Posts from the ‘interviews’ Category


In An Interview With Dhara Vasavada Of The Namoleague Times, The `Common Man’, Shri Narendra Modi, Shared His Views About Gujarat, Its Growth Strategies And Some Of His Experiences On What It Was Like To Be The Chief Minister Of A Progressive And Enviable State.

In October of this year, you will complete a decade in office as the CM of Gujarat. What has the journey been like, so far, as a CM and as a Common Man?

It will not be appropriate if I analyze myself. It would be better if people analyze my work. If winning elections is a measure of success, we are continuously receiving the support of people and winning the elections. If we measure success in terms of various other parameters, Gujarat is progressing on all the parameters – be it revenue, financial discipline, GDP, agricultural growth, industrial investment, youth employment, welfare of poor etc. Gujarat is achieving remarkable success in all the sectors. On the other hand, when I came to power, Gujarat was covered amidst the black shadow of an earthquake. It was our priority to work for the earthquake victims. According to a World Bank report, even developed countries require 7 years to recover from the havoc created by an earthquake. But, Gujarat was a state which re-established itself within 3 years. Today that very earthquake struck Kutch district is one of the fastest developing districts of India So, in a way this government is dedicated to progress. I am satisfied that we have been successful in fulfilling all the promises that we had made.

In October of this year, you will complete a decade in office as the CM of Gujarat. What has the journey been like, so far, as a CM and as a Common Man?

It will not be appropriate if I analyze myself. It would be better if people analyze my work. If winning elections is a measure of success, we are continuously receiving the support of people and winning the elections. If we measure success in terms of various other parameters, Gujarat is progressing on all the parameters – be it revenue, financial discipline, GDP, agricultural growth, industrial investment, youth employment, welfare of poor etc. Gujarat is achieving remarkable success in all the sectors.

On the other hand, when I came to power, Gujarat was covered amidst the black shadow of an earthquake. It was our priority to work for the earthquake victims. According to a World Bank report, even developed countries require 7 years to recover from the havoc created by an earthquake. But, Gujarat was a state which re-established itself within 3 years. Today that very earthquake struck Kutch district is one of the fastest developing districts of India So, in a way this government is dedicated to progress. I am satisfied that we have been successful in fulfilling all the promises that we had made.

Gujarat’s high growth has often invited comparisons with the world’s fastest growing nation, China. It must be a matter of great satisfaction that the state has grown at more than 10% in the last decade (2001-02 to 2010-11). What according to you are the reasons behind this success?

It is a fact, that moving upwards is not difficult. When you are standing down, you can easily look up. But, when you are already running around 10% then it is very difficult to maintain the position. But, Gujarat has done it and the reason is our development model which is divided into three parts:
– 1/3rd Agricultural sector
– 1/3rd service sector
– 1/3rd industrial sector
The balance between all the three sectors is attracting growth.
Secondly, the state government is very proactive and this has created an investor friendly environment. The Global Summit has also attracted the world. However, there are several other examples that speak about the success of Gujarat.

The Panchamrut Programme began in 2001 immediately after you became the CM of Gujarat. What was the inspiration and objective behind the initiative?
There are various sectors that help in the development of a region. I have articulated those sectors in the form of Panchamrut philosophy like:

– Gyan Shakti
– Jal Shakti
– Jan Shakti
– Urja Shakti
– Raksha Shakti

There is nothing that is beyond these five shaktis. If things are well defined, it becomes easy for the team to work. I believe that a true leader is the one who visualizes and executes things with clarity. This is how it becomes helpful for the team to work hand in hand.

Over the years, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has emerged as a premier global business meet, attracting huge investments to Gujarat and is becoming a role model for other progressive states. What was the thinking behind such a grand vision?

There was a weird system going on in our country that gave rise to negative competition among states. The states competed for incentives. There was a time when one state said that we would provide a relaxation for 5 incentives; the other would say that we would give for 7, whereas some would give tax benefits. The `relaxation’ competition started in India. We decided that we would not provide any relaxation but we would provide a development friendly environment. I asked people to visit Gujarat and work here if they found it fit.
Secondly, we focused on peaceful and skilled labor. We found ways where we could lower the cost of production and provide better infrastructure. We thought of all such things as transportation, water, electricity etc. and worked out a strategy. We told people that we would not provide any relaxations, they could come here and work if they deemed it fit. Our strategy became successful. People understood the logic that they would get a development friendly environment, hurdles would reduce and time saved.
Over and above, I also brought changes in agriculture. Earlier, agriculture led to a fight for electricity. Every farmer used to ask for it. I said that a farmer needs water and not electricity. I shifted their focus from electricity to water. The unnecessary fights ended and ultimately it helped agriculture. I believe that it is the work of a leader, to visualize things, find out flaws and make people walk with you.

Gujarat was made the SEZ capital of India, what was the idea behind that? Infrastructure has always been Gujarat’s strong point. How does SIR (Special Investment Regions) help in overall growth and development?

