Daily Archives: February 1, 2014

ZED Transcends the Commercial

krishnakumar“If you have to be a leader company, it has to have leaders belonging to it”, said Sumantra Ghosal, the management Guru. In our effort at ZED to make leaders not just managers, the company has launched a soft initiative to secure such mentorship for its core leaders. Coach Krishna Kumar, who is a pioneer in executive coaching, an IIT-Chennai & IIM-A alumnus. He is always taken ‘the other road’ in his work. He began with sports coaching, and is now a globally recognized Master Coach. He is now working this year with three management members at ZED to support them on their leadership journey. Excerpts from an interview with the Coach.

 What do you hope to bring as change for the Zed leaders?

Working in an organization that focuses on creating sustainable living, leadership at Zed requires developing suitable behavioral and strategic mindset to meet this vision. My aim is to groom future leadership at Zed by inculcating this mindset in them. It is such tactical thinking and building of inner confidence that I hope to build in ZED leaders.

What do you see the company representing?

I believe that the founders started with some powerful core values and created a vision for Zed that transcends the commercial, and works towards building a better and safer world for present and future generations. The Company’s ability to deliver with managers making effective decisions is part of the challenge.

Who are the kind of the managers and professionals we need to be recruiting? And, what are the soft skills they need to possess for being part of ZED?

It is imperative that every member on the Zed team should be selected based on commitment and complete belief in the organization’s values and vision. Based on the nature of the business environment that Zed operates in, leaders should have the ability and skills to deal with situations that are Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (it is a VUCA world!).

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CII jury offers award for best waste management practices across India.

waste--621x414The CII awards for best Waste Management Practices was held in Bangalore last year in late November. BCIL was invited to be a member in the six-member jury panel of distinguished professionals who chose the awards for best management practices that the CII offered in early December to a rostrum of Indian companies for their innovations and commitment to recycle, recover industrial waste. The spectrum of practices across 300 entries.

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BCIL bags more scalps

Zed Awards2013 ended with a harvest of 5 coveted awards for the leadership in Zero Energy Development that BCIL has spearheaded over every project.

Both the realty TV channels in India, CNBC Awaaz and NDTV were compelled to offer their top green award to BCIL. Said Manisha Natarajan, the Chief Anchor at NDTV Profit, “No matter which way the members saw it, the jury just could not turn away from the compelling work that BCIL has done over so many years. 

It was a decision that required hardly any debate among the jury. It’s hard to believe that a builder company actually is as hugely responsible, while having succeeded on the ground to have brought freedom from the grid for water, energy, and waste. I can only wish that there are more such builders. BCIL today is in a very small minority of just one!”

CNBC Awaaz’s Vipin Bhatt said, “It’s humbling for us at CNBC Awaaz to actually know the ZED group that does such distinguished work with a commitment that is rare and distinguished. It’s an honour for us to be offering an award to BCIL for its incredible work. We only wish more customers in the marketplace buy these places and encourage this road toward saner cities.” Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NtC2h6YiL0&feature=youtu.be

The other awards that came BCIL’s way during the year were the ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY PROJECT OF THE YEAR, NORTH BANGALORE. Silicon India in association with LIC Housing Finance Ltd, conferred this honour upon BCIL at the Bangalore Real Estate Awards 2013′.

There was then the Social Responsibility Award at the World CSR Congress Excellence & Leadership Awards at Mumbai in Feb 2013. Later in the year BCIL received ’it second CMO Asia Pacific Award in Singapore.

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Kolkata hosts the best builder minds as IGBC plans the future

KolkataIt was a weekend meant for reflection. Some of the finest minds in the country now spearheading the building industry’s future in terms of both powering the industry growth, as well as shaping policy met at a quiet resort outside of Kolkata.

The leaders present were the heads of national building majors – Tata Housing, DLF, Raheja, Daikin and Carrier Aircon, and many other national majors who are mentoring the greening of India’s building professionals.

They were from 15 cities and 8 states represented with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the City Chapters at the conclave.

The agenda was: to see how they could bring about greater enrollment to the purpose of not just building but offering inspiring directions in managing sustainably natural resources that go into making of building infrastructure.

“I have not had a more intense and mentally fatiguing day!” said a first-timer leader participant. The first day saw over 14 hours of exchange of views, opinions, perspectives on what role the Indian Green Building Council can play in mobilizing opinion and galvanizing action among builders nationally.
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Reflections by the Brahmaputra

BrahmaputraThe IIT Guwahati on the banks of the great river that runs over a km wide at this state capital, had its students hold their annual festival, Udgam in early January. About a thousand students of the 6000 on campus of B. Tech, other bachelor degrees, PHDs, and Master students combine to hold this festival once a year.

It is a lecture series held over the weekend with eminent business wizards and entrepreneurs delivering lectures on their work. The intent is to have them share their experiences and inspire the students. People from diverse fields of knowledge participate in the event and share their knowledge. Among them this year was a brand specialist from Bangalore, an Education Network consultant and Hariharan of ZED.

Among those who have been speakers at this platform are stalwarts from industry like Mohit Dubey (carwale.com), Arun Shourie, Mira Sanyal (former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland), Soumodip Sarkar, an economist, and the CEO of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, Anuja Chauhan, a former executive creative director of J Walter Thompson, and so on.

Other such events of the IIT Guwahati are the half marathon, the Technothlon, and the Techniche. Says Hariharan, “The quality of thinking among the young as I found at the Sabarmati Ashram two weeks ago among 450 other students, and now here at Guwahati is remarkable.”

