Friday, December 9, 2011

Why this kolaveri kolaveri di??

You must be wondering why dr akash is referring to a great musical hit here on this health blog!!

Well I got this interesting piece of insight from a friend of mine who runs distance education programs.

The insight is true to fact and as the placement seasons for the healthcare management students are round the corner, this should help.

Do thank me for this post if you land up with a great job after reading this.

And if you don't get that job you can always sing kolaveri (translated as why this murderous look?) Or give one instead. :)

Dr. Akash S Rajpal

If you haven't already listened to "Why This Kolaveri Di", please do
so before you proceed any further:  

If you have listened to it, then you contributed to the 18 million times this tamil movie song has been viewed in the last 23 days. Why this Kolaveri Di' offers important lessons (I am serious!) for all of us preparing for upcoming interviews and career changes

1. Highlight your strengths
The word "Kolaveri" is repeated 34 times in the song. Yes, 34 times in a 4 minute song. Like the song or hate the song, but its impossible to get that word out of your head once you have watched the full song. 

At the end of a 30 minute interview, it is critical that the interviewer leaves the room with 1-2 words in his/her mind to describe you. Otherwise you will not stand out from your competition. It doesn't matter if you have topped your class, debating champ, state cricket player, national talent test winner etc etc. Unless you reiterate your 1-2 key strengths throughout the interview, you stand the risk of being washed out in a sea of words. A helpful practice is to write down a few things that you must absolutely convey during the interview. Keep that list in front of you during the interview and refer to it and make sure its done. 

2. Structure your answers
In the song, Dhanush spends the first two minutes describing the girls state of mind (kolaveri). He then spends the next 40 seconds describing the girls looks (white skinu, heart blacku). The next 1 minute is spent on describing his own state of mind (kaila/handla glassu, empty lifeu). 

Similarly, in your interviews, it is very important that you present your answers in a structured analytical manner. Don't confuse your interviewer by jumping from one topic to another. For example, the best way to answer a question such as "Why are you the best person for this job" is to say something like "I think this job needs expertise in 3 domains – a,b & c. I have expertise in 'a' because of experience 1, I have expertise in 'b' because of experience 2, I have expertise in 'c' because of experience 3. Hence I think I am qualified for this job". Your interviewer will appreciate the effort you are putting in to structure your answer and it also conveys that you have clarity of thought and are organized. 

3. Add Appeal / Tell a Story
Can anyone tell me why is Shruti Hasan (the cute girl in olive green top) in this video ? I can understand Aishwarya Dhanush in the video even though she is not singing – she wrote the song. If I had to dare a guess, Shruti Hassan is an excellent image for the "white skinu girlu whose eyes meetu with soup boys" 

If you are interviewing for a highly competitive job like the ones in finance, consulting etc, all your competitors are smart, well educated, articulate and hard-working. How are you going to stand out, so your interviewers remember you after meeting 100 other candidates – weave a story, tell them how your experiences have crafted you, why you and only you can help them conquer the world, show them a little bit of themselves in you, tell them why you think your higher purpose is their industry (it better be true, else your life will be miserable once you get the job!) 

4. Keep it Simple
Boy meets girl, boy and girls eyes lock, boy thinks girl loves him, girl barely noticed him, boy is heart-broken!! "Why this Kolaveri Di" is based on a storyline that has unfailingly powered tens of thousands of movies, TV serials, books and articles.....not to forget thousands of real life stories that draw inspiration from these works. 

Don't over-complicate your answers. Especially in industries such as finance and consulting where presentation is as important as content, it is really important that people understand what you are saying as against you saying a bunch of super-smart sounding stuff that your interviewer can't comprehend. A great way to implement this, is to start your answer with a couple of simple statements and then gradually build in complexity as you proceed with the answer. Your interviewer will stop you, if he/she has heard enough. 

In the time it has taken you to read this article "Why this Kolaveri Di" has been viewed another 300,000 times on Youtube!

Good Luck with your interviews!  
Co-founder & CEO - Online University
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PPP - Its always prudent to outsource (ref pvt labs in public hospitals-Mumbai)

This is in reference to the page 2 news of TOI today that private players are to be invited by public hospitals in Mumbai for outsourcing of labs.

Though there is always a negative speculation by the narrow minded administrators and ignorant consumer that the costs would go up for the common man, its actually otherwise.

I had outsourced many critical departments while working as administrative officer at NMMC way back in early 2000's. My initiatives were also lauded and featured by European commission's PROD india compilation of PPP initiatives in the country to replicate.
We had outsourced Imaging, housekeeping, laundry, kitchen and many more departments ultimately culminating to the most talked about 'Hiranandani Fortis NMMC' multispeciality tertiary care hospital(this project is facing certain hiccups on lines of seven hills, but should ultimately resolve as its a win win deal for both parties. Its a sincere suggestion to both not to let go this project in larger interest of both parties and the junta at large. This project just needs a little extra willfull support from either parties and will benefit both in long run)

I recently met the outsourced partner for the imaging centres and he was surprisingly pleased at the long lasting relationship with NMMC which lasted almost 5 to 7 years as per terms of contract.

I remember our equipments earlier used to fail, there was shortage of staff, training was always an issue and the patients anyways had to be referred to outside centres for imaging. Recruitment and maintainence requests always used to get lost in bureaucratic approvals and budgetary constraints.

Our negotiations with the outsourced partner not only enabled maintained equipment and optimized strength of staff, but resulted in one 5th to tenth of rates from then prevailing market rates as the volumes based incentives were built in.

I have always believed that government should never use public money on capital infrastructure and should use it on efficient monitoring mechanism for optimal outputs.

The lethargic and unavoidable red tapism and bureaucracy will always slow the process of approvals and decision making to run the systems in streamlined manner, as every one always reels under the fear of getting implicated in some corruption or favoritism charges. So the tender process, policies etc end up being so difficult that the Maintainence of equipment, recruitment of staff etc always remains an issue and leads to a failed operations.

The outsourcing is the key to success not only in labs but in every area of operations. Government needs to just tighten the administrative and monitoring mechanism and build practical policies and attractors for the outsourced partner.

If one does a study on cost of 'ownership' of self owned vs outsourced, government would be surprised to realize that a PPP costs less to the government than managing things on own.

Government should be only involved in making right far sighted policies and should entrust everything to the private players with appropriate monitoring mechanism in place.

