KPR's Blog


My Memoirs at Federal Bank – Part II

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on June 11, 2019

Tumultuous seventies, in a spree of socio-political reforms Indira Gandhi was toying with the idea of nationalising private Banks. Fear of take over seized the Federal Bank too. Our MD made a pre-emptive strike by confirming all trainees as clerks. On January 1970 I became a permanent staff on the payrolls of Federalbank. My monthly salary was around Rs.200/. It was a lot more huge a sum than now. For a comfortable sustenance covering boarding and lodging , Rs.100/ was enough in those days in Trivandrum. I still had another 100 for personal indulgences. My salad days! Federalbank was expanding its network base at incredible succession. Not a week passed without a branch being opened somewhere in the State. A branch was opening at Poochakkal too – 3/4 kilometres from my home at Thycattusserry. Obviously I was one of the first to be counted for the branch. The prospect did not attract me. The image of a bank  clerk- that too a scheduled Private Bank- would not fit into the expectations of our village folk about me. My father commanding a status and respect of an upper middle class family his son was destined to occupy a position above the clerk in social reckoning in those days. Banking job has appreciated phenomenally since then and today a banking job is a dream job for even professionally and academically brilliant youth. Hence I requested our MD to reconsider my posting to Poochakkal. But the MD in his characteristic persuasive tone asked me to clear away my misconceptions and get ready for the new assignment. I was going to be posted there as what would appear to be the second in command. I would be able to play a much bigger and responsible role than anywhere else as a clerk. He assured my father who was sceptical from the very beginning, that he won’t have to regret long, for his son would be senior manager not long before and that bigger prospects awaited him. He made it a point to invite my father as a dignitary at the inaugural function of the Poochakkal branch.

MD’s words were prophetic. They were not mere propitiatory promises made to please a father who was not impressed with his son’s banking job. My term at Poochakkal opened for me a field of experience that involved me at the entire gamut of banking from seed to fruit. Poochakkal was a typical rural Bank. It was to be the trusted financial institution of a whole village community for all their needs. The style of functioning was more personalised than institutionalised. Each customer wanted to feel that it was his Bank and a personal warmth underlay all dealings. The manager Joseph Maveli himself a native forged links with customers appropriate to their standing and worth. During those formative months at Poochakkal I became unconsciously morphed in to a banker. I had been customised as a full fledged banking professional by the time I was promoted and posted at Alleppy as Accountant.

 

 

My memoirs at Federal Bank – Part I

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on June 5, 2019

What you turnout to be after the age of 25 will be decided by the three or four things you do or don’t do in the closing years of your teenage. My academic performance at SMSJ High school and Sacred Heart College, Thevara would suggest that I was heading to a top professional destination in Medicine. The BSc (special) Zoology – supposedly equivalent of BSc (Honours) – was deemed to be a corridor to a profession in Medicine. ( My best friend and companion in the college Sashi retired few years back from AIIMS as a Professor of Medicine.) But time  condemned it as an utterly ill-conceived educational experiment that sacrificed a whole generation of promising adults. I was fated to be one. After BSc I joined the Trivandrum Law college in 1969, not with any compulsive ambitions in judiciary. I was just joining a course that would not block or disqualify me to take up some decent job in future. Options for a law graduate were as open as any other baccalaureate. Any degree was a threshold for any job in the sixties and in the seventies with the exception of engineering and medical profession. I took the plunge and moved to Trivandrum .in. The year was 1969. When in doubt play the trump – as elders would advise at card play. Similarly ‘ if you can’t decide what is best for you , move to Trivandrum.’ The city will decide what’s best for you and groom you for the same. I had no apprehensions, nor my family had any. There was Kuruppuchettan ( PNS Kurup of Local funds) who used to be the acknowledged patron for all who migrated to Trivandrum from our village.The grandear of the capital city,the incessant regularity of cultural events , theatres, visits of dignitaries, the homeliness of the circle of friends, the evening walk from Palayam to East fort that would cover all that  was to be seen and known in the city in those days….Life fell in to settled routine.