SEZ laws were made by the central government. It was made for export purposes. Later, things changed and SEZs became irrelevant. Gujarat was the first state that made laws for SEZ. But now, Gujarat has moved ahead of SEZ. Its focus now is SIR (Special Investment Region). We are focusing on 6 SIRs and are going to create 6 modern and industrial SIR cities like Dholera and Dahej.
For development and overall growth by SEZs and SIRs, I would like to give an example of Korea. South Korea was considered to be a poor and undeveloped country. It got independence after India. The ruler of Korea decided to construct a road in the middle of the country. It was surprising that a poor country was spending crores just to build a road. But, the vision behind that road changed the entire country. Today, it is one of the most developed countries. So, infrastructure is one of the reasons of development. Hence, with a futuristic approach one should give priority to infrastructure. Infrastructure is neither dead investment nor is it a foe of the poor. Development with a vision is always good for the economy.

A vision is required for development. Gujarat started to work on electricity and we are creating a surplus in electricity. Like infrastructure during olden days, we do not stop at constructing bus stops, roads, ports etc. We keep in mind the development of 21st century. For eg. optical fiber network is a very big facet of development. Gujarat is the 2nd largest in the world in terms of optical fiber. In the same way, we are the only state in the world with a 2200 kms gas grid. All these are new faces of infrastructure. We use satellites for connectivity these days which wasn’t developed in the olden days. All these are new areas of infrastructure that we are working upon.

What do you have to say about Public-Private Participation (PPP) in infrastructure?

If the policy is clear and if the investors feel that the policies will sustain, they will get ready to take risks. I would like to mention a recent incident where a road was constructed and the government got a profit of 1600 crores apart from the construction of the road. The company filed the tender saying that they would build the road and share their profits with the government. It happened for the first time in our country that the road was being constructed by a private company and government was getting paid for the same.

Even though a superpower, America is facing an economic meltdown. Can Gujarat take steps to insulate itself from such global economic shocks?

The world has already seen a phase of recession from 2007 to 2009. It affected all states except Gujarat. The main reason was the strategy of Gujarat. Gujarat used the model of low cost and high efficiency. We felt that we could give good results if we had low cost of labor, high efficiency and zero defects. Our strategy worked and even during recession Gujarat is growing.

Gujarat has been a top level performer in the Centre’s 20-point programme for the poor and backward. Can Gujarat’s model of all inclusive development be an inspiration for other states?

The Central government started the 20-point programme. It is reviewed every three months. I am happy to announce that Gujarat is giving more than 100% and is considered one of the best states in this regard. Moreover, in the entire country, NDA regulated states only are doing well when it comes to 20-point programme.

Innovative schemes like Chiranjivi Yojna, Jyotigram Yojna etc. have been commended at both national and international levels. How do you encourage such out-of-the-box thinking for social change?

I am a person attached to the land. I am attached with the sorrows and happiness of people. I do not belong to a royal family, nor am I a son of some minister or a Sarpanch. I belong to an ordinary family and hence I know the sorrows of people. When you know their problems, you automatically get the solutions. It is my passion to solve the problems of the poor. That’s how new programmes are made. I try to institutionalize them and try to attach more and more people to them, be it Chiranjivi Yojna, Jyotigram Yojna, 108, battle for cattle etc. Gujarat has been able to eradicate 112 cattle diseases by taking up continuous health camp for the cattle.

Besides economic growth and social transformation, Gujarat has taken great strides in environment and climate change. Could you comment on your development model of combining government intervention with community participation?

Gujarat is the 4th government in the world and the 1st in India to have a climate change department. We have been continuously working for environmental friendly development and that’s how we became the solar capital of the country. We are also leading in renewable energy. Gujarat has done a commendable job in water conservation and tree plantation. We have brought a change in transportation in no time by introducing CNG service. Ahmedabad, which was one of the most polluted cities, is now being considered amongst the top three cities. Hence, tough decisions and healthy environment do make things possible.
I strongly believe that the government can prosper only if it gets the co-operation of people. Make development a movement. Environment is not made by laws. We should feel for the conservation of nature and take steps for that.

The Swarnim Gujarat (Golden Jubilee of Gujarat’s formation) celebrations ended with a bang this year. How do you foresee Gujarat in the next five years?

Gujarat has rapidly progressed in the past ten years. The speed, with which it has grown over the past years, will increase during the coming years. Last decade has seen a variety of changes, the coming years will see even more. Earlier, it was difficult to get the trust of people, whereas in the coming years the people will have full trust hence they will work for progress in coming years. Earlier, it was difficult to promote girl child education, now in every household people feel that girls should be educated. Such changes will benefit a lot.

Young people tend to get disillusioned by politics. What are your views on the youth getting into politics? Can the political process be improved to encourage grassroot excellence and attract the talented?

In our country, the current model of politics is not fit for the youth. It is a model where the son of a minister enters politics. The country needs someone from a non political family only then development will strengthen. New families should enter politics. The young generation should enter, only then we will get a new atmosphere and new thoughts for development. For that purpose, we need to encourage people. Youth from political families do not help much because he they enter with the same thought process. But if fresh blood comes with an aim to do something for the country, then they can make a great difference.

You have been voicing your support for the anti-corruption movement of recent times. What can we as ordinary individuals and citizens do to further it?

There is a saying in Sanskrit, “Rashtrayam Jagrayam Vayam” (Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty.) The matter of corruption is also the same. Hatred of corruption should take root in the minds of the people. Corruption should be abhorred. The easy going way of getting work done through bribes should be abolished. If such hatred is created, the one who gives and the one who takes, both will be put to shame. Such an environment should be brought in, only then corruption can be abolished.

You engaged in social service from a very early age. Could you throw some light on those days? How important is the spirit of social service for someone entering politics?

