Women / Senior Citizens – Immediate & Important steps that needs to be taken

To: Dr.Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi , Sushma Swaraj, Meira Kumar , Dr.Murli Manohar Joshi via email.

Dear Dr.Singh,

Please pardon me for raising this issue ( this is the only issue for which i have not down much ground work !! ), but i am solely moved to raise this issue , seeing the plight of women passengers squeezed between males across towns in public transport .

I was in Bangalore last week, and when my cab passed by a public transport bus , i could see how we respect our women !! Reservation for women is a good step . But first let’s address the basics

  • Ask all the state governments to start special busses for Women passengers / senior citizens in all towns . You can probably have common buses for Women / Senior citizens
  • The local licenses for toddy ( local fermented drink ) should be banned

I am sure that women being in key positions in India ( President , Chairperson UPA , Leader of Opposition , Speaker of Lok Sabha ) could make this happen sooner than later

Best wishes

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email : office@rajendragupta.in

Food Inflation – the real issue is of planned production & storage

Pulses – the pulse of the nation : Pre-dominantly , Indians are vegetarians , and so the protein requirements are met through consumption of protein rich – pulses

We have always been worried about high food inflation charging the government for inefficient handling of the prices. Often we quote the high price of pulses . Let’s do a little digging on why pulses cost more when 65 % of our nation is engaged in agriculture ?

Pulses production in India is 12-15 million tonnes , and the requirement is 18-20 million tonnes .  Looks like pulses production have never been planned by the ministry of agriculture or the planning commission ; this is when we have celebrated 63 years of independence recently !!

Second issue is that despite poor production , even storage has not been attended to .

FCI- Food Corporation of India has 60.5 million tonnes of food grains ( all kinds of grains & not just pulses )  . This is good enough of quantity to give 21 KG of grain every month to people below BPL .  Sadly enough , 30 % of the 60.5 Million tonnes gets wasted every year due to storage conditions

Issue is very simple , and the policy makers need to plan production and storage to address the gaps . Once this is done , we should never have issues related to irrational prices of food grains

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email : office@rajendragupta.in

Security or Surveillance ?

Since our last major terror strike at Mumbai two years back , one of the major developments have been about security .  I feel strongly that since a lot of VIP’s died at the TAJ Hotel , a lot of ‘high octane’ drama was enacted both in the parliament , media and other public places .

Let’s do a quick check of what happened post our 9/11 ?

Where do we see most of the surveillance ? Airports , stations , five star hotels etc.  I have stayed in Taj Hotels in Bangalore to CROWN plaza in Delhi and many others. I visit a five start hotel every week to meet friends and visitors who stay in such hotels . Here is what i feel about the so called “over hyped’ security

We have been working for the elite who stay in hotels and travel by air . But still , security issues have not been addressed . Let me walk you through the security processes at display in all major locations

  1. You will find a metal detector ( by default ) at all major public places , and it beeps every time you walk past though it . You are required to take out your cell phone , keep it outside and then walk through it . I has asked at a five star hotel security person in Delhi . If my cell phone was having a bomb what can you do ?? You do not even scan it in the metal detector , i have to keep it in the tray outside the metal detector . The poor guy was doing what his security company had told him. He was blank and answerless.
  2. In every airport , the process is the same .
  3. Interestingly , i was at HYATT regency at Mumbai a day before yesterday. A person came , asked my driver to open the door , bonnet etc wiped the steering with a plastic and went back to the machine to read the plastic . Imagine , i was a terrorist , would i not get enough time  ( while the security guy is reading his plastic wipe !! ) to run my vehicle into the hotel and shoot or blast anything i wanted ?  can you call it security ?
  4. In the hotels , well dressed security chaps will say Namaste to you with folded hands , ask you to open the doors or frisk you. No one  even understands what the hell bonnet of the car looks like or does it have a bomb ?  i bet you that even if i carried an explosive , it would get in well past the entry point ! Like a convict who carried a pistol in Delhi court last week despite all the security !!

