomtown of Bangalore. Those Indians who went to the United States, though, have done remarkably well: Indians make up one of the richest ethnic groups in this country. During the technology boom of the late 1990's, Indians were responsible for 10 percent of all the start-ups in Silicon Valley. And in this year's national spelling bee, the top four contestants were of South Asian origin.There is a perverse hypocrisy about the whole jobs debate, especially in Europe. The colonial powers invaded countries like India and China, pillaged them of their treasures [...]
Sun, 05 Jun 2005 04:41:03 GMTToday went to Trader Joe's and while picking up my usual Indian Chappati's, curries, milk and snacks I saw this curious yellow "lemon-like" fruit kept for tasting. A notice nearby said "Skin can be eaten too". So I took one and popped it into my mouth and wow -- I fell instantly in love with the fruit. Picked up a pack lying nearby and found out that they are called Kumquats and were grown in California The skin is very sweet while the flesh inside is tangy tasting like a lemon-orange mix.
Wed, 18 May 2005 20:01:52 GMT(image) A photo-op with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan & Sons --- perks of being on the organizing committee !!!
Thu, 12 May 2005 21:27:53 GMTWas wondering if anybody had any insights into what is the history of the Nambiar sect or sub-caste. According to who or what I read, Nambiars are claimed as Nairs who were given a title to differentiate between higher and lower groups of Nairs (not my claim just what I read).
Tue, 26 Apr 2005 07:00:18 GMTThis is the story of Siddharth - a 24 year-old with cerebral palsy who has overcome great barriers in his young life so far.
Fri, 15 Apr 2005 21:58:31 GMTYup that is the title of the retrospective on Bacchan at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. New York Times has this article on Amitabh Bacchan.
Fri, 15 Apr 2005 15:58:22 GMT
A couple of weeks back Pramod (Serendipity) and I decided to set up a Wiki on Vedic Mathematics -- a common interest we had briefly pursued during high school. A search on google for Vedic Mathematics does bring out a large number of links with several containing interesting facts. We would like to have a common place where all these nuggets of information can be collected and Wikipedia is a excellent place where a distributed effort can be mounted to have such a collection.
Pramod (the more enthusiastic among us) had set up an initial page on his website http://www.pramod.ch/maths and the plan is to migrate to a Wiki when enough info/more contributors join.
For the uninitiated, check out Vedic Maths Academy that is selling books and giving courses on Vedic Maths. Read the tutorial on their website to see some interesting techniques in Vedic Maths. However, our intent is to set up a publicly accessible and freely available library of Vedic Math information.
Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:55:06 GMTIn response to my Vishu Aashamsakal and more to my description of Vishu as a "Harvest Festival", an anonymous commenter left the comment that -- Vishu is New Year and he/she was wondering why/how Chingam Onnu i.e. Onam became New Year.
Wed, 13 Apr 2005 15:18:44 GMTI am not sure whether Vishu is celebrated with the same passion all across Kerala or it is more a Northern Kerala affair. Of course, other regions in India also do have the harvest festival at this time. Ugadi for one (which I know clearly and closely) was last week. I remember "Bihu" is celebrated in Orissa (lazy to cross-check) and "Baisaakhi" in Punjab.
Mon, 07 Mar 2005 22:50:00 GMTTimes of India is giving a complete electronic version of the daily editions published from several large cities. The economic times is also having a e-edition.
Thu, 03 Mar 2005 20:40:18 GMTHappened to visit the website of Akshaya.
Tue, 01 Mar 2005 04:10:17 GMT(image)
Wed, 16 Feb 2005 23:59:15 GMTI have been trying out wines for some time. Invariably we tend to end up drinking the layman's wine Arbour Mist -- a winey drink more to speak. Beringer Zinfandels are what we go to if we dont wanna be drinking wine juice !!
Tue, 08 Feb 2005 21:28:36 GMTI should add that Google Maps is as good as Mapquest.
Tue, 08 Feb 2005 21:12:10 GMTIn direct competition to the mapping/direction providing service from Yahoo and Mapquest, Google has come out with Google Maps.
Tue, 25 Jan 2005 23:41:01 GMT"Common Man" R K Laxman is being conferred the Padma Vibhushan. Truly the award and the awardee deserve each other. It is good to see that even with all the politics that goes into getting such awards -- it does work at times.
Mon, 24 Jan 2005 22:36:52 GMTThe article Cry, my beloved India in rediff really caught my attention. He has tried to show that Hinduism as a religion is losing out - which I believe is not the case - as Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life -- which almost everyone in India be it Christians or Sikhs follow to a large extent. (I have not had much interaction with Muslims during my 2 decade plus stay in India so cant tell).
Fri, 21 Jan 2005 21:10:20 GMTThe winter break is over and am back at work. Well I was part working while at San Diego during December but the whole of last week was spent in soaking up the sea and rain at the beautiful island of Maui, Hawai. The tropical environment - with remarkable similarities to India in general and Kerala in particular was so refreshing. It was like transporting all the material comforts of a US - cars, highways, infrastructure to Kerala for a week.
Fri, 31 Dec 2004 15:57:43 GMTPraying for a Peaceful, Healthy and Happy 2005
Fri, 31 Dec 2004 15:56:38 GMT2004 for all the hype - shaped out to be a tormenting year in the end. 2004 has been good to me. I became a Ph.D candidate, in total spent 4 months in India, visited Paris, Lakshmi got her job, all near and dear ones are healthier.
Thu, 30 Dec 2004 21:44:58 GMTToday morning got an e-mail from some young lady at ASU who wanted to "co-ordinate" Tsunami relief for all Indian associations in the valley. I find it increasingly annoying that people (mostly FOB - Indians) try to find avenues to project/test their management skills at the unwanted of times.