I have always had the honor to work for the people. I used to reach wherever the need was felt. Actually, I used to read Shri Vivekanandji during my childhood. Hence, I have always felt that I should live for the country and should do something for the society.

Regarding the spirit, it is not necessary for everyone to have the same kind of spirit. Even the degree of spirit varies from person to person. But, atleast a feeling for the nation and society is very important. Each and everyone should have a dedication for the country. The greatest inspiration is to feel the pain of others.
“लेना, पाना, बनना, यह अगर प्रेरणा है तो वो लोगों का काम नहीं कर सकता है. वो खुद का ही करता है. ” (If to take, to achieve and to be is the inspiration, then one can never work for the people. He works for himself.) People who come with such mentality do not help in the betterment of the country. We need people who believe in giving.

As a youth, you faced many odds and obstacles. Can you talk a little about them? How did you convert them into opportunities and positive actions?

I have never counted challenges and have never dreamt of happiness. For a person who has a habit of staying hungry, won’t find it difficult if he does not get food for a day. For him, it’s a routine. My life was also the same. I have faced a lot of hardships. But all these are the troubles in the eyes of others. People like me, are brought up amidst this, so these are not challenges for us. We face them and easily live them.

Could you please narrate the incident when you unfurled the national flag at Lal Chowk in Kashmir around 1990?

During those days, the terrorists used to burn and tear our national flag. It had become their routine to walk on our national flag and insult our country. BJP decided to speak against this insult by unfurling the national flag at Lal Chowk. Dr. Murlimanohar Joshi, the national leader of BJP during those days, took charge of the movement. It was decided that I would organize the entire journey. I got the opportunity to carry the national flag from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The flag that we carried was given by the family members of Bhagatsingh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. We unfurled the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. At that moment, the terrorists were showering missiles and bullets. I told the press that earlier when we used to unfurl the national flag on August 15, the Indian arms and army used to respect the national flag, but today the Pakistani arms are respecting our national Flag.

What message would you give to the namoleague team?

I am thankful to all the members of namoleague for staying in touch, indirectly though. You all care for my problems and happiness. You congratulate me for all good things and pray during my trials and tribulations. I will try to fulfill all your dreams and expectations. I pray to God to provide me enough strength so that I can work for Gujarat and 6 crore Gujaratis.

– Shree Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat.




According to Dr. Dani, a precursor in the field of cardiology, India is in the midst of the heart epidemic. Precautions need to be taken or else it can hamper the growth of the country.

What are the first five things to be kept in mind when it comes to heart problems?
There are several reasons for heart problems but the first five would be:

  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure
  • High cholesterol Levels
  • Cigarette smoking and less physical activity or no physical activity
  • Family history

I would say family history is a very important factor. If the parents ever suffered from heart problems then it is likely that the child will have heart problems. It could be because of certain chemicals and a lot many other factors. It can be because the family lives in the same area and under same environmental circumstances. Stress patterns are also inherited; the personality of a child also resembles to that of the parents. Genetic Polymorphisms also plays a part wherein the genes are identified and transmitted from father to son or mother to son. Heart problems may arise due to the genes though we have not been able to localize. We don’t know for sure what the reason is but family history indeed is a very important factor. 

What are the reasons behind heart problems detected at an early age?
These days heart problems have started occurring at an early age as compared to previous years. The reason could be change in the life style. By change in life style I mean exercise levels are going down, less physical activity, obesity is going up, the level of blood pressure and diabetes is rising, and stress level is also going up day by day. Moreover, the food habits have also changed as people have started taking more of junk and oily food which increases the cholesterol level. In our country, it’s the time of urbanization which brings changes in food habits. There is a lot of competition all around which increases stress levels. In rural areas people are much more physically active. But urbanization has brought in physical inactivity amongst people.
One thing that people have not realized so far is the impact of pollution. Increase in air pollution can also lead to increase in the heart diseases. This has been recognized in last four to five years and a lot many researches are being carried out on this. There are studies which say that people who live in more polluted areas and people who live in high traffic areas get more heart attacks. Hence there should be an air drive because in our country 70% of the air pollution comes from traffic. I think government needs to take a step on this. But government alone will not be able to do it and hence a lot of public awareness has to be brought in. Medical communities and NGOs also need to play a part. It has to be a tip bound approach. 

Your views regarding medical facilities in Gujarat
Medical facilities in Gujarat, in most of the medical specializations are par excellence and can be compared to any big city. Since last 50 years Ahmedabad is being compared with Mumbai. Every other Gujarati has a relative in Mumbai. I would say that since 1980 or let’s say around 1990’s Mumbai was far ahead of Ahmedabad. Medical facilities were practically non comparable at that time. But now things have changed. There is hardly any facility that is available in Mumbai and not available over here. Barring a few human brains there is no dearth of human skill or technology. Even here we find really good doctors. Now even the equipments and infrastructure and everything is almost at par.
Even if we talk about medical facilities across the globe, I would say that Indian doctors are as good as the doctors in other developed countries. In foreign countries if you take the top 50 doctors there would be 10 Indians. So I don’t think there is any difference as far as doctors are concerned. Coming to the hospitals, there is no difference in the equipments. Even we operate on the same equipments used by the foreign countries. But, the difference is there in the para medical staff. The difference may be less in the top class institutes but the gap does exist. We need to train our nursing staff and other para medical staff. One reason could be that para medical profession has still not acquired repute in the Indian market. It is not a profession that people go by choice. This is not the case in the western countries. Nurses or any other para medical staff is well paid and the profession is also respected over there.
It has been observed that people from over the globe come to Ahmedabad to get treated. Cost cutting is the reason behind this. People are very cost conscious. In Ahmedabad the medical facilities are provided at a lower cost as compared to the other parts of the world and that too using the same skill and technology. Not only the people but even the service providers are cost conscious. Hence Ahmedabad attracts patients from various countries. 