So the point i am making is that due to this security scare , dogs have got employment  ( my friend who is President with a reputed five star hotel  had once told me,  that these dogs can work with accuracy only when deployed for 20-40 minutes , but they are made to work for hours ).  So the point is that, it is all show of surveillance and not security . Intelligence and pro-activeness is lacking totally in our system. People standing at the security points are ill equipped , and there is no way that these guys can be alive to resist the attack, if terrorists strike !!

Last week , i took the security officer of Mumbai airport to task for allowing the so called VIP vehicles parked at the exit gate no 2. I informed him that the gate no 2 has only pick up and drop and is not meant for parking, and that the VIP parking had been created specifically a few meters away , but our arrogant VIP’s have taken it as their birth right to flash red light beacon  or VIP numbers and park vehicles posing a big security threat to Mumbai airport. I asked Asst. Police Inspector , Mr, Mane why he did not tow the vehicles parked on the gate 2. He was speechless , he tried to explain that the VIP’s don’t listen . There were at least 6 vehicles blocking the exit , and not a single driver was in the car …………….I wrote the same to the Chief Minister and the Home Minister …..i do hope that these guys act before a strike !!

We have as a nation failed before naxalites and we will continue to fail against terrorism , till we address technology proactively and pre-empt strikes . Current vigilance in the name of security is a farce wasting money and delaying the check-in in the hotel & airports

Hope the policy makers take the note and act

I have marked this to our Home Minister

Mumbai airport – A true reflection of India

When you land at Mumbai next time , do peep below to get the aerial view of Mumbai- A true reflection of India .  On one side , you have dozens of aeroplanes , and the other side hundreds of Slums . That’s India .

The government will remove the slums shortly, but the poverty will not go ,it will be shifted from the eyes of the viewer. You will have swanky buildings coming up on the slums- may be a new runway or another terminal etc. So after a few months, if a visitor lands in Mumbai and sees that there are no slums , he or she will imagine India growing much faster , slums disappearing …. Poverty vanishing off fast , faster than China .

Think before you imagine the real India . We are doing cosmetic changes and these do not impact the health of our nation

We need change at the grass roots .

We are still far – far away ………….

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email : office@rajendragupta.in

3G & the high speed downfall of the Telco’s

3 G spectrum has been over-sold . Keeping in mind the fact that,  the average yearly penetration of 3 G users has been highest at 5 % in developed countries like Japan. It took them 7 years to increase the penetration of 3G services to 35 %. India is a country with 150- 220 million middle income people , and not everyone requires 3G !!

In India , do we need high speed internet in our daily lives ? We are pretty okay with Blackberry,  emails and voice calls- Just 70 million internet users !!

Industry has perhaps gone overboard to pay “Obnoxious” sums for 3G spectrum.

To ensure profitability , 3G players will have to invade few sectors to make it viable ( trust me , it is a big challenge for immediate future  ). The sectors that need to be invaded are HEART ( Healthcare , Education & Entertainment , Agriculture ,  Rural India & Travel & Tourism , Telemedicine )

People have wrongly understood the first wave of telecom revolution . The first wave came because of the following

  1. Before the cell phones were launched , getting a land line from the government “monopoly” ( BSNL /MTNL ) was difficult – wait times was uncertain & services pathetic even after bribing the lineman the things would not work !
  2. ‘Rich’ people could afford the luxury of a ‘Cordless’ phone, that would have a coverage of 10 or 20 Feet . Suddenly , with a cell phone , people could roam with a phone across India or the world !! I think people in the telecom sector have believed that the craze for 3G would be the same as the first wave for cell phones !! But believe me , it will never happen . I have used cell phone since 1996 , when it was launched and paid an “Airtime’ of Rs.16.40 per minute + normal call rates !!
  3. The actual number of cell phone users are still as per what i call  the 1/3rd Rule ( we just have approximately 200 million cell phone users and not 654 Million, what the Telco’s & the government talk about  )
  4. Handsets to use the features of the 3G are not evolved as yet

Overall, paying and bidding for 3G was a lot easier than to manage the profits out of the networks using 3G. This will leave only two players doing something worthwhile ( Vodafone & “may be” , Mukesh Ambani ). Rest will have to work hard to avoid “Consolidation” of the industry

May be , some players will use 3G airwaves to enhance the voice quality

MNP ( Mobile number portability ) : MNP was delayed for obvious reasons !! But once the system is operational, it will crash due to the overload of the people applying for the same . There is a lot of anger amongst users for poor service quality . People will change the provider not for better service but to vent out anger at the existing service provider.  Some Telco’s will lose millions of users in months ( who gains in the long run is going to be a billion dollar question )  Time to wake up and take corrective action,  and innovate the services !!

