Category Archives: Training

Dr. Siva Ayyadurai at SCAD Institute of Technology

Dr Siva Ayyadurai

If there is no innovation then we can be sure of a revolution, said Dr. Siva Ayyadurai during his interaction at SCAD Institute of Technology, near here at Palladam. Innovation occurs when you break rules and think out of the box. He also appealed to young people to take responsibility for their future than look for jobs. India had a bright future ahead with over 600 million people under 25 years of age.

He further added that India needs more engineers and they need to focus on solving the problems which affect the Indian people rather than work for the companies that help the foreign economy.

In his interaction with the students he recalled the story of a 14 year old at an unknown Newark City Hospital, where he was treated an equal and was able to create an Email system for a medical hospital. It was an interesting take from the man himself as he took the students through how the inbox and the outbox was actually the real literal things they had in the snail mail era.

He urged the students to keep in touch world and keep abreast of what’s happening in the world.

He also spoke on the need for students to be socially aware since he felt Innovation can only be achieved with equality and it was an important factor which helped him achieve that when he was just 14. There was a need to create an environment where we can create jobs, create industry and make it happen for the country.

He also stressed the importance of being healthy and that would be helping them think better. He spoke about Siddha one of his interests close to heart. He explained the advent of medicine when it was forced during wars.

On his future plans he said he was working a health system model which aims to cuts the time taken to create new molecules for medicines. He was also planning to put up the medical knowledge of Siddha online for the world to use it effectively.

On a question on privacy and he said it was for the people of the respective country to decide and that would be a democratic decision on whether the governments can track emails.

He also said there needs to be an innovative environment in the institutions to help foster new learning and create new solutions locally.

Senthilkumar Rajappan

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The Habit of Winning by Prakash Iyer – book review

The Habit of Winning


There is a beautiful saying which is quite often related to Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Your greatness lies in your simplicity.’ Probably this best sums up the way the author Prakash Iyer presents his wonderful book ‘The Habit of Winning.’

India is a land traditionally bound by story telling right from the Ramayana days. We are fond of stories and never ever get tired listening to it and reading them galore, but the foot note of those stories and learning’s are lost, but in here the author makes for an excellent story teller laced with simplicity, one on one narration and takes you to the place of happening and makes you revisit them in front of your eyes. Every story is based on real life situations of managers, of corporate heads, of sports persons from different parts of the world. Talking of sports, it automatically serves to draw a parallel of what life is all about.

We are taken through some of the best stories which will lift your spirits, make you come out of your slumber and more so get your act together. The best part all the heroes in the book are close to you and me and we know them by their name except a few.

The author narrates the stories personally to the reader and that makes it the best reading experience. As I found you need not be reading through from page 1 to the end, but even if you open any page you are bound to find the flow of wisdom, his care for his reader intact at every paragraph, every sentence and most important part of this book is it doesn’t make you rush. You take your time to read and digest it in your own pace. You will love it that way because there are moments you can easily look back and relate. Something like having ‘a to do’ list.

The stories bring to life the traits of some of the accomplished leaders, known for their conviction, self-belief, perseverance and many other positives to make you take that first step to achieve what you thought was impossible. There are stories of Sachin to Sidhu to Micheal Phelps, all great in their own right and we would discover what it took them to be the great people are those traits of small measure in their own way making it happen for them. It would find us the most elusive success.

There is one story of the Goal Keeper during a penalty shoot out. Though it has been found scientifically that a goal keeper would do better without diving in either direction, he is compelled to ‘do the diving’ to fulfill what is called as ‘atleast he tried’ syndrome. A pointer that we also take some things in life just to fulfill the societal obligations; may be we need a rethink.

Some stories relate to change in strategy and some relate to a full overhaul, we need to think over before we practice them and should be read in relevant context of personal life and corporate career.

The most adorable part of these stories is that its works across the ladder in a corporate and across age group in a family there’s a story for everyone.  Possibly it’s never too late to start even now.

Lot of instances from everyday life and especially those from sports are a delightful read and inspire the mind and fills you with a positive spirit as much as flying a kite.