Which all heart diseases are found among patients and what precautions should be taken for the same?
These days the biggest problem is the coronary heart disease. Second problem that is on the rise in India is the valvular heart disease which affects the valves of the heart. Third problem is the congenital heart disease, a heart disease right from birth. It is common but it goes unnoticed amongst children. Apart from these diseases there are other heart problems which are seen after pregnancy and many others but they are not too common.
Awareness about healthy lifestyle is the most important in order to prevent these diseases. Moreover, Gujarat government is running a very good programme on school health scheme. The programme covers the children very well. Very high rate of detection since last few years has lead to a high rate of treatment. I think this is one of the best programmes by the government.

It is found that cholesterol accumulates since childhood. How can one lower the cholesterol level?
Firstly, we should teach our children about the healthy lifestyle, what is good and what is not good. Importance of being active etc. also needs to be explained. Prevention of the society starts right from the children. Schools should cover the issue in their curriculum. Teachers should teach their students about healthy lifestyle. In a nutshell, it’s all about being and staying healthy. 

What are the first aid steps to be taken during a heart attack?
First of all clear the area if you suspect that somebody is having a heart attack. Make him lie down if possible. It is most important to give him chewable aspirin tablet. If it is the known case of heart problems than you can give him a Sorbitrate under the tongue and then take him to the nearest hospital. 

Out of all medical specializations, why did you choose being a cardiologist?
It was just accidental. I loved the field of medicine. I was a gold medalist and could choose anywhere between a neurologist and a cardiologist. I actually wanted to become a neurologist but when I appeared for the entrance exam, neurology seats were cancelled by the university. So as there was no neurology available, I joined cardiology and started liking it so never changed it.
There are a number of reasons why I started liking cardiology. Cardiology is a branch that has developed the maximum in last 30 years. It has shown a tremendous progress. Moreover, the stress is on saving life. It is a very cutting edge technology as you are walking on edge all the time. One wrong step and your patient could die. This is not the case with all the branches of medicine. There are other branches of medicine where you have time to correct your mistakes. If something has gone wrong and if we realize it one hour or two hours later, we can still correct it. It’s less so in cardiology, it is stressful but it is mentally rewarding when you save someone’s life. A cardiologist needs to be a perfectionist because the Hippocratic Oath says that do not do any harm if you cannot make it better. 

How did you become one of the Board of Director’s of Life Care hospital?
I wanted to do something and wished to bring change in the way the hospitals are run. Life Care is a small hospital but we have many cutting edge instruments there. Life Care has instruments which are not there in any small hospitals of its kind. We cut down the profits and instead of taking home the profits, we invest in technology. We even have a few instruments which are not there even in bigger hospitals like there is a facility for 3D angiography. We have intracoronary Doppler which Life Care was the first one to buy in the whole state. All this is something which we do not talk about or advertise but it gives us comfort in operating. So the reason was to start a hospital with good technology.

The use of stem cells during heart failure is being talked about these days, what is your thought on that?
The use of stem cells for the cure of heart diseases is controversial. Stem cells are supposed to regenerate and theoretically it will help the damaged tissue or the dead tissue. Hence the heart muscle which was dead or damaged could be replaced by a good muscle. The problem is that it doesn’t even work 50%. Stem cells are very promising thing but yet we do not have a sure shot method which can provide a desired result. People are still working on the subject of a cell tissue helping a heart tissue. It is not a standard treatment. Even in western countries it is done on the experimental basis.

Narrate the best memorable experience during your career so far.
There are many such incidences so I will have to pick and choose. But I will tell you about one particular patient whose heart stopped after the bypass. There patient was young nearly the age of 39-40. The case was complicated so we did not have much time. As a result we had to take quick steps. The patient just had his bypass two days prior to the incident. As a result, we couldn’t even give him chest compressions. His condition was critical and we were running out of time. So ultimately, we opened his chest to give him an open heart massage in which we pump the heart with our hands. We pumped his heart for nearly two to two and a half hours and it was slowly coming back. Finally it came back to life. But after a prolonged heart massage, the heart got so swollen that we could not close the chest. We had to keep his chest open for three to four days till it came back to its original size. The patient went home after staying in the hospital for one and a half months. Almost all of us had thought that the patient was dead but by the grace of god we could bring him back to life. Six to seven years have passed and today the patient is fit and fine.

Message to the society
Preventing the heart disease epidemic is the most important thing. We are already in the midst of heart epidemic and if we do not pay proper attention to that, we will have to pay a heavy cost. It will hamper India’s progress. If your youth is taken away then we cannot progress. If a 40 year old suffers from a heart attack than he cannot produce what he is supposed to produce. So many resources are wasted. I just treated a heart patient aging 39 years. His angioplasty costed Rs. 2 lakh. Over and above, he will not be able to work properly for a certain period of time. Hence it has a direct impact on the available resources which will adversely affect the economy. 