PPP ultimately will lead to drastic reduction in corruption, and probably a reason for resistance among the babus and politicians. :)

Dr Akash S Rajpal
Founder, MD & CEO
Ekohealth Management Consultants PVT LTD, Mumbai
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kickbacks & unethical cut referral medical practice. An Anna Hazare Movement in healthcare desperately required.

Did you know that upto 50% of health costs can be reduced if patient goes to hospital directly, & not take referral from a Family Physician?

Sorry to say (and probably upsetting few of my industry colleagues), but the cut-practice is so ugly now that a majority of physicians now charge a referral fee upto 50% of patients bill from the treating hospital to refer a patient.

So what happens then?

This referral fee gets added to patients bill and rises the healthcare costs.

It is a well known fact that the EBITA's in healthcare is low. Ironically even with a huge bed deficit many hospitals and clinics struggle to attract a good productivity in the initial years. There are various reasons for that (will discuss that in detail in another blog soon). But the low productivity makes these providers desperate and succumb to cut practice.

One major reason for low productivity is that typically the patients rely a lot on the primary care physician (friendly neighborhood Doctor ) who has such an immense rapport with his patient that he is virtually a friend, mentor and guardian angel to them. So whatever this family doctor says is followed. So this family doctor now can dictate and channelize where (hospital/diagnostic center & even chemist) these patients would ultimately go!

The family physician (majority of them) have made this opportunity so ugly, that what could have been a patient friendly exercise to negotiate economical deals and quality for benefit of their loyal patients, has actually become a business to extort money from the hospitals and other healthcare providers & ultimately cheat the poorly informed patient. If the provider (hospital etc) does not succumb to pay the referral fees, the 'ethical hospital' is bad mouthed and the patient does not go to that hospital on fear of 'bad quality' as informed by his doctor.

This referral fee practice or popularly known as CUT (also mentioned as Cee Yoo Tee) is to the tune of 50% of patients total bill.

The referral fee has now become such a mindset & walk of life for the medical practitioners that even the specialists have started asking for referral fees. Many Orthopedic surgeons ask for a referral fee from a physiotherapist, an Anesthetist is asked to pay a preference fee by his surgeon, and many Chemists pay the local specialist a fixed monthly fee to keep on receiving patients from the busy practitioner for medicines.

Pharmaceutical companies are well known to buy cars, fund doctor's children's education and carry out an entire revamp of doctor's clinic to prescribe expensive branded drugs for which a cheaper generic is also available.

If the above is taken care of, the patients bill can reduce to the tune of 50%.

Even insurance companies bleed. They end up paying higher reimbursements to the patients/hospitals.

This needs to stop on urgent basis as patients don't realize that to cover the expense on cut practice, many hospitals and diagnostic centers end up conducting unwanted tests or even 'ghost tests' where a report is only generated without even running the tests.

Ekohealth ( is a company which has started a very ambitious health savings program in India to counter the above mentioned evils of referral practice.

Ekohealth is striving to make the member patients more aware (with help of such blogs and newsletters) and encourage them to visit a specialist or a hospital directly without any references.

The patients are finally getting educated and Ekohealth wants to ignite this further so that they can 'engage with their doctor and healthcare provider better'.

This will not only help patient demand better rates, but ethical and quality treatment.

I know this is a very difficult task, but everything starts with a vision.

Do forward this post to as many people as possible and help educate patients to encourage them to make fearless and better informed decisions.

I hope the Anna movement transcends into healthcare too. 'Ekohealth' supports Annaji.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opportunity to learn - lost in ambition for glamour?

This blog post is for the young hospital Management students. Please read the content on the link first, before reading my blog.

If you have read the post on the link above, you must have realized that the above link is not a good example to share with the young management students as I feel Tristan was lucky. 

I sometime feel scared when I see the management students desperately trying to get internships at 'great/renowned' companies/hospitals. They hope that they will learn something there. I see that 'annoyed' look on their faces when they are not assigned a fortis or apollo or a big consulting firm. They feel dejected feeling that the opportunity to learn has suddenly diminished. But the problem dear students: Learning depends on who teaches you and what. Teaching depends on the aptitude to share knowledge. Unfortunately the popular companies are usually too busy and may not be able to impart enough to add value to the students. The other ridiculous problem is that healthcare organisations do not share knowledge too easily. 

Intrestingly, the places where the students will learn the most will be the small setups, startups, setups struggling to grow. These are the avenues where both - the organisation and the student will learn from each other, and there will be immense freedom to do so. Glamour only lasts so much, but experience will last forever.

My mantra for success has been : stay hungry to learn, from anyone.

Dr Akash S Rajpal - MD & CEO, EKOHEALTH.

About: Ekohealth is a startup promoted to change the face of the Indian Healthcare Industry. It aims at providing a never envisioned before value to every stake holder of the health industry, be it the patient or the provider. Ekohealth aims at improving the quality of the health provider via nabh/iso/business excellence and aims at increasing the awareness of the patient and bringing him/her at the platform to demand quality healthcare at great value. Ekohealth envisions enrolling one lakh patients within a years time. Ekohealth is looking forward eagerly to work with bright young enterprising management students and other interested individuals and organisations to make ekohealth known in every household in this country.

After thoughts:

In the post on the pasted link above, there is though a very relevant excerpt, which is a must read to be ahead of the rat race and be successful:

"be so enamored with the product that you would work for the company even if they didnt hire you….more importantly find where the needs are within the organization and be willing to do whatever it takes to help them fill the need (work for free even!)…and MOST importantly make sure that youre filling a need that the organization doesnt have the resources to fill on its own. 

If a company is not willing to let a hungry, passionate, smart, unpaid advocate of the product help the organization to fill that need (when it doesnt have the resources to do it itself) then you probably shouldnt be working at the company anyway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Re: What Happens Online in 60 Seconds - Knowledge gone in 60 seconds

I just went through the amazing statistics on usage of internet.
Bottom-line : We are all going the 'Junk' information highway with not enough real value addition to the knowledge based content sharing which will make this world a better place.

Facts as observed:
Seven Lac Google searches made in 60 seconds, but only one article published in the same time. It means people just refer and follow what others are doing, and no new content is posted which others will want to search or cite. I am of the opinion that over a period of time only copy paste and citations are happening with the same old content be read, re-read and reviewed and ultimately every progress projection may be based on a archaic relatively obsolete database.

Eight lac facebook/twitter updates are posted in 60 seconds, but only 60 blogs are added in the same time. Also only 1600 reads on knowledge based scribd portal. People are only interested in others lives, but not enough knowledge based content is added even by way of blogs.