I had not gone far in to Law before I chanced upon an advertisement by Federal Bank inviting graduates for graduate trainees in the Bank. I was not too eager to take up a banking job, nor was I too desperate to divorce Law. It was a casual decision to try my luck with the Bank. During the interview MD of the Federal Bank gave me two options- either to join Bank immediately as a trainee and seek promotion as officer after 2 to 3 years or to proceed with law degree and join the Bank as an officer on completion. I opted for immediate recruitment bracing to face destiny as it came on its own terms. I was posted as a graduate trainee at the Palayam branch of the Bank. At the prime age of 21 I became an employee of the Bank and joined the inmates of Cochin lodge where my patron PNS was staying along with his friends.

GENLITE is All India No.1

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on May 21, 2019

The FY19 saw stagnant growth for most of the industries all over the world due to economic recession. It was bad year for genset industry also. However, FY19 was a landmark year  for Genlite as they could achieve 13% growth in number of gensets sold and in the process reached No.1 position among all GOEMS in Koel domestic genset sales. As against the sales of 5170 numbers made in FY18, Genlite achieved a sales figure of 5841 in FY 19 which was the highest sales figure by any GOEMs for sales in India. It is also noteworthy to mention that Genlite could increase Higher HP genset sales thereby increased gross value sales by 15 %. In the sales of Higher HP gensets Genlite could register 24% growth. I consider the following factors as the Genlite’s strength for reaching the no.1 position.

  1. Sales team of time tested professionals catering to the needs and expectations of customers.
  2. Strong Goodwill backed up with Growing customer base.
  3. Dedicated Dealer Network spread over four states.
  4. Rapport with KOEL nurtured over last four decades based on convergence of interests and common goals.

We keep our Goodwill unimpaired and well fortified against all odds and treacherous undercurrents in this highly competitive market scenario. Our motto is building trust and a lifetime bond with our customers.

SMILE

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on February 19, 2019

Many leaders fail to win the situations.

Life can get rocky some times; unplanned detours can waylay even the best laid plans. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and misery of our world. Something simple as smile can change the world and win the situation. There is a saying;

“Use your smile to change the world; do not let the world change your smile.”

Charlie Chaplin once said, ‘you will find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile. ‘But, true smile will come only if you are humble. For this you should expel the anger, ego and jealousy from your mind permanently. If, due to anger, if you shout at anybody only dissent and discord will result.

Once my best competitor asked me ‘Tell me KPR, how to make you angry since I cannot fight with you when you keep smiling.’

Smiling leads to happiness which in turn, creates a positive contribution to society. And happiness, studies show, increases your productivity.

Smiling stimulates our brains reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well regarded pleasure inducer, cannot match. Mother Teresa told: ‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. ‘

It is told that Monalisa became one of the most famous paintings of all time possibly because of her unique smile.

Bless those around you today, with your smile.

 

 

Trembling incidents

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on January 1, 2019

First such incident happened when I was in my teenage. In my village we used to have pond where we used to take bath. The pond used to have stone steps and bathing shelter for privacy. It was peak monsoon time. I went for bath with my eldest and youngest brothers. Eldest brother was taking care of us as the pond was in spate due to heavy rains. I took a swim for a few yards and the youngest was guided to swim a little by my eldest brother. Once I finished I came to the upper step and was changing my dress after drying my body. The youngest one was sitting on one step above water waiting for my eldest to come and wipe his wet hair. He was short and was only 7 or 8 years old. As I was on my job I saw the young one was under water and his two arms were only above water level. He wanted to move to one lower step to stand in water but slipped to lower level and was sinking. On seeing this I rushed to him quickly and lifted him out of water. Even though he drank some water he was out of danger. The eldest brother was swimming to the middle of the pond and was not seeing this. This was a shivering experience in my life.

Another jittery incident occurred when I was in my first year degree in SH College, Kochi. My father came to Kochi to visit his doctor. He wanted me to join him at the clinic. After the work was over we went for some refreshments in the coffee house. Then I accompanied him to the bus stop. The buses were crowded and he had to run along to board the bus.  As the bus started before he could get hold of the rod above, in the impact he started falling backwards almost out of the bus through the open door of the bus. On seeing this I ran fast along, stepped on to the foot board, got inside the bus and held my father. All the passengers sighed in relief since it averted a tragedy. I could not sleep that day as this incident shook me.