Dr. Sameer Dani, MD, DM, Director- Department of Cardiology, Interventional Cardiologist.

A doctor according to me is not just a life saver but a life giver, especially the cardiologist who deals with the most important organ; the heart. I got an opportunity to interview Dr. Sameer Dani, one of the ace cardiologists in India. Not having a science background I thought it might be difficult to interview someone having abundant knowledge in the field. But I found him to be different than the other doctors. He explained even the medical terms in such a simple and lucid manner that it easily entered my mind. I had the luck to see him treating his patients. Inspite of the stressful work that a cardiologist usually has to do, he was skillful and calm.  Apart from being a doctor, I found him to be a true patriot, a true Indian who thinks about Indian youth, about the economy and the society of the country.”

Written by: Dhara vasavada


Jet Airways has a footprint across the entire gamut of Aviation Industry says Anamoy Mitra, a forerunner of the aviation industry

• Narrate what inspired you and your journey from the beginning until you became a General Manager of an airline company.

It is not that there was any inspiration behind joining an airline industry but it just happened. After my MBA, I was working with Bata India when I got a call from Air India. There were interviews, better perks and better opportunity and so I joined Air India. I started my aviation career from Air India. I worked at Bombay, Thiruvananthapuram, Ahmedabad and Dhaka. While I was at Dhaka, I got an offer from Emirates and came back to Ahmedabad and now I am with Jet Airways.

Now, it has been 16 to 17 years that am working with airline companies. Once I entered the industry, I was very happy and grew with varied experiences in cargo, at the airport, sales, as a regional head and also as a country head. Basically, it has been a good journey so far and I find it a good industry to work with.

• In order to start an aviation industry in this competitive world what are the criteria’s one should look for?

In order to start with an aviation industry, first you need to decide the business module whether one wants to go for a full service carrier or a low cost carrier. Once you decide on that, you need to look upon the routes where you want to operate. Depending upon the route and the type of traffic the aircrafts are selected.

Types of aircrafts: There are majorly two aircrafts, Boeing and airbus. Then we have aircrafts as per the accommodation capacity and range of travel. There are aircrafts that can accommodate 60 people whereas there are aircrafts that can accommodate 600-700 passengers. In the same way some can fly upto 500 kms or 1500 kms, some can fly for 2 hours without refueling and some for 8 hours without refueling.

Hence, depending upon your business model, the aircrafts are selected. You also need to decide whether you want to take aircrafts on lease or you want to buy them. Once that is in place, you decide upon the engineering requirements, parking requirements and then you build up the marketing team, sales team and so on. There are a lot many things that are required to be kept in mind continuously in order to run the airline smoothly.

• What are the qualities and qualifications required if one wants to join an airline industry?

If I talk about qualification, then all you need is a graduation background. But if you want to get into flying, you need to get your flying training after class 12. Apart from that nowadays,

there are various aviation institutes that provide aviation courses and training which I think is a new trend. During our days, it wasn’t so, we all are graduates and post graduates. But if you want to move in to the managerial position, you ideally need to have an MBA.
Regarding qualities I would say that you need to enjoy with people as basically it is a service industry. Major qualities that are required are cool temperament and ability to deal with people.

At any stage, you will be interacting and dealing with a lot of people. You need to sort out their problems and that too with a smile. You cannot show irritation or attitude. There are times when one has to face pressure from the opposite side but one has to maintain a cool temper.

• Aviation industry is associated with the aspect of glamour, what are your thoughts on it?

Concept of flying itself is glamorous as earlier flying was taken to be a luxury, so I think glamour comes from there. Apart from that, the commercial campaigns by various airlines also have their hands behind this. They show exotic locations, pretty looking people in uniforms and all.

Basically it is a marketing strategy wherein they try to make it glamorous.
If I talk about people who join the industry due to the glamour element, I would say that they don’t last longer. There is a lot of hard work, irregular working hours and much more that needs to be followed. So, either they get hooked to the work, or they move on. There are a lot of people who leave aviation and join relative industries like hotel, hospitality and other service sectors.

• In your point of view, what are the risks associated with this industry?

An aviation industry is a capital intensive industry. A lot of money has to be put in to get the returns. It is an extremely sensitive industry as far as the economy is concerned. Any happening in any part of the world first affects the travel industry. First thing that people cut down upon is on travel. Within travel aviation gets most affected because amongst various modes of transportation, it is the most expensive. Hence, it is a volatile industry.

Apart from problems like oil rise; recession in the market, unexpected changes like volcanic ash, earthquake, war, epidemic etc. affect aviation to a great extent.

• Aviation travel has become a necessity rather than a luxury. When and how did this transition happen?

The transition took place due to the advent of low cost carriers. They did an excellent job while promoting it where they were talking about 0 fare and 1 rupee fare. People didn’t realize that the air fare might be 0 but the tax component brings it to Rs. 3000. Also, there was a time before recession where we could travel Mumbai-Delhi for Rs. 2000.

It became an attraction because p eople thought that at a price of railway first class or railway AC one could take a flight. Though it is not true as airline fares are much higher. But that mindset that was brought in came to stay. It was a hook to catch on the passengers. Another factor is that it is time saving as long distances can be covered in a very short time. Moreover, the economic power with people has increased from what it was five years back.

• How did the concept of no frill airlines come up?

