Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coffee Board chairman Gogineni V Krishna Rao moves to Karnataka Raj Bhavan

Karnataka Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj has picked Coffee Board of India chairman Gogineni Venkata Krishna Rao to succeed A.K.M. Nayak who left the Raj Bhavan at the end of July 2009 to become additional chief secretary in the Karnataka government.

It will be one more Telugu-speaking IAS officer in an influential office in Karnataka. The state Chief Minister's Office already has three key officials including two IAS officers who are Telugu-speaking.

Krishna Rao, 56, a 1982-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer who hails from Andhra Pradesh, told, "We are used to moving places in our jobs and I only I hope I live to the expectations of my new job there. Every job has its challenges and responsibilities."

For almost five years since he took over as chairman of Coffee Board in May 2005, the soft-spoken officer served as a friend, philosopher and guide to the coffee industry in India. The Coffee Board, an autonomous body functioning under the Central ministry of commerce and industry, was set up under an Act of Parliament in 1942 to focus on "research, development, extension, quality upgradation, market information, and the domestic and external promotion of Coffees of India". Under Rao's guidance, coffee exports marginally rose to two lakh tons in the current fiscal -- a whiff of energising aroma -- especially factoring lower output because of adverse weather conditions and increase in domestic consumption.

Rau had also worked on several measures to boost demand for coffee -- locally the coffee sector reported six per cent growth rate and outside more than two per cent. "It won't be fair to attribute these good things to me," Rao told, "we all worked together for the success of the Board's objectives." It's exactly the kind of lowkey characteristic that helped the Governor's office to zero in on Rao after some late night consultation with the state chief secretary S.V. Ranganath the last few days.

An MSc in agriculture, Rau will find the Raj Bhavan environment a totally different one for him to cultivate and nurture.

Rao will be entering a fairly tough territory serving as a link between the imposing colonial landmark and the state Government whose functionaries sit in another 1950s granite edifice called the Vidhana Soudha just next door. Close encounters of a powerful kind.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Corpus Media labs acquires US-based PQ Engineering

Corpus Media labs (Sachin Tummala, chairman), a media and entertainment software and services unit of the Hyderabad-based Corpus group of companies, has acquired US-based PQ Engineering, Inc (PQE), a digital video consulting group in a cash and stock deal.

Dallas based Corpus Media labs provides cross platform applications like Interactivity, Enhanced TV, Customer care, transactional services, participatory and Information services across TV, PC and Mobile.

Corpus' cross platform applications can be deployed on top of proprietary Service acceleration platform, ''Citadel'' as well on industry renowned middleware platforms.
Denver, Colorado-based privately held PQ Engineering is a digital video consulting services company with expertise in headend solutions, system integration and rollout, and next-generation set-top box development and testing.

Sachin Tummala, group chairman, Corpus group of companies said, "The combined forces of both the companies will allow expanding our expertise both in India as well as in US providing our cable and satellite customers with a broad range of solutions in the fields of Systems Integration, Application development as well as consulting."

In 2006, Corpus had acquired Recreate Solutions, a London-based new media services company, and followed it up by acquiring Retreon Inc., a Denver based Cable and satellite focused company.

Corpus Media Lab's main backers are private equity firm ConnectCapital, an investment arm of Insight Capital Partners, whose strategic investors include Microsoft and i2 technologies

Thursday, April 8, 2010

AP awards Machilipatnam port to Navayuga

The project estimated to involve an investment of Rs.1560 crore, was originally awarded to Maytas Infra Ltd-led consortium in april 2008.

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday named infrastructure firm Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd (Chinta visveswara Rao-Chairman) as the lead promoter of the Machilipatnam port project on India’s east coast.

The project, estimated to involve an investment of Rs1,590 crore, was originally awarded to a Maytas Infra Ltd-led consortium in April 2008.

