Alto ventos est coeptis utque fecit. Phoebe sine circumfuso arce. Tanto aliis. Matutinis cornua origo formaeque animal mundo. Chaos: fabricator. Natura mundo caesa addidit. Cuncta habendum meis omni ille formaeque emicuit septemque et. Lege fecit aethere porrexerat gentes horrifer formas.

Alto ventos est coeptis utque fecit. Phoebe sine circumfuso arce. Tanto aliis. Matutinis cornua origo formaeque animal mundo. Chaos: fabricator. Natura mundo caesa addidit. Cuncta habendum meis omni ille formaeque emicuit septemque et. Lege fecit aethere porrexerat gentes horrifer formas.

Alto ventos est coeptis utque fecit. Phoebe sine circumfuso arce. Tanto aliis. Matutinis cornua origo formaeque animal mundo. Chaos: fabricator. Natura mundo caesa addidit. Cuncta habendum meis omni ille formaeque emicuit septemque et. Lege fecit aethere porrexerat gentes horrifer formas.

Tests In Time Can Save Your Life


If you are 35 or above, look out for symptoms and get blood tests done to avert a health crisis

WE’RELIVING INTIMES where ev­ery week, I hear of at least one sudden death under the age of 40 in the corporate sector. It’s usually an undiagnosed heart risk factor, like hypertension or stress aggravated by less sleep, bad eating habits and obesity. However, this can all be avoided. In fact, diagnosing an emerging health crisis is easier done than assumed.

If you’re above 30, follow the signs listed below — they all indicate accelerated ageing due to internal inflammation, which are triggers for lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, unexplained pains etc.

  1. Premature greying (even if it’s genetic; it can be delayed with good nutrition)
  2. Overall slim but small paunch
  3. Being overweight
  4. Forgetfulness
  5. Brittle nails
  6. Tiredness and fatigue even after eight hours of sleep/rest
  7. Irritability/short temper that’s un­characteristic (a big indicator)
  8. Skin eruptions
  9. Frequent indigestion
  10. Frequent constipation
  11. Development of asthma, allergies without any earlier history
  12. Persistent mouth ulcers
  13. Persistent dental problems
  14. Stress and crankiness
  15. Discoloured/ pigmented skin
  16. Hair fall
  17. Sudden blurred vision
  18. Skin/eye twitches If you have five or more of the above symptoms, you’re ageing really fast, looking older than you are and maybe prone to lifestyle diseases. Ignoring it means that it will only be diagnosed once you get the

disease, and then you will no longer be able to prevent it. Instead, you will first need emergency care; then manage­ment of the disease. In rare cases (read some of my patients’ journeys in the last part of the book), people with grit and courage reverse these diseases and live medication-free.

But the first step is diagnosis. A 40-year-old friend was scared to get a check-up done because he was so sure there would be something wrong with him as he was (and still is) overweight and loves his whisky. This ostrich-in-the-sand attitude can only take you only so far if you’re lucky. A small warning sign via a symptom or a blood test is much bet­ter than you collapsing dead and your family wishing you could have seen the kids grow up if only you’d done some preventive check-ups. So, if you’re 35 or above, working in urban India, you need to get a check-up now.

Listed below are essential blood tests (some are not avail­able in the “executive health” packages of many labs, so do a comparison checklist). Get these done. Most reports indicate out-of-range markers. If you have any, take your report to your doctor, and get the right advice soon, before it’s too late.

specs offered at just Rs 12,999. CHECKOUT

Well, of course it’s a good looking phone. Everything from Xiaomi so far has been. The Mi 4i is probably like a lot of other phones in­cluding the iPhone 5C with which it also shares a single piece form factor with no openable back panel and no memory card slot. It’s smooth polycarbonate, rather egg-shell-like and clean. In fact, Xiaomi demonstrates how you can mark it with a perma marker and still clean it up. Fingerprints, etc., then obviously aren’t a problem. You can pick up a large number of back and smart flip cases for this phone to get some added colour —though the available colours are really irresist­ible other than being made ofvery good material.

Xiaomi has chosen a nice size for the Mi 4i. It’s got a 5 -inch display and it’s in that not-too-big and not- too-small zone. You can definitely use it one-hand­ed and holding the phone is very comfortable because it’s got rounded edges. The screen is very pleasant to use. The brightness can go down low as well as high and it adapts to sunlight.

On top of the newest version of Android, the Mi 4i has its own interface, MiUi 6. Many users like Xiaomi phones for the in­terface, which is also actu­ally available as launchers for other Android phones. MiUi is a clean and mini- malistic interface with bells and whistles added
at your choice. It’s got no app drawer and you’ll find apps on your home screens. Themes and icon packs etc., are a big thing with MiUi. Once you set up your Mi account you can pick up different looks for your phone. Theme collections are updated often with some centring around festivals and other events. The interface has lots of features not found elsewhere easily. For one, you get a menu when you’re on a call which includes a call record abil­ity. And it works quite well too. Going through the settings, you’ll find lots of other features that are particular to a Mi phone. There are also a sprin­kling of annoyances such as the swipe to unlock, which called for a specific movement. Also the bat­tery is disappointing.