In an aviation industry it is not easy to get the returns. At times, it is necessary to cut down the costs. That is how came in the concept of low cost carriers where you can cut down on your overheads. Every little service apart from the ticket like food, wheelchair, blocking a seat etc. is charged so that the cost is transferred to the end user.

Low cost carriers are a way forward but then again it can only opt for short distances. A low cost travel is possible within India or at the most neighboring countries, or gulf and Far East but not more than that. So it has its own limitations as well.

• Do low fare carriers affect full service airlines? How does Jet Airways cope up with the competition?

If we cover all passengers, then we can see that there are various kinds of traffics. We have holiday traffic which is not very conscious about the aircraft service and they look at cheap fares. That traffic is definitely going to get attracted to low cost. Then comes the corporate traffic for whom time, service and comfort is important. Whereas, there are another type of people who want to travel in luxury and style and hence they opt for business class. But if we look at volumes, low cost carriers have the highest number of passengers.

Jet airways has its own low cost wings like JetLite and Jet Connect and that is the way we deal with the competition. Moreover, Jet airway has a footprint across the entire gamut of aviation. In Indian aviation, Jet airways is the only airline company that consists of everything that an airline can have. We have business first class, international, domestic, low fare aircrafts, aircrafts having only economy class and much more.

• Has fuel hike affected the industry? How?

The oil price these days remain around $116 per barrel. Almost 40-45 % of the fixed cost gets used for oil. Every dollar increase in the price of oil affects the bottom line of airlines very severely. When a fuel hike happens, lots of plans have to be put on hold like adding new aircrafts, new routes, recruitments etc. When you put things on hold, it affects the growth of an airline. So in the long run it affects the growth of the sector altogether.
Gulf countries have a lot of money and hence they are doing very well. They are expanding, extending destinations and increasing the number of aircrafts. Oil is at a discount there so it is easier for them to operate. Today, even countries like America and Europe having giant airline companies are struggling.

• What do you have to say about Indian airport standards? How do they differ from international airports?

Indian airport are improving a lot and a lot of work has been happening. There was a time when the standards were not upto the mark. Now the good news is that we are coming up with some really world class airports like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. They really are quality airports. Even Ahmedabad has a pretty decent airport. Only thing of concern is that though good airports are coming up, whether they are really going to cater to upcoming loads or not is something that needs to be looked at. As, looking at the growth of aviation, all the investment that is being made might not be sufficient five years down the line and we might have to go for expansion. Hence, it might be a good idea to make bigger airports now itself that can cater to the future load.

• Narrate the most memorable incident of you career.

I can recall the time when I took over as a country head in Bangladesh. At that time I was working with Air India. It was in 2005 that the SAARC summit was held in Bangladesh and the Prime Minister was to attend the summit. Whenever the Prime Minister travels abroad, he travels by Air India. Being with Air India I had to arrange and handle his entire visit. Handling the Prime Minister’s visit as a country head of an airline is a big honor and requires sensitivity. Apart from this there are several inked memories during my entire career.

• Message to the society

India is rocking currently as people are once again adopting the non violent path in order to get justice. There are a lot of people who are joining the movement. I feel that we need more of it to solve our problems. Hence everyone of us should go for it.

– Anamoy Mitra, General Manager-Sales, Western India (Except Bombay), Jet Airways

“The aviation industry has always attracted me to know more and more about it. Hence interviewing an eminent person from an ace airline company was not just an interview but also a learning class for me. My flight started when I entered his office with shaking hands but the nervousness disappeared when he started explaining the minutest detail about the industry with utmost politeness. He was not only a person who knew about the working of airlines but also someone who could very well study the economy. Though my flight had a shaky start, I landed at a place of knowledge and motivation that was much beyond satisfaction.”

-Dhara Vasavada


• What inspired you to join the Indian Army?
After Independence an organization called NCC (National Cadet Corps) was set up. There was a lot of enthusiasm amongst people during those days regarding NCC /and everybody wanted to join it. NCC provides basic military training and inspires young generation to join national services. It instills the essence of discipline and love for the country. I was just 17 when I joined NCC. We had a proficient, outstanding and an extremely smart teacher Captain Shishadri, who became my role model and inspired me to join the Indian Army.

• What was the position of Indian Army during those days? How is it different from today’s army?
It was a highly professional army then at all levels of ranks. In 1945 the World War had just ended. Our army was a part of allied and British forces during World War 2. As we were a colonial army, we were subordinate to the Britishers. The army was fighting for colonial interests and not necessarily for India. But it was a battle experienced army and hence was well trained. It was proud of its profession, uniform and its name.

Today’s army is a modern army. It is people’s army and guards the borders of the country. Today when anybody joins army he swears for the patriotism of India. Present army is for intensive loyalty to the country. It provides a job, a profession and is a career army. Presently we have to face advanced countries; hence it is a modern army with various technical innovations. Currently, Indian Army is a good match to any army in the world. Other armies may be superior only in number and not in efficiency.

• What does one need to join the Indian Army?
If one intends to join the army for pay and pomp, it is not the right profession. One has to love the army for what it stands for. It stands for the safety and honor of our country. Country should always come first than everything else for an army man. Hence the patriotic feeling and determination should be really strong if at all one intends to join then Indian Army.

• How is an army man trained?
An army man needs to be at the peak of his proficiency all the time, physically, mentally, emotionally and professionally. He has to be in a continuous process of severe training. Army has institutions and programmes for this purpose. These institutions give rigorous training that not only makes them physically and emotionally fit but also teaches war tactics. Army is known for its strict discipline; hence they are also trained to follow the strict army routines.

