Managing the Master Notes

Jul 23, 2016 | Posted by admin in Events & Happenings   No Comments »

Mr Raj Narayan, Managing Director, Radel Electronics Pvt Ltd, with his colleague and HR head Mr Mahesh Desphande


With the  fortnight drawing to a close, at hand was a pleasant morning with the students gathered in the amphitheater at Welingkar Bangalore. And the experts for the day were Mr. Raj Narayan, Managing Director, Radel Electronics Pvt Ltd. and his colleague and HR head  Mr. Mahesh Desphande. In the offing was a wondrous combination of music and management. Narayan is a passionate flutist, and an ardent music lover.

Music, like any other art-form knows no boundaries. It bonds people across the world. Playing on the stage was a  fusion. And the players- Narayan and  his friend Deshpande.

Narayan remniscing about the roots of his passion for music which dated back 40 years, to his childhood, said, he came from a family that  had deep interest in music. He also  developed affinity for flute . But then  it was difficult to practice along with other musicians while in service.

Leveraging on his work experience  at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and where he had  served in the Design Bureau of Avionics, Instruments and Electrical System, he decided to to start his own enterprise – Radel Electronics Pvt Ltd. And then followed the decison to put in his papers in 1970.

The audience enjoying the fusion

Of the two streams of Indian classical music, Hindustani Classical has a huge fan following in north whereas  Carnatic music has captured hearts in south of India. He spoke of Shruti’ which is the sound interval between recognized notes or swara. It is a significant element of music. So are Tal and Alaap. The former being a predisposed arrangement of beats, in a certain tempo and the latter refers to free flow of the Raga, in which there are no words and no fixed rhythm.  Also briefly, he  touched upon the role of  Khayal (imagination).

The audience was impressed with  his profound knowledge of the finer traits of classical music. Apparently music and management seems to be at the two opposite  ends of in the spectrum of talent. Not so. Narayan demystified the connect between the two which seemingly are  very different dimensions. There were management lessons to be learnt from music, according to Narayan.

When he decided to get into business of music turning his passion into  full time engagement his prior experience in the corporate,  business prowess and knowledge of management and marketing worked to his advantage. His  company invented electronic musical instruments like tambura,  sruthibox,  tabala  primarily for Indian classical musicians and at institutions such as radio stations, schools, music colleges, universities etc.

Also in his business of music he met and interacted with renowned classical singers of the country: Ravi Shankar, Bhimsen Joshi who also shared their requirements or features regarding the musical instruments etc.

The cherry on the cake was  the piece he played on flute. It was a bhajan by Meera accompanied by electronic tabla. The atmosphere in the amphitheater was filled with divinity amidst the morning sun  and chirping of birds.

Students performing on the last day of Neev 2016


On the last day of Neev 2016, in a session titled- Students Expression  the new batch got the opportunity to share the dais and show their talent. So far they had been playing audience, soaking up like sponge what the experts shared.

Characterized by high energy levels, the teams had to prepare a script on a given theme by the mentor faculty and then shoot the same.  The energy level and enthusiasm displayed were  appreciated by all. It was a light entertaining session that gave their creativity a huge canvas. Also it was an opportunity for students to interact with future mentors and build rapport with new classmates. In the process they displayed  excellent team work. Each in the team working on a different aspect of the final package. Scripting, acting, directing, editing and much more. All in a limited time frame.

It was fun watching the works of  the young creatives. There were  poignant themes too. One of the works showcased the story of a poor boy who struggled for making ends meet. It centre-staged his longing for an ice-cream and how the same was met . Another one  was on values given by parents and how youngsters tend to ignore the same when they move away from home.  In another piece the  core concept was about the dilemma of a youngster who was forced into MBA though he had set his heart set on being a chef.Seems the young audience had absorbed well the sessions before.

Show of talent

The fortnight brought the  young audience face to face with so many  leading luminaries. It gave them a chance to  learn from their journey of life. Some of these were holders of highest accolades  from the Government of India. Today the guest speaker was Padma Vibhushan – Dr. VK Aatre, Former DRDO and RA to SM who addressed the young professionals in the valedictory session.


Dr VK Aatre, Former DRDO and RA to SM with Prof Mohan Chandra

Aatre was delighted to be with them, as the enthusiasm   associated with the young was contagious and  known to rub off on everyone around. In the initial years of his career, Aatre was in quandary deciding about his higher education. The options were limited and few. Engineering and Medical Sciences were the two predominantly followed options. Management education was not in vogue. He had long career outside India with brief teaching assignments in engineering colleges. Later he joined  DRDO in India with a team of 200 scientists in his team. Talking of his passion for reading he told the audience how he was mighty impressed by Dale Carnegie ‘How to Win Friends  and Influence People’ and Tom Peters book -In Search of  Excellence’.



He advised the students to have ‘large ears’ in the sense to listen and absorb more form their surroundings. Also they should be open to new ideas.

Among the challenges he faced was that of unions in government institutions. One has to be really diplomatic in dealing with them. Another thing that disquieted him was lack of punctuality and discipline in most of the government employees and the youngsters. Aatre had  laid down the  sharp 9:00 am rule  and the latecomers could drop a chit in an earmarked box. He himself adhered to that rule.

While reminiscing his days as Chief Controller at DRDO, he touched upon the issue of multitasking and team building.  While working in team it is important to cater to take along all. Also equally important was to keep their motivation levels high. Listing further concerns he pointed out that  succession planning and mentoring were still areas of concern. Aatre was known for  handpicking  20 -30 mid level scientists in his lab and would work with them for five years.

Dr Anil Rao, Dr. VK Aatre, Prof Mohan Chandra and Dr Githa Heggde ( l-r)

Talking of his association with Agastya International Foundation, which he has been supporting since his retirement, he said he  cherished and enjoyed working with it. The  mission was to “spark curiosity, nurture creativity and instill confidence” in economically disadvantaged children and government school-teachers by bringing innovative hands-on science education and peer-to-peer learning to government schools and villages across India. It uses mobile science vans which take science education to villages.

The country stands at  cross roads today. Global powers are looking at us.   However, if we really need to establish ourselves as  a world power we need to work more on science and technology. We are blessed with young talent. The Silicon Valley is replete with instances of Indian talent leading the show. Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai are a few to name. Both happen to be technocrats. Aatre shared his disappointment over the fact that the country had not  given any single globally known product to the world.  While speaking on ‘financial crisis’ he said India would survive it all.


He asked the students to have their idealism and values in place. They should be very clear about how they could contribute to the nation. They should have purpose, passion and perseverance in their efforts.  ‘Money’ was not everything in life. He told the audience that India needs mavericks to question the rules. In his closing remarks he commented that socially our country has not changed much since independence and issues which existed way back  in  1960′s  are acting up even now.

And then  came the much awaited address by the head of the institution- Dean and Director Dr Anil Rao.  In his address  he implored  the new batch  to make the best of the opportunities that life has offered them. Living in the best of times with technology that connects them with the best across the world and opens before them a sea of opportunities, they should give themselves over to their pursuits and goals in life.

Dr Anil Rao Dean & Director Welingkar , Bengaluru

Also he in his address asked them to be mindful of their contribution towards nation building, society and specially those who are not as privileged.  Life is not all about profits. It is what difference you make to the world you live in. How many hearts you can warm and how many lives you can light up. It is about holding hands.

Businesses in the days would see more challenges than ever before and their skill lie in navigating these effectively. The world would need a genre  of professionals who are creative, prescient and  entrepreneurial with the capability to leverage  technology and drive innovation.

“It is your time now.” said the Dean, wishing them all  a very bright future.



Talent Show



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