The Mi 4i cameras are 13 and 5MPs and quite good with low light conditions, ideal for fun photography. The camera app is filled with options including self beautification for use with the front camera. The sound on this phone isn’t great and the speaker at the back tends to get muffled if you put the phone down.

I also encountered a problem with the sound on phone calls and had the review unit replaced. The second was just fine.

For those who are impa­tient with flash sales, units will be available eventually in stores. EQ

^ rria]a.bharg(iva@gmail.coin



Masterchef India judge Chef Ranveer Brar believes food is about feeling and connect as he digs into Marathi food at Aaswad By Smita Tripathi Photograph by Umesh Goswami


a small restaurant right opposite the Shiv Sena head­quarters in Dadar, Mum­bai, the first thing that strikes me is the long queue of hungry Mumbaikars waiting outside for a table. “Ifyou serve good, honest food, people will come back for more,” says Ranveer Brar, host of various TV shows such as Snack At­tack and The Great Indian Rasoi on Zee TV and judge on Masterchef India. It’s on his recommendation that we are dining at Aaswad, a restaurant that he loves for its traditional Marathi cuisine and homely flan on epateela of quissas (pot full of stories),” he laughs. Brar volunteered to work for free at a small eatery serving mouth- watering kebabs .“Iusedto trick the cook-owner, to divulge his recipes and methodology. If you asked him directly, he never said anything.

But if you said, how come your kebabs are tastier than the other fellows, he would glow with pride and tell you,” Brar reminisces fondly. It was there, while doing odd jobs such as dry­ing coal, grinding spices or ‘stirring nihari in his sleep’ that Brar learnt his biggest lesson — there is more to food than just tingling your taste buds. It is about con­
necting with people.

And that’s just how I feel as the waiter serves me a plate of pola usal, with great pride. It is the typical food of the Maratha Kshatriya community, he explains. I bite into the dosa-looking rice cheela (pola) and take a spoonful of usal (made of beans and black peas). It’s delicious.

I smile appreciatively and he beams at me. I immedi­ately feel the connect — his Marathi pride and my taste buds are on the same plane.

Brar’s first job was with the Taj group. He set up the newly renovated restau­rants at Fort Aguada, Goa. “Goa gave me a chance to develop a style of my own,”
says the IIHM Lucknow alumnus. His experience in Goa came in handy when he was hired by Radisson Blu, Noida. As the execu­tive chef he set up four res­taurants, including Made in India, which reflected his Luckijawi roots.

In 2005 Brar joined The Claridges, New Delhi. Seville, the Spanish restau­rant set up in place of the erstwhile Corbett, was one of Brar’s great success sto­ries. As he tells me all about it, we are served thalipith, a crisp multi-grain chapatti. Two dollops of white butter enticingly melt over the hot chapatti. “It’s popular in Ratnagiri, Raigarh and the Malwan area. In the arid areas of Maharashtra where due to water short­age rice is not grown, they use various multi-grains such as jowar, bajra etc,” explains Brar as I lick but­ter off my fingers.

Next we try amba dal.

It’s seasonal and I’m just in time to try it, informs my waiter. Amba dal is made of raw mango, chana dal and aambe halad, a particular kind of raw turmeric that smells like mango and is available only towards the end of winters. It’s cooked particularly during the month of Chai- tra (generally March-April as per the Hindu calendar) when Marathis celebrate New Year. While it is a standalone dish, during New Year celebrations it is generally served with kairy panhe — a drink made of raw mango and jaggery.

Brar spent six years in Boston running several Indian restaurants before returning to India, and
joining Novotel, in Juhu, Mumbai. While he was there, TV happened. “When you see food in different forms and how different people connect to it, you evolve as a chef. And your evolution reflects in the wayyou cook. That’s what food travel and TV has done for me,” says Brar as he asks me to try the rice bhakri, a chapatti made of rice. Rice powder is cooked with boiling water and then kneaded and made into chapattis. “This has been my big learning from this place, howto make good chawalki roti. See, I’m still evolving and learn­ing,” he smiles.

Hat Kerala feeds To Learn

‘he state is called God’s Own Country, but it can do with tips on how to retain its populace and attract long-term capital

AST WEEK MY COLLEAGUE, Siddharth and I landed in Kochi’s Nedumbaserry airport on our wayto atown called Valapad. Believe ifyou will, but it was for a client meeting. The only thing in that town was the client. Not unlike Bentonville and Walmart.