There are only 100 questions asked on in 60 seconds, to which 40 are only answered back. So knowledge is degrading over a period of time, where not enough people are asking and not enough answers are available.

And finally, 168 million emails are sent in 60 seconds but still communication gap seems to be so much that 4 lac minutes of skype voice calls are still made to communicate.

This in context to healthcare is of great concern as healthcare is largely dependent on knowledge update, and experience sharing. Recent trends indicate a significant drop in liking for a medical seat, and this will only add to deficient status of healthcare professionals and skilled healthcare workers int he country.
New medical colleges are not being added at a pace required, and the pre-conditions to open such colleges though 'sound' are not very relevant in today's scenario.
We need management professionals in healthcare but we disuade from even sharing knowledge when they visit the healthcare centres. Very few guide these students to a level which will do justice to their learning.

I remember how difficult it was to convince clinicians and nurses to share thier experiences and post blogs or articles for benefit of all. The situation still persists. Much though which comes out is a lot of citation or copy paste.

This situation needs to change, else all posts which we will see on internet through facebook and twitter will be to find answers to our daily problems with no solutions at hand.

Please share knowledge. Please research problems and share solutions for everyone's benefit.

EKOHEALTH (WWW.EKOHEALTH.IN) is one such initiative to aggregate knowledge and content from doctors, nurses, management students and any stakeholder in the healthcare domain to share the experiences and seek knowledge. Please share your case studies, journal publications, surgery videos, PPTs, Time motion studies, health awareness slides, disease/procedure explanations for patients, but all created by you. Please email the same to AND i SHALL HAVE IT POSTED ON THE EKOHEALTH WEBSITE for all to view.

Dr Akash Rajpal

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Contents of this e-mail and any files transmitted along with it may contain confidential and privileged information and are for the sole use of the addressee indicated in this mail. If you are not the indicated addressee or have received this communication in error, kindly notify the sender by reply e-mail immediately and destroy this e-mail and any attachments permanently.

Subject: What Happens Online in 60 Seconds

168 Million emails are sent out...
and now with this one i am adding to a statistic!!




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Obligation to share knowledge

To all the CEOs and managers of the hospitals and other healthcare providers.
To all the management consultants.
To all my industry colleagues,

I love to teach. And I have come across hundreds of students who love to learn. So the association fortunately becomes fruitful.
I always feel that everyone has an obligation to share knowledge, as what you are today is because of someone who shared his or her knowledge with you and taught you something you may not have been aware of before.
And when you share knowledge, you yourself become wiser as you may realize fallacies of your practice over a period of time, and would improvise and go back to your books and other learned colleagues to gather more knowledge, and this ultimately makes you more wiser.

All said and done, I feel very disappointed when experienced professionals do not readily share their knowledge and do not readily share information and end up acting very pricey.
And pricey for what? What inventions did they do, or what new facet of knowledge they have created on their own, that they keep it to themselves as if it was their own. They forget, that if they don't take this opportunity to impart knowledge when requested, someone else would.

I feel amazed when the students have to run around from pillar to post to gather basic information in hospitals which can give them a better insight in to hospital operations.
Information sharing is avoided on the pretext of it being 'confidential' ! I come accross many students, who say that so and so hospital did not allow an interview because they found it intrusive.
Understanding how a quality assurance is in OT (good or bad) is intrusive? or how a medical records department is managed is intrusive?
On the contrary these students who labor for free can give amazing insights to the management on various wrongs, and which can be used to improve. They actually should thank these students to help them out, and for free.

On one hand we are worried how the industry will fill the large gap of managers, and skilled experienced people, and on the other hand we do not want to even let them learn.
Learning can only happen on the field. Text books can give you only limited knowledge.

I have worked with colleagues, who though are very learnerd, do not eagerly dispense their treasure of experience to many  hospital management students.
Their reason : they have struggled so much in their learning curve in colleges and otherwise, so why should they teach all and sundry so readily. What will they gain out of it? Let the student undergo the rut too.
This I feel is becoming a cycle of sorts - "You don't teach me well, I wont teach anyone else well"

Somehow I feel the treassure of experience they gather makes them feel so rich and proud, that they forget that they will soon forget what they learned if they do not practice daily. The best way to practice is to teach. Therefore in healthcare, the lecturers, or professors are most sought after by the corporate healthcare sector as they have the best knowledge and experience.

I love to share what ever I have learnt in the field of quality and operations in healthcare with any interested healthcare management student. I always found a void in teaching, though information is available. I feel much of 'teaching' is not up-to-date with current times. Many times what I wanted to learn was not taught, and was not readily shared from my teachers, or learned colleagues. I ultimately went about learning on my own a lot of things. I feel this trouble I went through should not be repeated with the others who learn from me.
I feel I have an obligation to share knowledge. And I still have to learn a lot.
I hope my learned colleagues, will understand and comply.

Dr Akash Rajpal

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

IT in malaria reporting by private practitioners

The times of india article today (june3 2011by pratibha masand) on malaria disturbs me as usual. The problem of malaria eradication is that it also depends on good surveillance and support of all medical practitioners. As 85% of india's healthcare is delivered by private players, their role is essential in helping public health department by informing them on trends of malaria cases seen in their private clinics. This helps the public health take it one step forward by following up on malaria or fever positive cases to see similar occurrences in the patient's neighborhood and pro actively prevent further spread of malaria by checking for sources causing the same like stagnant water, etc or carry out a appropriate prophylaxis.
However the support from private practitioners is not to the satisfaction of the public health authorities. Private doctors and labs do not report malaria positive cases. The reason also includes the problem of dispatching such info to the public health office to the convenience of the doctor, and many times the public health department too busy to answer phone calls etc.
Solution: With information technology today and many useful and cheap utilities in mobile communication available, I wonder why the same is not used to reduce the workload of everyone.
Public health department can setup this innovative and cheap 'missed call' analytical service and register all private practitioners numbers. The private practitioner would then just need to give a "missed call" to the central number when ever he comes across a malaria positive case. The missed calls are automatically registered in database against the pre-registered details of the doctor. No charge to him. The public health department can on real time basis then can analyze region wise malaria trends and take immediate action. The IT setup can be created similarly for SMS integration to get name and address of the patient which can be similarly sent by the private doctor to a tollfree sms number.
There is similarly a lot which can and should be done by using technology to improve healthcare delivery.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fwd: TSB Now a Barber come out with an IPO