 

Solitude

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on November 22, 2018

 

In the advancing years of life, people long for solitude. In solitude their mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself. Solitude is refreshment for their souls and creativity’s best friend. People of advanced age normally likes to keep low profile. This may be due to the bone of contention with younger generation. At this stage solitude will be a bliss. It is the joy of being alone and empowering.

I love solitude.

In my present age when I am partially getting off from work , the few hours of freedom I get  ( solitude ) gives me opportunity to introspect. In solitude I can talk to my soul and listen to my heart. Mostly, I find the answers.

I am sure that meeting and chatting with my old friends definitely gives me refreshment. But due to the exigencies of today’s life it is difficult to achieve this. The digital platform definitely helps me to chat thru media and helps me to some extent . In solitude, I am able to bring to my mind and visualise those days I spent with my friends . It is relaxing and helping to bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety etc.

Attitude

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on November 10, 2018

ATTITUDE

I recollect a Panchathantra story I read years back.

A merchant who was doing lending business in his town wanted to go for pilgrimage . He asked his son to manage the business in his absence. He asked his son to see the past records for necessary guidance. But, the young son was a conceited person who thought he knew better than his father. He thought he would use his wisdom to do better business to prove his mettle. In the first week of his business a small vendor came to him for a loan for his small business. As he was a pavement vendor and was not having any security to offer other than his personal assurance the young merchant refused to loan him. The vendor told him that his dad used to give him money as and when required. He also added that he was prompt in repayment. But the young Banker was not convinced and returned the vendor disappointed. This happened with other small traders as well. The young merchant approached big clients like jewellers, textile showrooms etc offering loans. One diamond merchant opposite to his shop asked for a large amount. The Banker was happy to lend him money even without any security as he was having a large shop. After few years the old merchant came back and took over the business. On verification of the accounts he found that large amount was receivable and repayments were in defaults. He has also noticed that the son has advanced to unreliable people. After assessing the position as a whole the old merchant called his son and told that he did not heed to his advice and financed to bad clients. He told that the small  vendor used to repay the loan promptly . The jewellery merchant was not reliable and was a defaulter in the market. He added that a trader used to become creditworthy  by paying promptly to his creditors. He told that the small vendor who was refused loan was always prompt and was having an attitude to repay his debts on time and was dependable.

The young person learned from his mistake.

The Transformation

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on September 5, 2018

I fondly remember and cherish the pubescent days of my life in the native village. That was around  50 to 60 years back. Life was more enjoyable and delightful compared to todays. Digital inventions or artificial intelligence were not heard of on those days. Even though telephones and electricity were not available people were happily living together. People were in general empathetic towards fellow citizens. They used to help each other. I have seen the following features on those lives compared to today’s nuclear families.

People used to do odd jobs freely for their needy neighbours   like painting, changing of thatch palms, cleaning of the ponds/ wells Etc. Houses were kept open during day time for neighbours to frequent. Even the walkways to other parts  used to pass through various houses. Well water used to be pure and sweet like mineral water. Ponds used to be there in most houses which were kept clean for bathing. Children used to swim in the ponds. Fruits and vegetables were totally free from pesticides as those were grown organically in house yards. People used to gather together in the evenings to chat. Children used to play in the play grounds or temple grounds. Most of the people used to be busy in their farm works or trades and were doing their jobs honestly. People used to walk miles to go to neighbouring places. This has kept most of the people healthy. All the festivals were celebrated jointly by all. Religious harmony was much better than today. While brooding over the depressing state of mind in the old age I used to remember those childhood days to delight my mind. But, today those things are foregone in my village also. Wells and ponds are rare today. The advancement of digital life has taken away all those advantages. The temple grounds are empty. The remaining few ponds or wells are not usable. Roads have come connecting all houses. The village walkways passing thru  houses are not there today. Many people do not know each other. Today, while we can make video calls to people living in other continents we do not know our neighbours. Digital advancement has made man more self-centred.