Two big challenges 3G & MNP – Head ache of CEO’s of all Telco’s

3G might become the high speed to downfall – Thanks to the myopic government policies and over excitement of the bidders. May be , that’s the reason why MNC’s stayed out of the bidding. Perhaps, they will wait for some companies to bleed, and then, buy them out

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email : office@rajendragupta.in

Impact of Healthcare Globalization on our Economy

Address as the Session Chairman for Panel Discussion on the topic “Impact of Healthcare Globalization on Economy” at the 3rd International Healthcare Quality Conclave, 31st July, 2010

Good evening friends. I have an Interesting topic for discussion amongst my esteemed & learned panel of experts.

Let me introduce you the expert panel. I have with me, Mr. Rajiv Sharma, CEO, Sterling Hospitals, Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals, Mr. Sudhir Bahl, COO, IVEN Medicare India Ltd, Dr. Dharmendra Nagar, Managing Director, and Paras Hospitals

Coming to the topic, I have had a chance to be involved with a few healthcare systems across the world: The largest, over-funded and under-performing healthcare system – US Healthcare system, the government supported UAE healthcare system & the one that is under-funded and under-performing healthcare system – India

What will be the impact of healthcare globalization on the Economy? Firstly, why will the healthcare globalize? And when this happens, what impact will it have on our economy?

My understanding is that the healthcare in the US / Europe has already embraced the ‘Moment of truth’ – that both these systems are not sustainable in the current form. I believe that the solutions for the healthcare problems of the developed world lie in the developing world, and so, healthcare globalization is the only way forward! With private Indian healthcare organizations setting up world class facilities in India, a good number of Indian faculties are headed back home with better environments to work in their very own home country. This will lead to reverse migration.

Also, developed world is facing the problem of high cost and a long waiting period for major interventions. Certainly, Indian healthcare system offers solutions to fill in this need gap with an assurance of world class care. Adding to this is the healthcare insurance products being launched by some insurance companies in the US that will encourage the patients to travel overseas for treatment

Today, US healthcare system is a big talk everywhere as it is 17 % of its GDP. In India, a 1.2 Trillion USD economy, healthcare is 2.91 % of the GDP. This number of 2.91 % of the GDP is too low to impact the economy unless it becomes 2-3 times of its present number.  One of the impacts of healthcare globalization will be that it will increase the healthcare’s share of GDP in India

Recently, we saw a major healthcare group in India bidding for a regional healthcare group.   I can safely bet that the Wal-mart of healthcare will be from India

With Healthcare globalization, the healthcare will improve and impact the healthcare of the common man, and ultimately the productivity of our country’s work force will go up; thereby leading to a more vibrant economy

Overall, the impact of Healthcare globalization in our economy will be felt across sectors as Healthcare is a complex industry with the highest employment potential . Healthcare globalization will positively impact employment across sectors like manufacturing , R & D,  tourism , textiles, hospitality , education , IT, Insurance , BPO , Telecom etc , and so one can easily understand the multiplier effect on the economy in India due to healthcare globalization

We have started the journey for globalization. India has the potential to set India class standards for the world rather than aping the world class standards for India.  We have some great leaders in Healthcare like Dr.Syeda Hameed, and we are sure to reap the benefits that healthcare globalization brings to our economy

So if I were to sum up the impact of the healthcare globalization on our economy, it would:

a)      Reverse brain drain in healthcare

b)      Increase the share of healthcare as a percent of GDP

c)       Create the Wal-mart of healthcare from India

d)      Enhance the productivity of the workforce and make our economy more vibrant

e)      Have a multiplier effect on many sectors of our economy

Thanks for patiently hearing me out. Now let me open the session to our expert’s panel