Interesting read. I personally feel JHB ipo will do good (else it will
be a learning) as there is a huge vaccum of branded saloons, though 60
crores may not be enough. This is shared as a thought that such
interesting IPOs are missing in healthcare domain.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kiran Chheda <>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 11:40:11 +0530
Subject: TSB Now a Barber come out with an IPO
To: TSB-JBIMS-M&A group <>

*The Barber Takes Stock *

Jawed Habib, the first hair dresser to tap the Indian capital market, is
confident his shares will command a premium. His business mantra: a good
haircut is like a bad habit, difficult to shake off

For a moment, overlook the quirkiness. A barber hoping to raise 60 crore
through an IPO begs a fundamental business question: how will he give value
to his shareholders? The service—haircuts—can't be mechanised. Hence,
maintaining consistent quality is impossible. Revenue growth will be limited
to the expansion of the network of hair salons to tier I and tier II cities.
Profits will remain constant for long periods as the fee of haircuts cannot
be changed frequently. Most important, the company's brand value will depend
on one man: Jawed Habib, celebrity hair stylist, now managing director of
Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty Ltd (JHHBL).

Habib appears unfazed by the scepticism. He has taken several risky
decisions in the past, the biggest being to start out on his own in 2005,
without the support of his father Jahir Habib, hairstylist of Jawaharlal
Nehru. In five years, he owns a chain of 225 salons across 62 cities that
attract customers mostly because they carry his name: Jawed Habib's.

"People are amazed at my decision but I have no doubts," he says. The move
is gutsy, to say the least. Despite a wider bouquet of services, several
other companies in the beauty and wellness sector have been unable to take
this leap of faith. Vandana Luthra's Curls and Curves is a case in point.
Wellness arms of companies with deep pockets have also not been listed. For
example, Marico's popular beauty clinic, Kaya.

Globally, only a handful of salons, like Hong Kong-based Modern Beauty Salon
Holdings, have taken the public route. Even they bank on a wide range of
beauty treatments and branded beauty products to accelerate growth.
Currently, JHHBL doesn't have the comfort of either. So what makes Habib so
confident? An analysis of the industry reveals some less apparent
opportunities and prospects of scalable business model.

Brand Vacuum*

The hair and beauty sector forms 40% of the wellness industry. According to
a study by 2S Consulting and JHHBL, the wellness sector is valued at 6,900
crore and is growing at around 35% annually. "The size of the industry will
grow to 28,400 crore by 2015," claims Rohit Arora, JHHBL's executive
director. In the same period, the per capita spend on hair and beauty is
predicted to go up by 316%—from $1.2 to $5. However, KPMG estimates say the
size of the wellness industry in India is expected to reach 14,500 crore in

Though the numbers are impressive, the sector is unorganised. For instance,
hair styling is dominated by beauty product manufacturers and
personality-based players. At one end companies like L'Oreal, Keune, Wella
and Schwarzkopf have started lending their brand name to salons. On the
other end celebrity hair stylists like Aalim Hakim and Adhuna Bhabani Akhtar
in Mumbai are powering their parlours by an A-list clientele from the
glamour industry.

The opportunity lies in creating a national brand known for quality service
at reasonable prices. "Jawed Habib is positioned as a brand for the masses,
it makes sense for him to go for an IPO. No one else in the fragmented
market can do this," says Yatan Ahluwalia, image consultant and director,
Y&E Style Media. Habib claims he saw this potential early. "Through my
salons, workshops and seminars in various cities, I realised the need for a
salon in every city," he says. The IPO is his way to accomplish this.
However, an industry insider who wishes to remain anonymous doesn't think
Habib's name can pull in haut monde customers. His salons are not the 'it'

This may have disastrous consequences in the fashion circuit. But for
business the mass market means higher revenues. This can never be bad. Habib
has a different take on this perception: "Celebrity or a common man—hair is

*Growth Pangs*

Though experts do not deny the potential, they are unsure that the business
is scalable. Lifestyle companies usually faced this problem in the past.
According to Sarabjit Kour, vice-president (research), Angel Broking,
scaling up is the biggest challenge for any company entering an unorganised
sector. The competition is high and operates at several local and regional

"Companies like Marico have not listed the Kaya brand because it has not
scaled up to such a level. It will be interesting to watch the market's
response to Habib's IPO," she adds.

Vikram Hosangady, executive director (transactions and services), KPMG India
highlights another challenge: there is a lot of interest in consumer
stocks—a company like Habib's will face the pressure of being listed and
reporting increasing profitability, very often a challenge for a small
growing business where several outlets may not have achieved scale.

He has some more doubts: "It is a personality driven company. How will Habib
ensure consistency of quality? The profit margins too are set as each salon
will accrue fixed revenues." There are HR issues as well. The beauty and
wellness industry is plagued by a talent crunch and high churn.

But the barber businessman claims to have covered all angles. His team of
managers—spearheaded by Arora, marketing and sales head Zafar Khan, human
resource manager Amrit Rao and information technology head Prakash Singh—has
spent many days honing the business model.
On doubts of whether the stock will excite investors, Arora says: "The stock
will carry a scarcity premium. We are expecting to raise 60 crore though the
IPO—25% of the total equity. This means we value the company at 240 crore."

What about giving investors their money's worth? Arora cites past data as
the company's ability to scale up quickly. In 2006, the company had a chain
of 37 salons. At the time of filing the draft red herring prospectus, the
number had zoomed to 225. Also, Habib's Hair Xpreso—a 99 dry haircut for
anyone—is catching on in malls in tier I cities. "There are multiple levels
of scalability—by adding more salons, starting franchises and exploiting the
floor space for branding," he says. JHHBL has already tied up with Katha
Media for branding the floor space of the salon for 4 crore.

Will Jawed Habib hair and beauty products flood the market in the near
future? Arora is tight lipped. But he says the option is not outside their
radar: "Salons like Lakmé and L'Oreal are a move from products to services.
We will have the advantage of transitioning from services to products."

But what will really set the business going is the craze for looking good,
always. Not just youngsters, even people past their prime want to be
groomed. As Habib says, "A good haircut is a bad habit." He's hoping the
nation will get addicted.

Thanks & regards,
Kiran B. Chheda

*Every morning I check the Forbes 100 Richest Indians' list. If I am not
there, I go to work.*

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

PPP in healthcare - what can make it tick?

