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How Relevant is the Public Sector in Contemporary India?

Panel Discussion: S. Krishnan, S. Prabhala and Dr VK Koshy, Authors, Inside The Solid State The Story Of Bharat Electronics (Westland Books, 2014)

Date / Time : October 9, 2014 I 2pm to 3.30 pm

Venue: 10th Floor Auditorium, Pixel A

Discussion Abstract:

Since Independence, Central Public Sector Enterprises have played an important role in the industrialization of our country. They span all sectors of the economy: banking, insurance, petroleum, infrastructure, electronics, steel, among others. In many sectors, private companies compete with the public sector as there is little that is reserved exclusively for the public sector. Should the government continue to be in the business of running businesses? And, is the governance and management of public sector enterprises attuned to operate in a competitive environment? Are there comparative lessons to be drawn from the experience of other countries? The panel discussion will engage these questions.

About the Panelists:

S. Krishnan, an officer of the Railways Accounts Service, has, in a span of over five decades, donned several managerial roles such as: Deputy Financial Advisor in Indian Railways, Divisional Finance Chief in Bharat Heavy Electricals, the first Director of Finance in Bharat Electronics, full time Professor at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, the first Dean of Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship, Bangalore, Nominee Director of a HSBC group company on the board of Kurlon Ltd and Planning Consultant for FOSROC (India) Ltd. Strategic Management and Business Ethics were the subjects he handled at the Institutes.

S. Prabhala joined the Electrical branch of the Indian Navy in 1954 after graduating in Electrical Engineering from Guindy Engineering College, Madras. His services were lent to Mazagon Docks, Mumbai from 1964 to 1970 for the construction of Leander class frigates. He was awarded the Visisht Seva Medal in 1972 for his role in the frigate project. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1973 and was deputed to Bharat Electronics, Bangalore, in 1974 to head the Radar Development group. He retired from the Company in 1991 after serving as Chairman and Managing Director for 5 years. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Centre for organization Development, Hyderabad and Chairman of Bangalore Environment Trust.

Dr VK Koshy has a doctorate in Microwaves Antennas from the Delhi University. After serving three years in the Indian Space Research Organisation, Ahmedabad, as a microwave engineer, he joined Bharat Electronics, Ghaziabad in 1974 to set up the antenna development department. In 1988 he moved to the Corporate Office in Bangalore to head the newly set up International Marketing department. He served as the Chairman and Managing Director for nearly 7 years before retirement in 2003. He was conferred the award for “Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Public Sector Management” for the year 2001 by the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE). After retirement from BEL, Dr. Koshy served as an Independent Director on the Board of two PSEs.

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