I would have liked a to do list in the end of the book so that for those of us who think they need a bit of direction, or may be the author thought it fit to make the reader take the initiative.

In a way a nice read and its doesn’t sound like an advice and that’s one aspect every reader will easily like it. One thing comes out fair and square, there is no substitute to hard work and couple that with sheer positives, what you get is a sheer winner and as the adage goes ‘Winning is a habit and unfortunately failure too is.’

Life – It’s a mind game to be won, even before you are on the field, and sometimes the worst situations are the best platform to showcase yourself, believe in yourself and break the mental barrier as a sprinter Roger did crossing a mile under the 4 min mark, while the whole world thought it was impossible to do it.

Once the mental barrier is broken, the body gives in way a little easily, otherwise it would be very tough even to take the first step. Quite often we get carried by mental convictions even before we have tried or sometimes you just don’t have the last minute of patience after all the hard work that we put it in.

There are also some advices in a practical outlook like don’t ever try to befriend a scorpion lest it should sting, no fault here on the scorpion because it’s its character to do exactly that.

This book would make for a nice gift to anyone who you care about and a really a special way to say you really care and this book fits it exactly. A very nice little offering and as they say good things comes in small packages!

R Senthilkumar

PS: Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to review a nice book as I start this voyage of discovery of reading and writing reviews!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

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A day to remember, one day at Navjyoti…

Getting in touch with Sunny is a delight after a long time. I have never ever thought I would be in Delhi sometime of my life. But life is one play and we are all actors.

Coming home to the point, this Sunday I was at Maharaja Agrasen College in Rohini Sec 22. A long trip on the Delhi metro and then on the RTV chugging along to reach me near the bus station and then reaching the wonderful campus. I liked the architectural style which is one of the hall mark of any institution which is world class. Having been to some of the most prestigious institutions I think the architectural design in a sense creates an aura for the students studying there.

Banners and posters welcomed people shouting aloud about the event… Navjyothi Community College, welcomes you, Seminar on career counseling, NCC welcomes Dr. Kiran Bediji, all hand made and one could see the passion and interest it had generated in it.

I called Sunny and then joined in the hall while he was busy giving finishing touches to speaker profiles. The hall was all buzzing with chatter among those kids and some volunteers getting them to streamline them.

Few minutes later the Chairman of the college Dr. Garg arrived and took to the stage and the event started off formally with an announcement that Dr. Kiran Bediji is on her way and expected anytime.

It was left to two young people to manage the show. One was Nisha and another Mubarak the master of ceremonies in English and Hindi. When Nisha addressed the crowd as ‘Guys’ in English, I felt a strong similarity in the way I usually addressed my students earlier. Guys for me meant they had to be ready for the class.

So it had begun well with them announcing what’s in store for them that day.

Ms. Neetu took the stage and started the discussion and put questions on what the day is all about. As the question were fielded and answers generated by the time the students got warmed up, Kiran Mam as she was lovingly called arrived.

For me to see an icon I had always looked upto was a dream come true. It was a historical person I was meeting. Someone who broke the shackles of being the first Woman IPS officer in the independent India. Means so much to the people who should have brought her up and the society as a whole. And the Tihar experiment as I would name it was next to Experiment with truth for me. We haven’t seen Gandhiji in flesh and blood so it is always a part of history, but then here is a person who has challenged the norms or so called norms and lent it a stamp of distinction in making prison a reformative place which the law makers initially visualized. It was bonus to hear her talk how she did that and what actually led her to do what she does always the best way.

Clad in Pyjama kurta and her signature hair style, she looked so down to earth, so motherly and so much compassionate about her presence. Exchanging pleasantries with the people and finally to the stage, Kiran Mam had arrived for all of us. Looking at her from close quarters, I always had wanted to listen to her when she was in Coimbatore but unfortunately it had never happened or I get to know the next day from the Hindu second page that she was at GRD answering a volley of questions.

So the programme had the traditional lighting of the lamp, and when it was getting lit a little slowly, in a sense of humour unmatched, Kiran Bedi said its Navjyoti and it takes time. A crackle of laughter filled the hall. Then it was again the students. There were students who took to the stage for the first time n their life to speak English till then an alien and sophisticated language for them.

