Art for the Home and Hearth, Business Line, Oct 2013

This article, published in the Home & Style supplement of The Hindu Business Line, talks about how art is making its way into more homes, including those in middle-class and salaried families. The focus is on the change in people’s attitude towards art, and a growing inclination towards spending more on different forms of art. Interviews with an art collector, a gallery owner, and the owner of a boutique that sells home decor items, are woven in. Also, a box story provides tips for the first-time collector on how to select/ buy art pieces.

Janaki Hrishikesh, a Chennai resident, still remembers the first painting she brought. “It was a scene of Krishna’s rasaleela. We had just bought a house and were looking to decorate it. The painting practically drew us to it,” she says.

Back then, in 1997, she paid Rs 1,500 for the piece, which measures 12” by 36”. Over the years, she has decorated her home with varied forms of art — from paintings and murals to masks, applique and embroidered works.

Until a couple of decades back, art was considered the forte of the rich, especially those who lived in big houses with ample space to display their collections. The scene has changed considerably — now, even middle-class, salaried families are keen to invest in art. Moreover, spending has increased as well. Janaki says she spends up to Rs 10,000 for a painting, and up to Rs 2,000 on a craft item such as a mask if it is exceptional. She adds that she is willing to put down even Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh for pieces made of marble or wood

(The article continues – read it in full at the Business Line website: Art for the Home and Hearth)

(Box story: Tips for the novice collector)

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In The Driver’s Seat, Business Line, May 2013

An article on Hyundai’s CSR initiatives, notably their ‘driving school’ which trains school dropouts from rural areas to become full-fledged drivers – free of cost. The company also runs a programme that trains young girls from rural areas to become nursing assistants. These initiatives have helped provide youngsters from backward economic circumstances with a chance to move forward in life. Some of the graduates from the driving school have become entrepreneurs, while some of the girls who became nursing assistants are now thinking of studying to become full-fledged nurses. The article was published in (The Hindu) Business Line in the Weekend Life section on May 2, 2013.

They are all like crude oil when they come in, and we have to do the refining and extract the petrol!” says K. Sridar, in charge of corporate social responsibility at Hyundai’s car manufacturing facility at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, waving at the 20 boys seated before him. Some of the boys smile, probably at the mention of ‘petrol’, but their faces register curiosity at my presence in their ‘school’.

The classroom wall is lined by charts containing road symbols and driving instructions; a mock traffic light stands next to the blackboard.

Most of the boys are high school dropouts from the neighbouring villages. Unable to land a decent job and told off by their family for being idle, they enrolled in this 45-day course fully paid for by Hyundai.

(The article continues – read it in full at the Business Line website: In The Driver’s Seat)

Agenda 75, Business Line, Nov 2012

An article on India@75, based on an interview with Bhairavi Jani, Executive Director of India@75. Bhairavi, who took a five-year break from her corporate role talks about what holds India back, and where we should focus to get our country on the development track. The article was published in (The Hindu) Business Line in the Weekend Life section.

Bhairavi Jani believes the biggest stumbling block towards development is not lack of resources or skills – it is lack of belief. “The first thing we as Indians need to do is believe in ourselves. We deserve to live in world class cities. Why should we say ‘chalta hai’? Just enough should not be good enough. And that mindset is the biggest roadblock.”

She is not complaining – merely stating facts. Her comment is underlined by her experience as Executive Director of India@75, an initiative started and spearheaded by the late management guru C.K. Prahalad.

(The article continues – read it in full at the Business Line website: Agenda 75)

Entrepreneur Insights series, The Business Times, Singapore (May – Aug 2007)

From May to August 2007, I helped to research and write a series of articles on selected business topics for the Entrepreneur Insights series – a series of articles on management related topics slanted towards the needs of entrepreneurs. The series was jointly published by INSEAD, Credit Suisse and The Business Times (Singapore). The content was based on research conducted by INSEAD InnovAsia, a former research unit within the INSEAD Business School in Asia, and research by INSEAD academic staff.

The articles are listed by chronology below with a brief synopsis of the content covered in each:

Translating Growth Abroad focussed on the growing trend on part of Asian entrepreneurs to internationalize their business. The decision to move overseas was not limited to IT or technology-oriented businesses alone, but was one embraced by players in all fields ranging from F&B to private education. Using examples of Singaporean companies, the article touched on the reasons behind the decision to move a company’s presence abroad, the challenges faced, strategies that could ease the transition and points that need to be kept in mind while planning the move.
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