I got the opportunity to chair two sessions recently in a CII
healthcare PPP conference at Ahmedabad. I was surprised with the large
delegate turn out. Delegates from across the country had come to
attend. The good quality profile of delegates was another surprising
factor. This indicated rising interest among stakeholders in public
private partnership in healthcare.

The 'take home' points were:

1. PPP has been better successful where government has been a 'PAYOR'
where it pays for the services rendered by the private partner.
Chiranjivi program in Gujrat is a good example where the obstetrician
is paid Rs 800 for conducting one normal delivery. The government pays
the clinicians 15000 Rs in advance to boost compliance and reduce
payment delays. This has reduced maternal mortality by half there.
Other successful projects are seen in the PPP or outsourcing of
diagnostic and imaging centres which also works on a 'pay' per case
And when the private partner is expected to give things beyond
service, the ppp tends to fail. The instances of seven hills hospital
in mumbai where BMC wants the private partner to pay for consumables
and medicines is putting the PPP project in doldrums.
So the 'take home' is to realistically prioritize PPP initiatives
based on a payor model (to begin with) to make it successful.
Government should understand that the private partner (unless it is a
spiritual or religious donor funded entity) is there to earn and ROI
in healthcare are very thin to expect unreasonable deliverables from
2. There should be a 'solid' legal contract and not just an MOU. It
should be ensured that the agreed terms are honoured by both partners
and should be shielded from possible interference by a civic body or
state administrations and change in regimes later. One should realize
that the financial projections for private partner will be based on
agreed upon assumptions and terms at the time of signing the contract,
and any change later can make the project unviable. In all failing
PPPs the interference has always been from the public partner to
change the terms of the contract, usually when the governing
administration changed and finds some contract terms objectionable.
This has resulted in majority of private entities shying away from PPP
3. Even though it is expected that PPP contract terms eventually will
become better and both parties will be congenial to each other, the
projects will not take off well till the issue of Human resources and
skill sets which are deficient in huge numbers is addressed. There is
a severe dirth of doctors, nurses, front office personnel, radiology
technicians and more. A large human resource base should be set in on
priority basis to make these skill sets available as the healthcare
expansion in any form-PPP or otherwise would not takeoff if there are
no human resources available. PPP initiatives should be initiated or
intensified in healthcare education also on a priority basis.
Education loans on low interests and other incentives could be
provided to make healthcare education affordable. All this will help
creating a larger base of healthcare skill sets.
Telemedicine should be seriously looked into to mitigate the human
resource constraints where the skilled doctors from remote urban setup
can interact with patients in rural setups where these medical skill
sets are deficient.
4.Banks are unwilling to fund PPPs due the prevailing 'state of
confusion' and lack of confidence in sustenance of such projects. A
clear legal contract, setting of regulation mechanism, etc will make
prospects better for banks to look at financing such projects.
5.Private players are willing to even service rural areas and harsh
terrains - contradictory to the myth that the private players are only
urban centric. However the interest would be motivated more by
availability of clear legally binding contract terms, and under a
'payor' mechanism.
6. A national PPP policy framework should be created on immediate
basis. Though it seems that work on the same is going on, a result on
ground and adoption by all states should be visible. A standardised
contract terms keeping in mind certain popular PPP scenarios should be
looked into, to address atleast a large proportion of PPP projects in
the pipeline. All guidelines should be made to make a 'win win'

My notes:

Public and private partners need to go 'beyond' contracts and should
'work towards' making the 'marriage' successful. As the PPP phenomenon
is relatively new and has yet to gain maturity, both parties should
make an attempt to reasonably 'bend down' to accept each others
limitations and practicalities and ensure that the PPP results into a
'successful role model' for others to replicate.

Newer avenues for PPP in healthcare should be looked at. Government
should also look beyond usual health PPPs and consider partnering with
private players to improve quality (NABH accreditations/ISO) of their
existing public health setups (some work on this avenue has already
started but will need more momentum), avail from private partner -
professional administrative insights by way of managed administration
of PHCs/district hospitals, etc, and most importantly, opening up
attractive avenues in health education for the private partner for
creating the much needed skill sets to sustain the progress in
healthcare delivery.

A 'let's sign contract and will see later' attitude needs to be shed.

Everyone should keep in mind that the private party will always look
at earning and sustaining any business. It will be unreasonable to
expect the private player to 'pay out of pocket' and there fore a
'payor' model where public partner will pay the private partner for
services rendered will be a reasonable model and will work better.

Public partner should also realize that the underprivileged citizens
for whom this PPP is typically created for, would be unwilling to pay
out of pocket even for consumables. It will also be unreasonable to
expect that the private party will pay for expense on patients and
expect them to earn too. So ultimately the only party left to pay is
the public entity. A volume based highly low cost rates could be
negotiated with the private party for a 'win win' partnership. Such
volume based low cost payments have worked previously and there is no
reason why it should not work again. A effective monitoring and
regulatory mechanism though should be in place for every PPP to ensure
timely and due payments to private partner and also to ensure that the
private party delivers the right quality of service as agreed upon.

Better incentives as provided in other industries (like 150% tax
deduction in pharma research, unconditional subsidies, zero duties
etc) will be other great attractors.

There is no doubt that the healthcare needs of a nation cannot be
mitigated without PPP, and all stakeholders therefore should strive
for a successful, meaningful and reasonable sustainable partnership.

Dr Akash S Rajpal

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Misery rolled back....but is it enough?

News source:

Govt. rolls back five per cent healthcare tax

The Government on Tuesday rolled back the five per cent tax
healthcare, which many called the misery tax as it made treatment more

The proposal which was put forth during the Budget invoked Opposition
from the medical fraternity.

Medical fraternity had told the minister that the health tax was a
misery tax for the common man and had explained him the consequences
of the tax.