I’ve been travelling to Kerala since I was a toddler and I had never heard of the place. We land at 9-15 and we have an 11 am session with the CMD and all those who directly report to him. We can’t be late. Sid asks very confidently at the prepaid counter for a car to Valapad, just to check for familiarity. He isn’t sure from the transaction, so he asks whether the driver knows Valapad? “Ohh, yes, yes. Driver knows very well,” came the answer, without skipping a beat. Then he asks if he would know the client’s office. “Ohh, yes yes… very well.” So we were on our way.

We get into the car. Sid is still not very convinced, so he asks the driver in his inimitable style, “How long does it take to Valapad?” Anywhere between three and four hours, we are told. (We know it’s not more than 90 minutes.)

Finally it turns out that Sid had to navigate him all the way to Valapad on his GPS and keephimona tight leash — with my broken Malayalam — within the boundaries of safe and legal driving.

The incident from that morning left us definitely irritated but got us to introspect as well. We were chatting on the way back and concluded that it must have been socialism at work. What did it take to shift us to adriverwho knew Valapad? No, that wouldn’t work. That driver had to book that fare. Damn whether he knew the place, or even to drive.

So, I have forever wondered, for an Indian state that boasts some of the world’s best social and human indicators, why Kerala has remained an economic laggard. Why has it not attracted serious capital since Independence? It has always produced some seriously talented folk. Why did they all leave? Why has it been unable to create jobs to provide its very bright and educated young people?

Maybe we need to look beyond the social and human in­
dices. I’ve said this before and I will say it again for good measure: Kerala may be God’s Own Country but when the Creator wants to chill, he probably goes to Goa. I wonder whether He would consider, “His own country” to put in long-term capital?

God’s Own Country was a clever reference to the land­scape. It is breathtaking and it was indeed God’s gift.

I wonder what instructions God gave to the people run­ning “His country”. Did He tell them that customers do matter? That engagement is a key element in building an economy? That chemistry is important to people who bring in long-term capital to the state?

I keep hearing from the locals about how the state pro­vides people who are intelligent, highly-skilled and of high integrity. I cannot disagree from experience. But these are only ‘hygiene’ factors to creating an attractive economic ecosystem.

Bangalore became the Mecca of the job-seeker and the international investor in the 90s. This was not only because ofits climate, but also because it had a welcoming, hospitable core and an engaging style. I still carry fond memories of how RTO officials put me at ease when I first went there in October 1991.1 was pleasantly surprised and grateful that an Indian city held out hope for the future.

It wasn’t as though Karnataka had economically evolved to the level where it could afford to be less socialistic. It was still finding its feet. Bangalore was the new kid on the block. It didn’t stop them from offering engagement and empathy.

I think God’s Own Country can do with a few neigh­bourly tips. What say? ED

TheauthorispresidentandCKO, EQUiTOR Value Advisor

READY, YET RELUCTANT There are deep seated beliefs about the staying power of women that make senior managers wonder, “Is this a dependable asset?”


Despite commitment


women’s careers, these initiatives are at best described as slow if not stalled. This is evident in the discussions at Morro Vulcan Steel (MVS), and in their desper­ate hunt for ‘board ready’ women.

Clearly, it is not just an issue of gender diversity. While many organisations have had management commitment to women’s development programmes, results unfortunately do not reflect adequate numbers at senior to top man­agement levels. On Chairman Morro’s insistence MVS had done its bit too, however, as Gauri points out, social conditioning via gender roles (alluding to the ‘hot phulka) keeps the talent pipeline leaky. Additionally, there are deep seated beliefs in organisations about the staying power of women that make senior managers wonder, “Is this a dependable asset?” thereby surfacing the reality that organisations are indeed reflections of the societies they are embedded in.

Again, it is not about just providing women friendly infrastructure and poli­cies. Shirish throws up an interesting perspective – that of self-limiting be­haviours of women where she presents herself first in a relation to someone else, and only next as a professional. I tend to agree here, for women do want to per­form all their different roles well. Most often, conflicts within arise when their sub-identities of being a wife, a mother,
a daughter, and a career woman operate simultaneously clamouring for her time and attention. Organisational policy makers must take cognizance of this: by giving her latitude to choose her place of work, her work timings, andher ramp- off time so that she can orchestrate her myriad role playing to satisfaction. And yet, seamlessly integrate her aspirations into mainstream career paths so that she does not have to trade one role for the other. This is well articulated by Shirish when he says, “… allow our women to grow in the direction of their choice, give them opportunities to grow into strong individuals”.

What ensues in the all-women meet­ing is another reality: board member­ships are in actuality buddy clubs where favours are traded by men to join each other’s boards. Women are outsiders, aren’t they? Men get mentors and coaches far easily than women do, and while ethics and governance are central elements of board roles, it is the camara­derie that counts. These positions are fraught with danger (Do women want to go to jail?), and the buddy club members have each other’s back. That is why the fewwomen on boards are entrusted with CSR initiatives. Will women be happy with just that or want to be on bo­ards where they can influence decisions?