One student started well and then the inevitable happened she forgot, a scene that reminded me of my first ever recitation competition way back in sixth standard and what follows is the crying. Never the less these kids were competing not against anybody but against themselves which is breaking the barriers of self, that which is built around them by the places of living and so many other social factors. I think that by reaching out to the stage they had made appoint break that self imposed exile and that they can do it. The first step has been made and now the journey for sure will continue.

It showed the innocence and sometimes the right they could have over their very own Kiran Mam. I did feel these kids were lucky to be around someone like Dr.Kiran Bedi at this age which I believe will be a positive pointer in their lifetime. Going forward, this impression of being a part of the initiative of Dr. Kiran Bedi is going to stick on to them in all parts of the life that is the biggest outcome for the initiative called NCC.

Some more on stage made it happen with how it had transformed life and gave them new found confidence in the way they looked at life and one even hinted that they were not missing the college to their regular counterparts in the city. Almost all said they were happy at the place of learning. Quite a compliment to the people who run the institution and also the faculty who have imparting them not just the syllabi but the way to live and take life. Lot of people who spoke reflected the enthusiasm that they are infected with the movement called Navjyoti. Well they did end their speech with I am Navjyoti which underlines a greater impact of being a part of a revolution none the less.

Some snippets of the speeches included ‘try try try again but not cry cry cry’… this when Nisha the girl who forgot her speech was crying. Some message that. One more was Dr. Kiran Bedi she is a flower and a star forever…

There was an inspirational video with achievements of some of the sporting heroes and how they had to push in everyday in their life to get to that achievement. Carl Lewis for example won 4 gold at the Olympics not just a fluke it meant every day practice for how long years only he knew. Those medals are results of those untiring efforts made day in and day out. Some of my favorites found place including Carl Lewis, Bubka, Schumacher and Pele.

The next speech was by the chief guest was an inspirational one when I also got to know who Maharaj Agrasen was. That it was a 5000 year old legacy was a great surprise, and more than that he was keen to touch on the cultural heritage of the country in terms of secularism and other things he brought to the discussion was a worthy one. He went on to add he was willing to give the campus free for any activity like this and also announced a scholarship for the meritorious needy students during the course of his speech which was very kind and generous of him.

He also reminded students to bring glory to their home, village, city and country starting with home. A very touching way for an academician who was also a political figure before he took the plunge to education and charity. May the likes of Dr. Garg’ tribe increase.

The next was Kiran Bedi Mam herself, personally I was waiting to see and hear and feel the voice. And I wasn’t disappointed when she started off thanking the students and especially so because if not for them this would not have happened. He went on to relate how she does things with minimum resources at disposal and stretch it to the max. It had happened at all levels in her lifetime. Be as a student, studying to the max, playing to the max, be the IPS officer do to the max with the minimum resources and of course the life changing aspect at the Tihar jail to do the max with the minimum.

She went on to give what she called the gurumantra of her life ‘be Samajdhar’ only those who have been that were successful. She was once that samajdhar student, a samajdhar daughter, a samajdhar police officer and the list goes on. She also underlined the importance of reading and studying, rather updating, reflecting how she had continued herself after being an IPS officer went on to do a LLB, then a MA then a PhD and then second PhD and then of course decided to write her book. So the same habit continues till day, reading atleast 4 hours a day. She quoted from the Inspirational video which was shown little earlier on having to practice everyday.

She urged the students to continue studying whatever opportunity presented them and how NCC was willing to make it affordable so that they can make it happen in the life. Updating them would be the real power they can have for themselves.

The students too promised to take home the promise of being samajdhar and implement it wherever possible.
As she finished we had a guest who had accompanied Kiran Bedi Mam, one Mrs Nirupama who was introduced to the crowd by Bedi Mam as a representative of India in Tennis, in her days and was an Asian Champion.