My notes: I think Mr finance minister could have avoided unnecessary
negative publicity. This was bound to happen and some people should
not feel happy taking credit for ensuring the roll back. This tax
anyway did not generate a huge cashflow. What the fraternity should
fight for is to have all taxes removed from all goods related to
healthcare to make health care cheaper or more profitable to attract
more investments in healthcare. Investor find other industries more
attractive as the ROI is much faster and better there. Government
should understand one thing that this country needs more and more
quality infrastructure, staff and clinicians to deliver good need
based healthcare. The patient bed, patient doctor and nurse ratios are
among the poorest in the world. Government cannot invest further on
its own in providing healthcare and should partner with the private
sector. Unconditional subsidies, zero taxes (probably 150percent tax
rebates like pharma research), industry status, and creating more and
more educational and vocational institutions for creating skill sets
etc will make the industry more attractive for investment and will
ultimately counter the healthcare delivery needs of the country faster
and better and cheaper.
Dr Akash S Rajpal

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Misery tax

Probably India is the only country where now citizens are taxed as punishment to fall sick.
So when you get treated in a hospital you will pay 5% tax.
Though the same is only for Airconditioned hospitals, almost every hospital has airconditioning, atleast in the OT and ICU complex. The industry has been advised and encouraged since long to go in for airconditioning keeping in mind infection control and comfort of patients.
Typically the cost of aircoinditioning infrastructure does not change drastically if some units are made devoid of airconditioning. There are many hospitals now where they provide airconditioning by default even to general class and charity catagory rooms.
Healthcare in India is unfortunately looked at a money making business, both by patients and the government. Patients are not readily willing to pay in comparison to their spend on entertainment, government is not readily willing to take measures to make the  healthcare industry commercially more attractive.

Unfortunately the healthcare EBIDTAs/PAT are among the lowest among all industries. The reason why a lot PE/VC do not find it attractive to invest in healthcare and therefore the progress of healthcare infrastructure and delivery is at a snails pace.

Instead of making healthcare cheaper by eliminating taxes, surcharges, excise, import duties and allocating more in its budget, it comes out with such irrational taxes. Tax holiday on 100 beds and above for five years wont make a great difference as margins are very low in initial years.

AND yes, why should the health industry be not making money? No institution, even the charity organisations can function if it is not self sustaining. More than 80% of healthcare spend is out of pocket in India. There is a huge demand for quality health services. There is severe manpower shortage to support the healthcare delivery. Medicines are expensive, and professionals like doctors and nurses are hard to get. Instead of focusing on mitigating this deficiency, government is trying to make a quick buck on this demand, but forgetting its larger responsibility to make quality healthcare accessible to all.

I remember a colleague of mine from IT industry replying to my question: "why majority of doctors or healthcare industry does not make much money like IT industry? Pat came the reply from him : Doctors are supposed to do social work. Doctors should not think of making money. That will be unethical. They should only heal. If one has to make money then they should not become doctors." Not to mention - I was taken aback. And unfortunately this is the majority opinion of the country at large.

One should remember that there are much larger unseen consequences of running a business where margins are low. A lot of unethical practices crop up to sustain business or it shuts shop. Either way it is derogatory for the community at large.

Dr Akash Rajpal
Head HOSMAC Consultancy

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Monday, February 21, 2011

UID/Bar code compulsory for drug dispensing/retailing

Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) in its last meeting on Febuary 15 -- has approved the proposal that for every strip of medicine available in India ought to have a 2D bar code and a unique randomly generated numeric code (UID).

This will have various repercussions:

Among many, i feel the biggest repercussion would be that this will make the cut strips retailing a problem. The onus now will be on patient (as it is).
This may make it more unaffordable for patients to buy the medicines in short trenches.
Also as a lot of antibiotics need to be changed keeping in mind the prognosis of patient, the cut strips act as  a cost saving for these patients as the unsused cut strip is taken back by the retailer. This facility though not ideal acts as a boon for the lower segment of patients in terms of cost savings, and helps the retailers too to sell to others. Many times the policy of whole strip retail leaves the patient in a lot of problem as the leftover strip is wasted (as not taken back by retailer) as the doctor had to change the drug as per prognosis.
However even now the cut strips leads to a lot of labeling issues anc can be solved with this bar coding opportunity.
The guidelines also should make it mandatory to manufacture strips in strippable/indented cuts in portions of two or four to make the purchases affordable to general public at large, with still maintaining the UID/barcode/basic labeling.
Many drug manufactures are doing this for OTC drugs, but can actually do it for other generics too.

Dr Akash Rajpal

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Be the game changer

One of the memorable moments at the just concluded National Quality
conclave was my interaction with the energetic and charming hospital
management students from IHMR delhi.
These young budding administrators thronged me suddenly with a posse
of questions. Obviously, a lot of their questions hadn't been answered
yet by anyone.
They enquired on various career options including health IT.
I was feeling a little jealous for the fact that in my time I never
got such opportunity to interact and gain insights into upcoming
trends in career choices.
But I also felt fortunate to have gained some experience to share
knowledge in whatever capacity I could.
Interacting with them for a while and as always I realised again that
to these future health administrators their future world was envision
more on the lines of a 'corporate italian clad ' super speciality
hospital. Not their fault as who would not get glamour struck if such
beautiful work of art (hospitals the kind of fortis, hiranandani,
asian heart etc) are exposed to them during their internship.
What I always feel dissapointed about is that the rest of indian
healthcare industry, and about 90% of the industry is run in the
unorganized sector. This sector is oblivious to the regulatory
requirements, quality indicators and even the basic productivity
analysis and patient satisfaction index to make a course correction if
Unfortunately the hospital administrators either shy away from this
section of care administration or are not aware of. I feel they shy
away as they feel the remuneration would be too low. Actually the
remuneration is low across all categories of hospitals barring few
players if compared with other industries like pharma and IT.
The good pay scales are there for sure, but to experienced candidates.
Unfortunately, the management graduates technically would have zero
experience(not considering their internships) and would have to start
gaining experience once recruited, however, at a lower pay scale.
Now coming to the point, of them, shying away from the non corporate
world of healthcare.
I genuinely believe that the future of healthcare lies in this sector-
the small un professionally driven health sector. The smaller clinics,
5/10/20 bedded hospitals(nursing homes, poly clinics), many of them in
residential premises. The budding administrators can actually take the
mantle and courage to work in these hospitals and change it around for
good. The pay initially may be meagre, but the satisfaction they would
gain by bringing in quality and better productivity cannot be
experienced anywhere else.
These hospitals when converted by these administrators in to a quality
driven centre would ultimately garner the corporate outlook, become
more profitable and in return reward the game changer-the hospital
administrator to the levels of remuneration he or she had desired in
the first place.
Today india requires 50000 such game changer's. My sincere wish and
hope is that these budding administrators seriously look at this
unorganized sector, turn it around and earn what they desire and
foremost, be this healthcare industry's GAME CHANGER.
Best wishes,
Dr Akash S Rajpal

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Re: QUERY regarding NABH guidelines

Just wait and procure from nabh delhi(address on site) guidebook
version 3. This is what you need. But need to sort it department wise.
A lot of same standards will be applicable to many departments.