The Maytas consortium failed to achieve financial closure for the project within the stipulated time and its members, Srie Infrastructure Ltd and Sarat Chandra Co., expressed their willingness to exit from it, the state government said in a statement after the cabinet meeting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3 Kammas elected to Bangalore Municipal Corporation

3 Kammas elected to Bangalore Municipal Corporation
1) Munirathnam Naidu - Yeshwanthpur - INC
2) Katta Jagadish - Vasanth Nagar - BJP
3) B.S. Venkataswamy Naidu - Chikkallsandra - BJP

Friday, April 2, 2010

D. Balasundaram: The machine man Architects of Coimbatore

The first indigenous motor in the country was produced in Coimbatore in 1939 , thanks to an engineer who was working in the National Engineering Works of G.D.Naidu.

An electrical engineer from Sheffield University, England, D. Balasundaram had training in a major industrial unit there that had 12,000 employees manufacturing components for power stations.
He is said to have used the “copper rotor welding” technology to design this motor.

Born in 1913 at Avarampalayam ,Coimbatore, he first established Coimbatore Engineering and Trading Company to manufacture components for textile machinery.

When his Textool Company was born, the first ring frame was produced.

According to historian C.R.Elangovan, this was an achievement because it was a period immediately after the Second World War when everything was scarce and there were too many restrictions too.

Besides, everything had to be imported for which also there were a number of controls, licences and practical problems.

Undaunted, Mr.Balasundaram imported old machinery from Europe, repaired them and used for manufacturing various components.

In 1948, the Indian Government itself requested his Textool Company to manufacture guns and Mr.Balasundaram set up a separate division for the same.

From sten gun to SBBL-12 type of gun the unit provided.

His company, which started producing more and more textile components in 1949, had as much as 2,000 employees by 1952, an achievement by itself.

Textool became so prominent that it was manufacturing almost all the components required for textile units and it emerged as one of the top three in the country manufacturing such items. 

In 1955, he started manufacturing 5 HP diesel engines meant for agricultural pumpsets and the strength of the workforce commensurately shot up to 4,000 by 1957.

He improved upon the Ambar charka with four spindles designed by Ekambaram of Tirunelveli into a 16 spindle charka.

Though that attracted quite a lot of approbation and recognition , it did not become popular due to certain practical difficulties.

He was not deterred by the serious shortage of pig iron for his factory.

He produced indigenous machinery to make iron from the ore and did produce as much as 50 tonnes of iron a day at the Textool itself.

The company rose to such an eminent position that it received orders even from Neyveli Lignite Corporation for components to their machinery and Textool’s products were considered even sturdier than the ones imported from Germany.

In 1960, Mr.Balasundaram undertook a trip to Japan which revolutionised his activities. That led to his producing even railway signal equipment and also the cone winding machinery for textile units with Japanese co-operation.

Mr. Elangovan considers the total indigenous production of a passenger car in 1965 as one of the greatest achievements of Textool.

Besides, a tractor was made in the same company and the first tractor was handed over to the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, towards Bihar flood relief fund.

The serious recession in the textile industry that began in 1965 started hurting Textool also.
Many customers could not make their payments for the Textool products and the company was caught in a serious financial crisis.

It had to be closed down for some time.

When the State Government took over the company, Mr.Balasundaram relinquished his charge.
Most of the small entrepreneurs, especially in Ganapathi area, are said to have been former staff of the Textool Company and there is none who has not had some counsel or support from Mr.Balasundaram.

He is one who has never bothered about money. All that he thinks of is machines and nothing more.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Honeywell inducts Krishna Mikkilineni to executive management team

In recognition of the importance of India in its global business strategy, global technology and manufacturing giant Honeywell has inducted the president of Honeywell Technology Solutions, Krishna Mikkilineni, to the executive management team. In addition to his existing role, Mikkilineni will now be the senior VP, engineering and operations, directly reporting to the $32 billion-odd company’s Chairman and CEO Dave Cote, effective April 12.

In his new role and added responsibilities, Mikkilineni will be based at Bangalore and will be responsible for the company’s engineering and integrated supply chain organisations, including the Honeywell Operations Council and Technology Leadership Council.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Debutant Hero in Tamil: Sanjay Vellanki

It’s a dream come true for debutant Sanjay whose maiden venture Mundhinam Paartheney (MP) is receiving accolades from all quarters. Lady Luck seems to be shining bright on this Chennai boy Sanjay Vellanki who has come a long way from tossing vegetables in a five-star hotel kitchen to facing the arclights, where he has proved his mettle.

