Archive for October, 2014

Connecting the dots – evolution of Photography

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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Photo Courtesy: The early lensmen (1850-1910)

This morning I was reading Frontline magazine where they published photograph of Taj Mahal taken between 1850-1860.

That set me curious around the invention of photography. My findings 1. First process of invention happen when someone observed the ‘effect of light on some material like Silver nitrate etc. 2. Someone connected the above phenomenon to storing the image on some surface if you expose it for long time. 3. Then next person connected the next dot by ordering convex lens to converge the picture on silver chloride. 4. Few more dots connected before first invention got registered in 1839. 5. Eastman who wanted to use photography for his trip to Europe found entire equipment very clumsy and large.

He thought of simplifying the Process of photography by leaving his job as a Banker. 6. He started his company in 1880 in NY and first camera Eastman Kodak was launched in 1888 a year before Nehru was born in India. In 19th century it took almost 90 years to connect the dots between Idea and commercialisation. Today this cycle has come down to 12 years in the case of LED lighting. It took atleast 50 years to reach the invention of Camera to common man in 20th century. In 21st century it took less than 5 years to make LED viable for common man. A power of Globalisation and communication.

Noble Prize in Physics – Connecting the dots

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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I like this year noble prize in Physics given for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources because I can relate to this invention which can impact me.

Few Observations

1. We all know that LED lights have 20 to 50 times more Life as well as 5 to 10 times lower power consumption. Longer life and Lower power is a dream for any product invention.

2. I learnt that The LED invention is about knowing Chemistry more than Physics. It was usage of Galium Nitride instead of Galium Phosphide which generated the light by activating certain types of electron. Thus for inventions – Connecting the dots across knowledge circles becomes important.

3. After a long time Japanese invention brought a noble prize. Can we relate that Japanese thinking process of Higher Efficiency, Higher efficiency, higher efficiency brought this invention.

Satyarthi: Recognizing a reformer

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Satyarthi

He has saved over 80,000 children from slavery and illegal labour, but only a fraction of the Indian population knows Kailash Satyarthi.

Silent Performance, commitment and work can also be awarded in this noisy world of media.

Kailash Satyarthi winning a noble peace prize from remote place near Bhopal proved it.

Noble prize Processes works better than Indian processes of recognition.

Intellect Design Arena To Be Listed Soon

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

October 10 was a very important day for us, Record Day, as we call it, when Polaris Services business has traded independently as ex-Intellect Design Arena Limited. It’s a major step in the journey of the Polaris where Services company created one of the largest Intellectual products for Retail banking, Capital markets, Global transaction banking and Insurance space by investing over 1000 Crores (around 100 Crore per year) over last 10 years. Now Intellect, which is around 600 crore revenue business with 200 marquee banks as customers can take care of itself for the investments and growth.

Now next step is listing of Intellect Design Arena Limited independently in coming weeks. Here’s a brief interview I gave to ET Now. Published with their kind consent.


Ironman

Monday, October 13th, 2014

iron-man

It is a matter of pride that we have an Ironman among us. Raghul Shankaranarayanan has completed the intensely gruelling Ironman Triathlon, one of the world’s toughest one-day athletic events. It is a long distance race that involves 3.8 km of swimming, 180,25 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running – without break, and to be completed in 17 hours!

Raghul is the first from Tamil Nadu and one of only 10 Indians to have achieved this. That makes him one in 100 million!

Here is an interview of his published in Connect, our weekly newsletter. It shows incredible attitude and never-say-die spirit – qualities that I believe are part of the Polaris DNA.

 There is always that one moment in any gruelling sequence of life that decides whether you are going to make it or break it. What was the most challenging moment of this triathlon for you? The swim, the cycle, or the run?

Each discipline was gruelling in itself but personally, cycling was the toughest. The 2*90 km course had rolling hill climbs (ups & downs). In the 2nd lap, while I was cycling up the hill, my right adductor and left IT band cramped, so I got down to mitigate the cramps by self massaging those muscles. Many cyclists got down during those hill climbs to walk up those hills but I had made up my mind that I shouldn’t advance while I am off the cycle, so I mounted my cycle and resumed. Also after 130 km mark, I lied down on the ground with my feet lifted, to ease the pain on my lower back. After a minute or two’s rest, I resumed cycling. The tough got going. It took me 7 hr 32 m to complete 180 km and this is where I personally feel that there is a lot of scope for improvement.

How long have you nourished this ambition and how did you prepare yourself for it?

Here in Chennai, I have been participating in different triathlons starting from sprint distance to Iron distance triathlons from Sep 2012. A friend of mine, ignited the idea of my going international while I was volunteering in a triathlon event conducted by Chennai Trekking Club on 23th Mar 2013, since then it has been a dream. My preparation for the event was extensive and varied but the highlights were swimming 2 km into Bay of Bengal, cycling Javadhu hills from Chennai & back and running 80 km in the Kodai hill range spread over 2 days. Strength trained regularly for all the muscles using my own body weight and speed trained in athletic track. I didn’t have any coach but referred educational videos and valuable inputs from the experienced.

Since when have you been swimming, cycling, running?

I started serious practice of swimming from early 2013 before which I could barely swim 50 m. In the month of Jun 2013, I started cycling long distances like 200 (10 hr), 300 (15 hr 30 m), 400 (22 hr) & the longest of my record was 530 km (37 hr), after which I regularly cycled on weekends. On 7th of Oct 2012, I ran my first half marathon in the CTC’s Buckingham Canal Marathon. After being an active participant in these events, I quit smoking and this athleticism has become more of an addiction to me, which serves better too. “Quit Smoking, Do Good…”

What are the other characteristic qualities (apart from physical endurance and training) do you think a person must possess to achieve something of this magnitude?

The triathlon is a challenging event for the mind more than the body. Endurance, patience and perseverance are qualities that one learns and nurtures during the course of preparing for a triathlon. A ‘Never say die’ attitude is mandatory. One must mentally prepare but this works hand in hand with the physical building. For example, whenever we workout we’d be better off with a companion. But sometimes, we have to come out of our comfort zone and train alone as well. I used to run 30-35 km, cycle 100-150 km or swim 3-4 km on weekends all alone to prepare mentally. Watching inspirational videos will not take us too far but will only indulge us in the habit of watching them. “Stop Watching, Start Doing. Inspire!”

How would you describe the impact of this “Ironman” title on you as a person, and as a professional?

This triathlon challenge pushes us, as humans to help them find our boundaries and push ourselves beyond them . It brings out the Iron character in us. It is not about doing that distance but it is about being an Ironman in at least those things that we passionately do. There is an Ironman in everyone of us and to bring it out, we have to stop blaming or wondering and start performing. After all, “Anything is Possible” is Ironman’s motto.

What kind of support you received from Polaris? What are your future plans?

It was tough to get support from Polaris initially but later I found my way through and met the right people. I was reimbursed for the event’s registration fee and my flying charges, which helped me a great way. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Raymond Arogyaswamy, Mr. Ananda Krishnan, Mr. Vijay Rangaraju, an ex-employee and our Chairman Mr. Arun Jain.

There are only around 10 Ironmen in India but none of them have got qualified for or performed in the Kailua-Kona Ironman, a world championship event. In order to qualify, we have to arrive in top 50, in any other Ironman challenge. Now that I have made my Ironman dream a reality, I want to dream to become an Indian Kailua-Kona Ironman. With continued support from Polaris, I don’t think making that a reality is too far away. “Dreaming is hard as it is meant to come true”.