• Your experience of 1971 war?
In 1971, I was in Kargil and was a part of the battle of Shingo River Valley. It is considered to be an important battle in the history of Indian battles. It was a fierce battle that lasted for days together. After a lot of struggle, we captured our given objectives and consolidated the security of Kargil. While fighting, a bullet hit me on my arms, yet the pressure from the opposite forces was such that we couldn’t stop for a moment. I fought with wounded arms for a long period of time. Oozing blood dried in the chilling cold. It was painful to clean the blood clot. My motherland was above everything. The happiness of victory overshadowed everything else.

• What all threats is India facing at present?
When we talk about threats faced by a country there are four possibilities: Physical threat, economical threat, religious threat and threat of political philosophy.

• Physical threat is a threat faced at the borders of a country. It arises because at places borders are either under defined, undefined or under a dispute.
• Economic threat is a threat where other nations legally enters a country and tries to grab the wealth of a country. Economic threat can hinder the economic progress of a country.
• Religious threat is something where people of a particular religion or race dominate the entire nation. At present many countries of the world are facing this threat. It creates internal tension in a country.
• Threat of political philosophy is something that makes people communist or colonist.
At present India is facing only two threats: Physical and economic. India is having borders that are under dispute as it is facing Kashmir issue and Arunachal Pradesh issue since ages. Due to this physical land, India is facing tension with Pakistan and China.
It is also facing major economic threat from wealthy countries of the world like US and China.

• Your say about India’s defense armaments and nuclear weapons?
According to me at present our non nuclear armaments are compatible and adequate to meet any threat from neighbors.

Regarding nuclear weapons, I would say that they are deterrent weapons. If two countries are having nuclear weapons then chances are negligible that either of the countries will use them against each other. If they do so then both of them will have to face harsh effects of the nuclear blasts. Hence nuclear weapon is a deterrent to major wars. It helps in maintaining stability.

If we talk about India and Pakistan, India is multi racial and contains multi religious people whereas Pakistan has one religion and one race. Moreover, it is a smaller in terms of area, hence imposing a nuclear attack on India will adversely affect Pakistan.

At the same time, building up nuclear weapons is important. If one is not a part of the nuclear umbrella then it becomes a great tension for that nation. Hence to meet the modern technology and deter threat these days a county must have nuclear arms.

• What restrains Gujaratis from joining the army?
Environment, opportunities and incentives stop them from joining the Indian Army. I think that they feel that life and scopes are better at home. Moreover, sense of security, family values and home takes a priority. But at the same time, it does not mean that they do not love their country.

• Message to the society?
Do not join the army for name, fame and money. Join only if you love it as a profession. Engage in any profession you love the most and thereby serve the country, the community, the family and give the best of your ability.

Shashikant Vasavada,
Retired Colonel, Indian Army

“With a list of questions and a plain book, like any other journalist, I went to interview an experienced army man thinking that I would get to know a lot about Indian Army. What I received out of the interview was beyond the Indian Army. His words expressed his immense love towards mother India. His answers showed his deep knowledge about world history, politics, and human psychology and of course about the armies of the world. Just the name of Indian Army brought a glow on his face which could inspire any youngster to jump into the exciting profession. His in depth explanation penetrated deep within me and I came back with great motivation and respect for our motherland.”

– Dhara Vasavada

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• How does a news channel work? What makes it different from the other channels?

News channel is live format while other channels are not. And it is a platform which updates viewers with happenings around the world 24×7.There are two types of channels: News Channels and General Entertainment Channels which we refer to as GEC. The major difference between news channels and GEC is that news channels are telecasted in live format while others are not.

• What is the specialty of Tv9?
TV9 is known for its credibility and the ability to connect with people. People can easily relate to us. If I talk about TV9 Gujarat, being a Gujarati channel, Gujaratis round the globe can easily relate to us. We follow our tagline ‘For a better society’, which says it all. TV9 has consistently focused on how media can facilitate a fair and equal modern society through its news and programming. Maintaining credibility often in the face of political and corporate pressure has meant making tough decisions.

• Your journey from beginning to becoming a channel head?
Like every other child, I too had a dream: a dream to become a journalist. When I was a student, I used to write columns. After completing my education, I started working with print media. As a journo I took my baby steps in print. Then I got an offer for a TV news channel. I joined it as I thought to have a better canvas. After joining electronic media, I started clearing my basics as it is very different to work for electronics than to work for print. I tried to learn everything that was possible. Be it scripts, concepts, camera, graphics, video editing …. all possible areas. I got the exposure to regional media as well as National media. Before joining TV9, I was handling bureau of a National news network.

• What should one do to join a news channel or to get into electronic journalism?
Well, I would say that one should opt for electronic journalism only if he or she has a passion for it. There are certain qualities that are required to perform well. Nowadays there are many institutes that provide courses on electronic journalism. They teach you all the areas of electronic media. One should know that electronic media is not just to earn name and fame. This notion should be removed before entering a news channel. A news channel requires grilling efforts. If these parameters are accomplished then you can give your best.

• What do you have to say regarding the competition between various news channels?
Competition is always good as it helps you in raising your own bar. Clean competition is always welcomed. It is beneficial for news channels as they can improve their standards. At the same time it benefits the viewers as they get to see different perspective of news from various channels.