She narrated an incident from their timeline when she had defeated Kiran Mam the first year in the quarter finals. But the next year it was different and it was in Calcutta. That day she was humbly taught a lesson as she said that Kiran was indeed the samjadhar as she just had told students. Luckily that day the other Kiran (the sun) was less bright and saved her day. But she had learnt her lesson.

She also had a moment of awe for all of us when she narrated how Kiran Bediji’s mom used to comfort her daughter and also massage her legs when she’s taking rest. I was left wondering how many children get that kind of parents or how many kids deserve it the other way. It was a touching moment very literally when people later told her that every one was almost moist in their eyes.

With that the formal ceremony was over, and ofcourse in between was the felicitation of the speakers who had taken time off their Sunday and a well deserved token of appreciation with the book ‘I Dare!’ signed by Dr. Kiran Bedi and ofcourse a Thulasi Plant was given. I wanted to know the significance of presenting the Thulasi Plant though I do know that it’s a sacred plant of the Hindu tradition and so dearly loved by Lord Krishna himself.

I also had the opportunity to listen the speakers and Dr. Kiran Mam at the conference hall, wherein people were able to contribute to the way the things can shape up at NCC. Lot of nice ideas and more on how IGNOU was helping the certification etc…

Kiran Mam acknowledges the fact that the team of three people in Navjyoti – were in fact making it happen on their own devising plans and executing them. Call them the three musketeers – taking the mission and vision of the organization forward.

So as the discussion wound up and the speakers waited for the sessions, it was my moment to be introduced to Kiran Mam. Sunny introduced me as a Volunteer from Chyk, and from Coimbatore.

She asked me how I came to know of the days’ events. I told her Sunny had invited me, and as we walked I told her I was well aware of her GRD visits and she said she was going again may be next month.

So it was a dream comes true when I had first spoken to Sunny about meeting Kiran Bedi mam. Also had felt Sunny and the folks were lucky to be a part of such a project.

After Kiran Mam had left, I was back at the places where sessions were going along with Sunny. Some classes had already started and I went to listen to the Hair dressing and beauty, for someone who had thought about this it was a revelation as a career as I was listening to Mr. Rajiv.

One thing I noted was time had gone by me not knowing how fast it had gone by. There are some times when you enjoy doing thing or enjoy some thing time does fly past you by and you won’t know and the same happened.

It was John Milton in his on his blindness who said those also serve that wait and stand, may be I can consider myself like the one to start with.

Thanks Sunny for a wonderful Sunday… there’s so much sun and its rays there – Dr. Kiran Bedi… and literally it has been ray of hope for so many people and Wishing a great success to all that the rays touch on.


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Finished a book Zapp! the lightning of empowerment – an old book by William C Byham and Jeff Cox. Absolutely interesting read and a great illustrative piece I should say on the way to empower employees in an organisation.

A great narrative style made it such an easy read and we could easily find the analogies to our day to day working conditions. A must read for people who are looking to empower their people – employees and make the organisation a great one.

It does have a cover tag – How to improve quality, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

You will enjoy it for sure…

R Senthilkumar

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A day of new found confidence

I was at Kongu Arts & Science College, for a 2-day training session for the students of the dept of mathematics. The sessions went off very well except that we would have had better opportunity if we had more time.

This was just a starter for them and we were able to interact better on the second day. A new found confidence for them and I made my debut in the vernacular language yesterday and today. I was OK in Tamil not bad considering the fact that I have not been a Tamil speaker any moment of my life. I owe this vernacular transformation to a known audience to one of our eminent trainers Mr. Nasser from JCI. A big thank you sir. Hopefully I would love to master this language as a speaker.

On getting to basics and having a understated tone and a natural accent, I think the feedback from Ameet Sir has had an impact. Big Thanks to Ameet Sir too.

I think I will be able to spend time with students from now on without any language barrier which was a problem earlier with respect to Tamil.

Good experience in all.

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The WADA post did create a bit of discussion and you can see it here.

Here is a piece on CV and the pitfalls we make. The headline Common CV bloopers you should avoid, makes a nice read.

In one of my teaching assignment on Resume Writing I had asked the students to come with an original resume they have so that we can work during the class. It so happened that everybody started copying from one another and I found a male students’ Sex being female. Well he forgot to change that before he took the printout, as you can see he had copied quite a bit from his friends laptop.