“I had a gut feeling that the movie would do well. Director Magizh Thirumeni has done a great job and I had high hopes for the film right from the start,” he begins.

Disclosing details about his role in the film, Sanjay says, “MP is a breezy feel-good entertainer in which I play a software professional. At one point, my character decides to get married and thus begins the hunt for the perfect woman. He comes across three pretty women. How his life changes after encounters with them and who he marries finally, forms the crux of the story.”

Getting into films was not a cakewalk for this youngster who had to undergo gruelling auditions to bag the role. “I was quite hefty before signing the film and the director wanted me to lose ten kilos in a month. I took it up as a challenge and did rigorous workouts for five hours every day. When I managed to shed the extra weight in the stipulated time, my director was impressed and gave me the green signal.”

Sanjay, who comes from a reputed acting school, says that it was during his stint in the kitchen that he realised that films were his passion. “I was a chef in one of the leading five star hotels in Mumbai. After a brief spell there, I realised that cinema was my calling. I must thank actor Jayam Ravi for being a great support. My brother Kumar assisted director M Raja in Jayam, M Kumaran and Unakkum Enakkum. When I expressed my desire to act in films, Jayam Ravi gave me a few acting tips.”

Not many actors have the luck of romancing three ladies in their very first film. Prod Sanjay about the experience and he blushes, “There is a notion that it’s difficult to work with three ladies at a time, but we had a blast on the sets.”

So, what does the future have in store for this actor with typical boy-next-door looks? “I might team up with the same director for my next venture. I want to do realistic films rather than commercial potboilers.”

Alabama’s Myneni nominated for McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship

BIRMINGHAM University of Alabama men’s tennis senior Saketh Myneni have been selected as Alabama’s nominees for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship which was announced by the Southeastern Conference office last Thursday. The scholarship, given annually to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes, has been presented since 1986.

Myneni, a native of Andhra Pradesh, India, currently holds a 3.79 grade point average and is majoring in finance and economics. He’s earned both President’s List and Dean’s List honors throughout his tenure at Alabama and is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Last season, Myneni was named to the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District IV At-Large Team and has thrice been selected as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete. In addition, he is a Commerce and Business Administration Scholar-Athlete at the Capstone and a Crimson Achievement Scholar.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Indian-American, Prasanna Yalamanchili, President of i3, Named to Fifty Powerful Women in Business List

Indian-American Prasanna Yalamanchili, president and chief executive officer of i3, has been named to the Minority Enterprise Executive Council's list of Fifty Powerful Women in Business.

Indian-American Prasanna Yalamanchili, president and chief executive officer of i3, has been named to the Minority Enterprise Executive Council's list of "Fifty Powerful Women in Business" for her work in information technology projects supporting the federal government.

Yalamanchili's selection for this award was based in part on a personal history of overcoming adversity to demonstrate her ability to succeed. Born in Hyderabad, India, she immigrated to the United States in 1991.

Yalamanchilli earned her business acumen through extensive experience with some of the most respected companies in the government support arena, including DynCorp, International, Grant Thornton, and Lightcom International, Inc. Her federal client list includes the Army, the Department of Agriculture, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Prior to i3, Yalamanchilli owned and managed an independent retail franchise. She supervised and trained employees for day to day operations, customer service, inventory control, and created marketing strategies. She sold this company in 2002.

"My entrepreneurial career gave me an enormous opportunity to make a difference in many people's lives, and I'm happy that the contributions my company has made have been recognized in this way," said Yalamanchili. "I'm certainly proud to have had a role in it, and it's truly an honor to receive this award."

The 2010 list, sponsored by the council's award-winning Minority Enterprise Advocate magazine, was based on the theme "Women Going the Distance." The Minority Enterprise Executive Council assists and promotes the interests of minority entrepreneurs by initiating, encouraging and promoting, in cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies and officials and with organizations, public and private, the availability of information and service programs to advance the development