October 2013

Personal Effectiveness

How do you deal with conflicts at work?

By Somali K Chakrabarti How would you feel if, on a particular day when you plan to leave office somewhat early, your manager calls up and asks you to complete an urgent piece of work?  Alternatively, as a manager when you ask your subordinate to collate information that you need to plug into an important report and follow up after some time only to realize that your team member has not even started working on it. Conflicts are a reality of life! Whether you like it or not, in your day to day life, you would invariably come across several conflicting situations, both in office and at home. Your response to dealing with such conflicts often depends on your personality, your tendency to assert yourself, or to impose your viewpoint, or to adjust with others. If you are in a habit to always assert yourself or one of those who wants to prove their point at all times, you may end up expending a lot of time and effort in dealing with conflicts. On the other hand, if you worry too much about a conflict then you will be discontent, frustrated and feel demotivated. That will hamper your productivity at work. The most pressing types of conflicts are those arising due to differences in personality….

Industry

Bottlenecks plaguing the coal sector in India

The import of coal has been one of the significant factors contributing to the Current Account Deficit (CAD) in India that touched 4.8 per cent (approx USD 88 billion) of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012-13 period. Rising imports, coupled with fall in value of rupee, resulted in a drain of foreign exchange from the country. It is surprising to note that although India has the fifth largest reserves of coal in the world totaling up to 235 BT in 2011, the gap between production and consumption of coal has been increasing over the years from 72 MT in 2009 to 82 MT in 2011.   India imported around 135 MT of coal in the 2012-2013 and is currently the second larger importer of coal after China. Here we look at some of the issues pertaining to the coal sector in India. Issues related to import of coal India needs to import substantial amount of coal from countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Indonesia. Indonesian coal accounts for a bulk of India’s thermal coal imports, while steel-making coking coal is imported largely from Australia and South Africa. Owing to the increase in environmental concerns, coal exporting countries such…

Strategy

Core of a Business

We know that firms need to adapt their strategies as per the changes in the business environment. Strategies are highly context specific. What was good five years back will not hold good now. The business model that works for a particular firm may not work in a similar manner for another firm. The strategy that pays off in one country may not produce similar results in another country. While responding to the changes in the environment, sometimes companies have even moved away from their core business. Today, Nokia is a world leader in digital technologies, including mobile phones, telecommunications networks, wireless data solutions and multimedia terminals. You would be surprised to know that Nokia started with a wood pulp mill in Finland as a manufacturer of paper. The company later went on to manufacture rubber bands, industrial parts and raincoats. After World War II they expanded into Electronics and then into telecommunications. HP’s first product was an audio oscillator – an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. They shifted to computers, printers, servers & imaging products. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) started as a textile manufacturing business in 1966, and is one of the world’s most vertically integrated and horizontally…

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