Here were about 650 first year students and about 2000 students from the subsequent years of the IIT programs at Guwahati, participating. “Their levels of concerns on India are truly beyond their age in terms of maturity,” he added.

“There were B. Tech students of chemistry and mathematics who had rejected offers of up to 1.3 crores last year! These boys have opted to continue their masters and then to get on to research rather than fall for the lure of money.”

These islands of relative excellence in India are securing a greater commitment from the youngsters trained in their portals, unlike in the past when their predecessors went with the sole intent of taking attractive salary packages, and not putting their learning to better use.

This trend has nothing really to do with the institutions themselves; it is to do with the change in India’s young.

It is heartening to hear such commitment from the young especially when we know that there are 600 million Indians who are under 25 and 150 million of them just crossing 18 years as they gain their right to vote in the Parliamentary elections for the first time.
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Ambassador invites BCIL chief to woo Omani investors

Muscat Indian EmbassyEmbassies of India across the world have been trying to see how they can hold annual seminars to pitch for greater interest in India’s business story. As part of this program CII has been partnering with Indian embassies to have business leaders present the India story to distinguished government and industry leaders in other countries.

The Indian ambassador to Oman, Mr. J.S. Mukul invited BCIL’s Hariharan for a keynote address to about 100 Omani government officials and business leaders, as well as Indian senior corporate managers and leaders at an economic summit in Muscat in early December.

Oman and India have had excellent relations for three decades. The King of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said was a student of Shankar Dayal Sharma, the former President of India. The King, and therefore, Oman has had a soft heart for India, thanks to the excellent diplomatic relations the two countries have enjoyed. There are many Indians who have lived for 15 to 40 years in Oman. No one who goes in there usually comes out, is something that most Indians who know of that region, say.

It was a tough task to actually talk of the India story since a lot of it has gone sour in the last 7 to 8 years. Investments people have made in India have turned bad either because of lack of ethic and the failure to keep business promises, or of the Indian economy’s weakening to a point where investments made 4 to 5 years ago at Rs 38 to a dollar have soured as investments at the current level of over Rs. 62 a dollar.

To present the India story is tough, said Hariharan to the august gathering that was attended by the Indian Ambassador and a very senior emissary of the Omani Finance Ministry.
“It is true that we have a fantastic potential ahead of us, but we can’t get our act together, thanks to inability of corporate managements to deliver on promises and of the completely uncertain climate of policy and governance that Indian regimes have offered in the last 15 years,” he said in candid admission that had the audience pleasantly surprised.

The India growth story has remained more on paper than in actual content, he continued. Hariharan went on to unfold the potential that lay in India despite the challenges.

The feedback at the end of the keynote address and through the pre-lunch session with the distinguished Omanis and Indians was electrifying. They came in with very low expectations to the conference. Two hours later there were many who came up and spoke to the BCIL team. Said one participant, “There was no one who had actually successfully presented the India Story with as much frankness.”

The ambassador Mukul said, “It is not that Dr Hariharan’s keynote address is going to make a dramatic change and influence our leaders to change their mind, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
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NDTV seeks BCIL viewpoint on Bangalore 2031

NDTV Profit invited a small panel of building industry experts across India for a debate on Bangalore and its plan for 2031 and 2035. The news peg was the need of the Bangalore Development Authority to validate the 2015 CDP and the creation of the new CDP 2031.

It was also to discuss the regional metropolitan plan 2035 that the state government is now toying with. The panelists were, apart from Hariharan, Naresh Narasimhan who heads one of the largest architectural practices in India; the head of a Bangalore-based builder company and an urban planning expert from Mumbai.
The discussion revolved around the government clearing the Intermediary Ring Road at a massive cost of Rs 50 crores to a kilometer for a total of 116 kilometers that will girdle the city.
The panel questioned the brutality of such public expenditure. The panel questioned the surreptitious internal debate on RMP 2035 being carried out by the Govt agencies without an opportunity for the public to be consulted. The experts explored options of Govt contributing to the possibility of such public consulting on public decisions.
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Baroda gets a taste of ZED insights

Picture 156President – ZED Communities, B.S. Harikrishna made a presentation in late November in Baroda to a very discerning audience of architects, urban planners, and students of engineering and architecture. It was at an IGBC event in the once royal city of Vadodara.

He received a standing ovation. At the end of his presentation, Karan Grover, a well-known architect in practice from the town, who is also the chapter chairman for the city, picked up the mike in a moment of enthusiasm at the deep impact that the presentation had made and said, “I make a commitment to get Harikrishna to meet Modi, the Chief Minister.
Let me see how the government can help his company secure a land where they can demonstrate these ZED approaches to energy, water, and waste.” We haven’t yet heard from Karan or the Gujarat Govt. But let’s hope someday there’ll be the opportunity to push such frontiers.
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BCIL raises Rs 900 million to fuel growth

Rupees-symbolIn a major breakthrough, BCIL has signed a deal closure for Rs 900 million from a large Bombay-based funding institution. The transaction is a combination of funding in the two premium BCIL projects exceeding over 1 million sft between Bangalore and Chennai.

This is the first major fund that the green major has accepted after establishing itself as an undisputed leader in energy-efficient buildings.

ZedEarth in Bangalore is a half- million sft. development that cuts fresh water demand by 70 per cent, uses no borewells and cuts energy demand also by 60 per cent with a combination of demand-side and innovative supply-side solutions.

ZedRia in Chennai offers over 600,000 sft of similar zero energy developed homes with no dependence on external water supply and sewerage board.

Energy and water harvesting and urban agriculture are unique to each of these zero energy developments. Both projects are under way and will offer a total of nearly 1,000 homes over the next 1 to 3 years.

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