On the other hand, do women think of board positions as a necessity? Un­fortunately many do not. As seen in the discussion, women tend to reject any­thing that has no personal meaning for them or that which is likely to upset their delicate work-life balance such as need
for long hours to surmount the learning curve as board member of an unfamiliar industry. It is true that bystanders can­not change the system; hence, women must accept board positions as a logical sequence in their career trajectory. If not, initiatives to get women on boards will reduce to merely meeting a reserva­tion target. This is not healthy, for the true need to get women on boards is to take advantage of the diverse perspec­tive they can bring to board delibera­tions, different approaches to problem solving, and risk management. While this is indeed the diversity argument, the positive correlation found between boards with women and economic out­comes of companies compels action.

Nevertheless, the issue remains – there are not enough board ready wom­en. Fewer exist in executive manage­ment, and even fewer are able to make the transition from management to governance. Two questions then arise:

Is there a lack of investment in women by organisations? And, what do women need to do to get board-ready portfolios?

Women must consciously design their careers by reaching out to mentors, evaluate relevance of their contributions and develop a honed awareness of all aspects ofbusiness and its governance. This will work best when women make efforts early on in their careers ably sup­plemented by organisational initiatives that can make them board-ready. ED

WAGTHEDOG BY ITS TAIL Expectations, responsibilities and capability of resources should be revisited at regular intervals


Successful people


push their team to suc­ceed. They thrive on build­ing positive relationships. Unsuccessful people just fret, blame and complain. This is a case of three human dysfunctionalities prevalent in different measure across the globe in all spheres of life:

  1. T versus You’, and never “we together’
  2. ‘I want control, but don’t question me on results’

3.1 want change, but I don’t want to change

The above three lead people to waste their energies in analysing why things cannot be done rather than how to get the best possible result from the given circumstances with the given resources. Problem

Andre appears to have carried forward his insecurities of his previous job into his new role. These insecurities were making him see the devil in everything – Kloop’s planning, their decision to out­source distribution, Belani’s lala style of work culture and even his English. An­dre found it difficult to adjust to the fact that in the new setup, the distributor was not under him as was the case in his previous organisation. His apparent sulking exposed his vulnerability to his bosses and refrained him from commu­nicating with his ‘partner’ Belani.

Belani is a successful entrepreneur, in his own right. Having enough experi­ence of dealing with different compa­nies, he would have sensed the hostility
of Andre towards him. His team would have given him the feeler that Andre is critical about Belani’s way of working and is bypassing him by dealing directly with his team. To this, Belani reacted byignoring Andre. But by doing so, he ignored Kloop and therefore his own business.


  1. Was Andre the best choice for head­ing the India operations? To be fair to Andre, his core strength was sales and distribution. He had been groomed in his career in MNCs to create the best distribution network. It was natural for him to find gaps in Belani’s system.

If Kloop was clear that Belani will be handling sales and distribution, they should have recruited somebody with more diverse strengths to complement that of Belani’s.

  1. Had Kloop and Bawa created the right expectations for both Belani and Andre? It is very important to properly induct a new country manager especial­ly for a start-up business. Expectations, responsibilities, defined boundaries and availability and capability of resources, should be revisited at regular intervals.
  2. India is a vast, diverse and complex market. First year’s performance should never lead to a ‘Continue or Exit’ deci­sion which Haney was pushing for. Such pressure can lead to detrimental deci­sion in the long run.
  3. Normally the team which initially gets involved in the formulation of strategic tie ups (JV, acquisition, merger or even appointment of an all India distribu­tor) moves out once the tie up is done.


And a new operational team takes over. In such cases, people like Belani feel unsettled because the bonhomie he had created with the first team doesn’t automatically get extended to the new team, and he has to restart afresh in building new relationships. With Bawa sitting abroad, it didn’t help Belani’s cause. It is therefore desirable to have one senior resource (mentor?) from the original team to be around for the first few months to a year. This resource would have tackled the conflict which arose between Belani who was heading an established organisation and Andre who was setting up a new organisation for the first time. He could have played the right balancing role.


Raghuveer realised that more than six months had passed but there was no progress made. He realised that the solution providers were themselves the issue. And unless Belani and Andre communicate directly and work togeth­er, the problem will never be resolved. He had to wag the dogs by their tails. And that’s what he did, he used their insecurities (shutting the business) as a tool to initiate direct communication. Luckily it worked and hopefully Kloop will do well in India.

Whatever happens, happens for the good. It is for us to keep the good alive. ED

The writer is Director, tntrim Business Associates. He has 27 years ofworkexperience of which he has been working as a corporate consultantforthe iast 7 years. Heisalsoastartupandturnaroundspecialistand actively participates as a life coach and mentor