However standards for small hospitals and ayush hospitals etc are
little different and guide books are not available for all and needs
an experts insight to interpret.

On 2/12/11, dr chiranjeev dwivedi <> wrote:
> hello sir
> I am student of the tata institute of social sciences,mumbai doing
> MHA(HOSPITAL). I actually want to know that what is the procedure of getting
> the manual of nabh guidelines book from NABH OFFICE . There is two manuals
> which have been mentioned one is the guide book and the other NABH standard
> for hospital. Which one we should go for studying the gap analysis in the
> hospitals as per NABH standard.
> in anticipation of your cooperation
> regards
> Dr.Chiranjeev Dwivedi

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nokia CEO's letter to employees

I share this with all ( I do not vouch for the authenticity, but never the less it is very inspiring).
A must read for all the health-care institutions, specially in the unorganized sector, the ones who though are a majority stake in the health sector against few corporate competitors as they should realize that the thrust is slowly shifting towards a professional approach. As consumers are becoming more armed with information and the priceless medical insurance, they will choose the quality driven provider.
India needs the entire healthcare sector to be quality and professional driven, which is not so today. If a radical professional approach is not adopted soon, the huge smaller unorganised healthcare sector will soon fade away. Ironically, though that is required, it will drive the health care to be more expensive. A balance of quality and budget will be required with the forefront of professional customer centric approach to keep in the competition.

Dr Akash Rajpal

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CEO Says Nokia Needs Big Change - Feb 9, 2011


Hello there,

There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. Through the smoke and heat, he barely made his way out of the chaos to the platform's edge. When he looked down over the edge, all he could see were the dark, cold, foreboding Atlantic waters.

As the fire approached him, the man had mere seconds to react. He could stand on the platform, and inevitably be consumed by the burning flames. Or, he could plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters. The man was standing upon a "burning platform," and he needed to make a choice.

He decided to jump. It was unexpected. In ordinary circumstances, the man would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times - his platform was on fire. The man survived the fall and the waters. After he was rescued, he noted that a "burning platform" caused a radical change in his behaviour.

We too, are standing on a "burning platform," and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.

Over the past few months, I've shared with you what I've heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I'm going to share what I've learned and what I have come to believe.

I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.

And, we have more than one explosion - we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

For example, there is intense heat coming from our competitors, more rapidly than we ever expected. Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

In 2008, Apple's market share in the $300+ price range was 25 percent; by 2010 it escalated to 61 percent. They are enjoying a tremendous growth trajectory with a 78 percent earnings growth year over year in Q4 2010. Apple demonstrated that if designed well, consumers would buy a high-priced phone with a great experience and developers would build applications. They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.

And then, there is Android. In about two years, Android created a platform that attracts application developers, service providers and hardware manufacturers. Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry's innovation to its core.

Let's not forget about the low-end price range. In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally - taking share from us in emerging markets.

While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time. At that time, we thought we were making the right decisions; but, with the benefit of hindsight, we now find ourselves years behind.

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.

We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.

At the midrange, we have Symbian. It has proven to be non-competitive in leading markets like North America. Additionally, Symbian is proving to be an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop to meet the continuously expanding consumer requirements, leading to slowness in product development and also creating a disadvantage when we seek to take advantage of new hardware platforms. As a result, if we continue like before, we will get further and further behind, while our competitors advance further and further ahead.

At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, "the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation." They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us.

And the truly perplexing aspect is that we're not even fighting with the right weapons. We are still too often trying to approach each price range on a device-to-device basis.

The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.

This is one of the decisions we need to make. In the meantime, we've lost market share, we've lost mind share and we've lost time.

On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's informed that they will put our A long term and A-1 short term ratings on negative credit watch. This is a similar rating action to the one that Moody's took last week. Basically it means that during the next few weeks they will make an analysis of Nokia, and decide on a possible credit rating downgrade. Why are these credit agencies contemplating these changes? Because they are concerned about our competitiveness.

Consumer preference for Nokia declined worldwide. In the UK, our brand preference has slipped to 20 percent, which is 8 percent lower than last year. That means only 1 out of 5 people in the UK prefer Nokia to other brands. It's also down in the other markets, which are traditionally our strongholds: Russia, Germany, Indonesia, UAE, and on and on and on.

How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved?

This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally.

Nokia, our platform is burning.

We are working on a path forward -- a path to rebuild our market leadership. When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company. But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future.

The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future. He was able to tell his story. Now, we have a great opportunity to do the same.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rich brats

A client of mine is son of a super rich father who owns a big company
and some rich expensive entertainment hobby investments.
Strangely (keeping in mind his flamboyance), he is handling this
project which my company is consulting for a way forward.

A lot of problems are there which needs to be addressed by him, a
direction for which we have given after an intense research.

But this fellow does not know how to talk, and respect his
subordinates and feels things should move if he just says so. And when
his key staff (including experienced learned professionals) leave, he
wonders why. He also wonders why the things are not moving forward in
his organisation when he ORDERS it to be.

I wonder if he has ever gone on site and got his hands dirty by taking
the mantle in his hands.

I feel his father must have wanted him to learn some good things. Alas!

I always have said and feel that what you see down below at ground
level is the reflection of the way things work above (outlook of

I sincerely hope that some sense prevails and the problems get
addressed in this organisation, as this is a centre which is needed
desperately by the stakeholders, and in good shape.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I personally feel surrogacy should only be an option for natural
couples and only when IVF fails. Adoption then should be made
compulsory for people seeking parenthood. Also I feel couples age
should be limited to avoid a psychological disconnect between the
children and parents at a later date due to huge age difference.
A single mother or father seeking a surrogate option sounds very
illogical. There are thousands of children up for adoption in every
country but probably is not opted due to country specific strict
adoption rules which include denial of adoption to single parents.
Governments, specially among the WTA groups and other should have a
common surrogate law to prevent a catastrophe in the envil. No one
knows what the psychological duress a child would go through when he
or she grows up when found a misfit with a different sexual oriented
parents, or even single parents or even otherwise. Surrogacy should
only be a last option where ivf fails or gyneacologically a mother
can't bear a child. A genetic link however must be maintained.
Adoption laws therefore must be regulated but reasonable for all to
avail parenthood.

Disclaimer: the opinion is of my personal view and should not be
reflected as a representation of thoughts of others.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Micro Management – Thorn on your side.