• Due you think print is slowly fading away due to electronic media?
Well, I don’t think print is fading away due to electronic media. When electronic media was booming it was said that print will fade away but if you see the circulation growth it is positive.

• Your views regarding 24 hours news channel and its responsibility towards the society.
TV9 stands for a better society. Such an ideal resides in the depth of every heart but it becomes meaningful only if given forceful expression. We believe that by disseminating impartial, balanced and credible news in a creative and challenging format and by hosting a free and fearless conversation of ideas of all persuasions we help society in making informed choices. The citizen’s interests are at the forefront of our concerns and we exist to articulate them. We shall carry out our watchdog function with alacrity, and try to find solutions to the problems we unearth. In times of citizen distress, we believe it is the journalist’s duty to go the extra mile to facilitate relief and redressal…

• What is the future of regional news channels in India? Is it difficult for a regional channel to survive in front of national and international news giants?
Electronic media is growing day in and day out; hence I would say that the future of news channels is really bright. Regional channels are ruling the roost. If people get to see better quality news in their own language then what is the need of switching over to some other language? Regional channel connects with the local audience in a better way. It is just like regional parties having more influence on local people than national parties. If I talk about TV9, it covers 25% of the total news viewership in Gujarat taking all TV news channels into consideration. We are topping the list in Gujarat. In a span of 3 years only TV 9 Gujarat has become the ONE-POINT-REFERENCE for Gujaratis. They say “Gujarati ma samachar etle TV9”.Hence I would say that the scope is really bright. Regional channels are showing amazing growth and adopting technicalities which is a good sign.

• Describe the most memorable incident of your career?
There are several memorable incidents of my career. There are incidents related to Tsunami, cyclones, elections and many more, so it is difficult to cite one. Right now am able to recall one incidence. When I joined TV9 my friend called me up and said ‘Congrats for being the youngest channel head in the country’. I became a channel head at the age of 28.

• Message to the society?
Well I would just say that be truthful to yourself. It will not only benefit you but will also help the society in some or the other manner. Keep watching Tv9.

– Kalpak Kekre, Channel head,
TV9 Gujarat

“I was filled with inspiration after interviewing Kalpak Kekre, a young ardent journalist. His enthusiasm and passion for media could motivate any person who has a liking for journalism. A young media person, who chased his dream of being a journalist, put in his grilling efforts that made him a channel head at the age of 28. Talking to him aroused my desire to work harder, learn from every bit and bring out the best. I just knew him as the channel head but after talking to him I could realize that he is a knowledge provider, a motivator and a passionate journalist. In a nut shell, I would say that it was not just an interview, but something beyond as it stimulated my aspirations.”

Dhara Vasavada




Namrata Goyal, daughter of an airline honcho Naresh Goyal, talks about the creative way that she found out to bind the employees through a play. Just turned 21, Namrata says that Jet airways was like a rival sibling for her as it kept her away from her father. She had never intended to join it. But during the economic slowdown in 2008, she saw her father on TV saying that it was a hard time for him as he had to ask his employees to leave. He said that since jet is like a family, it was as difficult as asking his daughter to leave the house. The incident touched Namrata and she decided to do something for the company.

After completing her film study from London, Namrata came to Mumbai to join her father’s firm. It was then that she started her social journey by working with Kaifi Azmi’s Mijwan Welfare Society. After working for a few months with Jet Airways, Namrata felt that there was a disconnect between the employees because of management barriers and hierarchy. “That’s where theatre came in. It is such an effective binding tool,” says the just-turned-adult who gave her first Kathak performance before she was four. “I wanted to break the gap caused due to hierarchy, and hence started workshops with six groups of employees. We started with the play, ‘Tumhari Amrita’.” said Namrata. She felt that the employees were very talented and enthusiastic as during one of the sessions, they themselves scripted a play called ‘Six Seasons of Love’. The play received accolades and we decided to tour with ‘Black Comedy’ written by Peter Shaffer.

Black comedy talks about betrayal and human psychology. “It is a challenging play as it uses opposite psychology and it is also challenging from the actor’s perspective” says the young director. Black Comedy has already been performed in Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. The audience consisted of Jet Airways employees, their family members and friends. “It is still not decided whether we will perform in other countries. I want to give a chance to other enthusiastic employees. The Company has always stood for young values.” added Namrata. Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways attended the play in all the cities. The play was followed by dinner where the Chairman personally interacted with the employees and their family members.

Young Goyal has been passionate and creative about art. On the occasion of her father’s 60th birthday she prepared a docudrama entitled ‘There is no one like him’. When she was 18, she made her first short film ‘Sunaina’ based on female infanticide. The film was screened at the prestigious BAFTA. ‘I felt that the issue of female infanticide is vast. It is shocking to know that people from Britain come to Asia for female infanticide. I am passionate on woman issues and hence female infanticide touched me. That’s how Sunaina was made.’ says the young film maker. The film was honored and shared a screen space with Deepa Mehta’s film. The artistic personality, gives all credit to her mother. ‘I feel that I have got the genes from my mother as even she is into arts.’ said Goyal.

Believer in the power of youth, she wants more people to know and get inspired from her father’s story where a 12 year old boy’s house is getting auctioned. He promises his mother to get the house back and works hard to fulfill his promise. He toils hard and in the end it happens. Talking about her future plans she said that she is working on a business plan for which she will be going to France just to know about films and to meet various people related to the field.