In another workshop we had at an institution for MBAs I could easily identify a set of resume as Hostellers and Day scholars no mark for guessing all had the same formatting…:)


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Motivation Programme on 91.9 FM

Today, it was a wonderful feeling when I was live on air at 91.9 FM Gyanvani from GRD College Studios. The programme was between 5.15 pm and 6.15 pm.

Mr. Paulraj, the programme host made me really comfortable and we shared at length on how students can make headway in their making themselves confident and communicable.

Hopefully I shall host the podcast of the show asap.


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Recession is in the mind!!!

Well that’s the only headline I could think of after having listened to two luminaries on HR. One Mr. MV Vasudevan, VP HR, Parry Roca and Mr. Sam Chander, VP HR, Henkel India.

The event was a HR Meet, courtesy School of Management, Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore with BusinessLine in toe as the Media Partner.

The theme was if you guessed it – Role of HR professionals during the meltdown phase.

Both the speakers took us on an unusually delightful journey ironical to the fact that word recession is all about being long faced and grim looking scenario.

Mr. MV Vasudevan took us on a journey on how the recession was a mindset, though there might be course correction which is happening otherwise there are recruitment’s and vacancies happening.

He had a great message for the HR professionals in the crowd, to learn the business of the company they were working for. That meant leaving the comfort zone for harsh realities in the market place. He quoted the example of his company wherein the HR people were directly in touch with the shop floor and the marketing wing to see how they were faring as a company. He put it in a wonderful way when he said the door to the board room was through the shop floor.

He had a thought provoking style to start with a “0″ or a circle drawn on the board, and wanted the audience to tell him what is there on the wall. Many answers after he said, it could be zero but its pretty simple if you could sense it as the first letter of the word OPPORTUNITY.

Then a break later, it was Mr Sam Chander, who took us through a cool and humorous look at the grim reality. Ofcourse we needed a thorough look and he provided that with both the positives and the negatives of what he termed as the 3G, notwithstanding BSNL’s 3G offering, it was as I found out for confirmation the “Great Global Gloom”.

One thing he sure took a dig with HR professionals was the “Indian Airlines Smile” which lacked the warmth but had to be an action….

With global pressures getting really high and more people being laid of, there was enough that HR professionals could do to make a successful organisation.

We were really convinced that these recessionary outlook is a made up mirror which we want to hold it so we can easily convince ourselves that things are really bad. But again we cannot easily write off the course correction too which is a part of the bargain which we eventually failed to read in good times.

Thanks to the School of Management and the institution which makes it a purpose to see things differently and it pulls out some real magic for those involved. Kudos !!!

R Senthilkumar

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So whats so great about extracurriculars…

I chanced on this blog when I was searching for something on HR. This put new light on how the people make their time worthwhile even when they are not working. Check it out here.

I have always been an extra curricular guy so it struck me that it had a lot to do with what I am doing right now.

I still remember some questions I had for my first formal interview, well it was for a copywritersome 12 years back, so it should have been that may be.

What was your favorite book, favorite author?

How often do you take a walk to the nearest library?

How often do you refer a Dictionary? and when was the last time you did?

What does the word ‘tangible’ mean? Honestly I didnt know the answer. I had the guts to arrive for an interview for a copywriter!
and the list goes on…

I have taken a cue from this and when time was on my side.. I have asked some question on team work and sportsmanship. This I believe has to be a real trait we need to recognise and nurture.

Some questions I have are:

Ever been a sportman?

Favorite sport and favorite player?

Any incident to show that you were a team player could be the most trivial things we think of?

How have you led your team in the hour of crisis?

How many times have you taken responsibility for something which went wrong?

Hobbies?? or and any physical activities ?

And it goes….

Well it is a matter of the individual to present it in a perspective to achieve what we are trying to see and appreciate.

Nevertheless these provide an insight into the person and how he relives the occasion with pride or just bluffing it, the body language would show.

So extracurriculars actually take you on road to making you little extra professional in your own right.

R Senthilkumar

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