Genlite’s Performance in FY18

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on April 4, 2018

The financial year 2017 – 18 was very special for Genlite. During the second part of the year Genlite was appointed by KOEL as an additional GOEM for Telengana state mainly to augment growth in that state in addition to TN/Kerala and Pondicherry. Genlite has proved this right by performing well during the four months after their inception in that State. Genlite sold 5170 gensets in their territory during the report year as against 4583 sold in the  previous year registering 13% growth. Genlite has also registered 18% growth in value sales mainly due to increase in higher HP genset sales. While they sold 239 HHP sets in the previous year, their sales jumped to 324 HHPsets in FY 18. They could also sell 17 nos CRDI sets ( 750 KVA and above ) as against only 3 nos in FY17. It is also noteworthy to mention here that all these CRDI sales were achieved in a market dominated by Cummins for many years. Genlite could also become only the second GOEM in the country to surpass 5000 numbers. I feel this achievement , at a time when most of the GOEMs were struggling for growth , was due to the dedication and hard work  of Genlite team and their KGDs. I have to add here that the support they received from KOEL made the  work easier.  I request all  Genlite team mates to draw inspiration from this sterling performance and work for more achievements in FY19.

Welcome address by KPR on 22nd Sangamam

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on September 21, 2017

Good Evening. I welcome you all to this beautiful hill station Dharmashala , which is bathed in the glory of mother nature and Buddhist Culture. As His Holiness The Great Dalai Lama stays here , this place is also called as Little Lhasa.

This is our 22nd Sangamam. We started our Sangamam in 1993 , just on conclusion of our 10th year in business. As our Dealers Meet used to be a confluence of KOEL , GOEM and KGDs we named it ‘The Sangamam’ – like the meeting of three rivers Ganga , Yamuna and Saraswathi.  In Sangamams, we gather to spend time together, relax and rewind ourselves.

We do this almost every year and I gracefully and gratefully cherish the fact that this unity has helped us to hold the ground for the last 34 years. Each and every member of Genlite family gets a due share of the pride of this achievement. They have grown with Genlite and Genlite has grown with them. With each passing year this bond of love is binding us closer and closer. With this synergy only we are able to nurture our Goodwill for years. Our relationship with our Principals , Dealers and Customers have been built on the solid foundation of our Goodwill.

End must be justified by means. Goods must be supported by Goodwill. For over three decades we have been steady and stable like the DG sets we supplied. Hence today Genlite is not just some people in the genset market. Genset is Genlite for many people. Once our customer always our customer.

In a market economy the customer is certainly the deciding factor. While they were exclusively concerned with the quality of product or its brand till few years back , today they are asking much more from the present competitive market.

Quality of product , promptness in delivery , competitive price and effective product support – the customer wants all these today. In other words , customer is keeping all of us on our toes.

The only thing that is constant in life , is change. We all face changes every day.

When I started my career way back in 1969 , calculators were not available. We used to do summations manually. Forty – fifty years back  people mostly  used to travel  4 – 5 kilometres by walk or cycle only. But, today people travel even one kilometre by a vehicle.  Today, artificial intelligence or machine intelligence is more important than a person’s intelligence.  Like that we see several changes in our life . Only difference is that earlier changes were slow, but now it is fast.

We have to move with the changes. We should have the vision to foresee the changes expected to succeed in our life.

In 1998 , Kodak company was selling 85% of all photo paper requirements of the world. They were having an employee strength of 170000. They were one of the cash rich companies of the world. In just three years thereafter their business model disappeared due to the digital inventions and they became bankrupt . They did not know in 1998 that in just three years people would never take pictures on paper film again.

We can  expect changes in our business model also. Many European countries have stopped using diesel as their fuel. Even though this cannot happen in India immediately, according to our PM by 2030 diesel may not be in use in India also. The other day union environment  minister was advising manufacturers and consumers to think of alternate fuels.  Of course , our principal KOEL will be more concerned on this and will find solutions to this . Here I would like to quote famous Charles Darwin who told that

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent,

But the one most responsive to change.”

 

 

 

Time and again , we have been facing challenges of different types. We have countered them with strategies appropriate to each. With the patronage of KOEL , dedication of our sales force and the support of our Customers Genlite is forging ahead with sure and steady feet.

Before concluding I quote an old saying:

” Never Give up. Today is hard, Tomorrow will be worse,

But the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.

Let our synergy bring better growth and results in the coming years for all of us. At this 22nd Sangamam let us stay together for a while and once more renew our Goodwill for one another.

I welcome you all for a very happy and pleasant Sangamam.

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