Micro Management – Thorn on your side.

“I have run a hospital since last 25 years. So please do not tell we what is right or wrong”

Have you ever heard this one time or the other in a similar context from your superiors and specially the CEO or the CMD himself?
Well if you have, and you are among those who feel that your organization which has the potential to be ‘great’ is going to the dogs because your boss is micro managing and not letting you do things the way you feel is right then read on..

‘The’ Micro Manager:
On an outside, a micromanager seems to have all positive attribute - Hardworking, comes in first, leaves last, has an attention to detail, and has hands-on attitude and much more. However all of these attributes seem to highlight certain degrees of extremes.

Such traits are seen, especially because, they cannot fathom failure and probably are pressured to win. This makes the micromanager ‘push’ everyone to achieve success, but without appropriate delegation, authority and freedom for the employee’s own creativity to achieve the work done. The micromanager wants everything done in his own style and at the risk of destroying their subordinate’s confidence, and even frustrate them to the point where people quit. This leads to a chain reaction where the micromanager has to again live with performance issues of the new recruit as the new person would take time to settle in and understand the organization’s nuances, and this further aggravates the above mentioned traits of the micromanager to a aspect of ‘Nano-Management’.

To describe in a simple way about a micro-manager –

‘He just doesn’t trust you’: He would not allow you from making decisions without consulting him first.

And to elaborate that in simple points:

‘He always finds faults in you’: He loves pondering over minute details instead of looking at the BIG picture. Frequent change of formats of letters, too frequent MIS’s and reporting to him from every level is a norm. He becomes a reason for bottleneck rather than the solution for the problem as he is too bogged down in every micro detail of the functioning of the organization.

‘The processes he defines as –efficient- is usually a series of complicated tasks’

‘He seems to trust the ‘wrong’ people’: He seems to trust those who do not know the job well. These are the ones who unfortunately ‘nod’ to the boss’s vague ideas, are probably too afraid to say ‘no’ to him, and probably are his relatives and friends.

‘They have unreasonably high expectations’: which may not match to the resources provided and authority and empowerment given.

‘He does not seem to listen: You cannot seem to ‘talk’ to him to put your point across. Micromanagers usually do not like criticism and they do not find wrong in anything they do. You would have many ‘simpler’ solutions but many times cannot take the point across to him as he just is not a good listener of ‘other’ people’s ideas.

So is changing your boss the only solution? Probably one of the solutions, but it's unlikely to succeed, especially if he is your CMD or the owner or promoter.

But what can be done is to change the way you ‘manage’ your micromanager.

Few steps as mentioned below can bridge the gap between you and your micro managing boss.

Analyze the scenario: Try and understand your Boss’s concern areas which are troubling him. Chalk out an action plan to counter those problem areas one by one ‘proactively’

Communicate: Though such micromanagers do not like you to ‘reach’ out to them by way of an ‘open door policy’ and you are expected to follow his ‘instructions’, you can still try to put across to your boss - your action points on the areas as discussed above by way of emails, notes or presentations. Make sure regular mails reach him directly. Provide him the details of the project you are working on before he asks you to provide one. Be ready with various solutions which he can choose from and ask him for further ‘guidance’.

My perspective:

I feel that every organization has ‘problems’. People say that an employee never leaves an organization but his boss. This is true many times but not always. I feel that you would find problems wherever you go and there is no running away from the same. One should try and rise above the problem and shine even in a crowd. Everyone wants an ‘easy’ life, but if only wishes could always come true.

However even after you have given yourself time, and have attempted everything in your best capability, and still cant cut the ice with your boss, then it is better you move jobs. It will be soon that such a micro managing boss lead organization will see failure rather than success or would already be undergoing such a problem which must be driving this micromanager crazy. The quick solution to all this: The micromanaging bosses just need to let go.

Note for the BOSS’s (specially the micromanaging types)

I was reading ‘if Disney ran your hospital…’ and was very impressed with certain aspects which a leader could use to ensure a jubilant workplace, great productivity and patient satisfaction’

The correlation is to the fact how every time the shows at Disney are so vibrant and liked by audiences. The shows after all are executed by the employees, and workforce behind the scenes - who ensure to bring such shows to life every time.

The backstage at the Disney shows are very similar to any hospital operations where you need to be delivering ‘right’ every time’ in a coordinated effort by the spot biys, crew, cast, production team and many more. But all this would not be possible without ‘happy cast members and crew at Disney. So how does Disney keep so many people happy?

The answer:

Disney ensures that ‘learned’ leaders lead the workforce.

The leaders ‘treat’ their staff ‘well’ and give them opportunities to do the right thing.

Disney believes in treating their staff the way they would want their patients or customers to be treated ‘well and with respect’. They ensure that their staff is ‘happy’. Happy employees translate into happy customers.

Bottom line: Employees should be heard; their ideas reviewed with respect, and should be given a chance to make their own decisions.

Last words:

I feel if one is hired to do a job then there should be enough time and opportunity given to let the person deliver. A descriptive job description, and authorities and goals and time bound objectives from the management is necessary to ensure that the employee understand what is expected of him and when he needs to deliver. Many times a vague mission & vision statement with no clarity is the culprit. However matching resources and authorities are essential to achieve a given objective and the management needs to keep its mind open and listen to the employees to understand where the problems are and what best possible method could be used to achieve the desired result. An open door policy always helps and the leaders need to be seen to trust this all important work force and let the ‘team’ take credit and the leader solely take the responsibility for any failure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning leadership from a jazz musician

I read an amazing feature on a renowned jazz musician Mr Wynton
Marsalis - Jan/feb 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review.
There were amazing insights put out on how a leader can learn to get
the best out of his team with an analogy of coordination among a music
Must read.

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Dr Akash Rajpal

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Request to participate in online survey of ISO standards conducted by ISO/TC Technical Committee.

Dear all,

ISO/TC 176 Technical Committee responsible for development of ISO 9000 series of standards is now seeking feedback and suggestions from people around the world to ensure their future relevance and improvement. You are all kindly requested to fill the online survey for the sake of quality and systems and help the cause. The initial response has been very poor and your contribution can make a huge difference. Last date for sending the feedback/suggestions through this survey is 28 February 2011.

Thanks and regards.
Dr Akash S Rajpal,
Member ISO/TC MSD2 technical committee, India
Click the link below to participate in the survey (or copy paste the web address).
Please spread the word to others too.