A Journey Home


After four decades and more, of experience in engineering, manufacturing, Information Technology, Management Consulting, business transformation, re-engineering, change management, project and program management etc. in India and the US, I returned to India. To repay my debt to my country.

I had some preconceived ideas on returning to India after a decade of being in the US. I fortunately decided not implement them. Instead to experience the new India, which had changed significantly, was confident and raring t go. I studied India's,strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threatsSWOT, through the eyes of a social entrepreneur and civil society proponent. Filtered with my professional training and experience. I began jotting down various related ideas on my web-site, almost as a diary. Passionately studying the latest developments in technology, environment, society, politics, governance, and applying my professional experience to leverage our strengths address the problems and suggest some approaches for bringing India into the 21st Century. The outcome was re-arranged developed as a wiki at [http://www.indiaahead.net/wiki]

A short introduction, to save you from plodding through the whole nine yards, the wiki is a live document/repository, with topics like:

  1. Transforming Bharat my project, putting into action what I have been working on and talking, which integrates and brings into today India and its current opportunities to propel it into the 21st Century.
  2. Governance for India the tools and techniques for re-engineering and IT empowering/enabling a country, organization or whatever.
  3. Re-engineering Bharat 21C Steps to give India the governance that it needs in the 21st century, a WIP, to be exploded/modified. An update.

Older stuff below:
Transformation into 21st Century- a brief backdrop, from agriculture, to industry and now the Knowledge or Information Age, the 21st Century. The changes, transformation and the rapid, nay, exponential rate of change,the threats to the future of the planet. Hopes of Revolutionary Wealth. Using Futurist, Alvin Toffler's wave theory. A derived Transformation Framework to help structure the transformation process, much as PMI has structured the discipline of Project Management, into a generic process.

21st Century Villages for Indiawith 70% of Indian producing 20% of Indian GDP, we have to transform them overhaul into empowered, knowledge driven, hi-tech, sustainable 21st Century communities. Reverse the brain drain from the village to the cities, make them complementary partners,which strengthen and sustain each other. Gandhi ji village Swaraj,with his empowering Charkha augmented by the computer, smartphone, internet, and 21st century distributed hi-tech technology.

Re-engineering the Govt a colonial, agriculture driven economy, the governance structure, can only be patched to the demands of an Industrial economy, rapidly growing into a Knowledge/Information age, while changing the expectations of a democratic freedom, structure, with access to 24 hour TV, Internet, the computer. Globalization, the rise of expectations, youthful aspirations. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and similar mini-revolutions in progress we are well past the relevance of reform, by exhuming the tombs of recommendations of many Administrative reform Commissions. As many most?, of our existing institutions are working much below par, the exasperation of our people have reached a limit. Any, change will be welcome, the cynic would probably say, it cannot get much worse. With hindsight, and today's far superior tools, esp Information Technology, we can re-engineer/design systems of governance, which will give us a competitive edge even against OECD countries, including the US. We have bright young people, and also an experienced, though demoralized Civil Service,staffed by our brightest lads. They can certainly turn India around. The possible approaches and out-of-box thinking, based around my 45+ years of IT, re-engineering, process management and leadership experience, build upon this.

Information TechnologyGlobalization is every where. There is intense competition, things move very fast, and the world knowledge doubles every two years. The World is Flat, said the noted New York Times Correspondent, Thomas Friedman. A lot of this has been enabled by Information technology IT or ICT?.
However,especially at the 30+ crowd, has yet to understand and leverage IT for re-engineering India. This section gives a brief overview, from a management perspective on how to use IT for personal, corporate/organization and national governance.

Spreading the understanding and utilization of IT, along with UdoIT, a framework for an IT enabled transformation, which can be readily and economically deployed with modest training to bring IT to the masses, SME, mini and micro enterprises. Doing what the "Big Six" consulting firms did for the Fortune 2000 clients. However re-engineered for the 21st century using latest technology -cloud computing, virtual machines, thin-client, VOIP, web-conferencing and Web 2.0.
Open Source IT Solutions- Open Source ERP, CRM, SCM, web-conferencing and VOIP
Software Factory developing high quality, high reliability software for large Cloud based applications, using the web interface.

Health Informatics and Tele-Medicine - Using Open Source Health Informatics System and Electronic Health records. VistA, developed and continuously improved over three decades. Arguably the largest integrated, distributed HIS/EHR, which has been live for 3 decades, handling over 1000 distributed sites, ranging from small outposts to large 1000 bedded hospitals. This system has been In use by the US Veteran Administration, for ex-servicemen. IT assisted Health care and tel-medicine can do for global Health Care what IT and process outsourcing has done for BPO's. Please note this section is not accessible as it is being revised?.

KnowledgeMachine- KM for short, is a continuous learning system needed in the Knowledge driven society of the 21st Century. It has been designed to scale up, to educate, train/prepare the 30,000 young people, who enter India's the work-force every day. To transform them into a productive global assets rather than a liability for a poor developing country. An eLearning based continuous learning, mass training program, with inbuilt learning/training/e Testing backed by an ERP for a scalable,process designed and managed organization. I named it as the Knowledgemachine. The idea was to design a Knowledge Supply Chain, from scratch, for the 21st Century, rather than to re-engineer a 20th Century, Mass production and Industrial Society's existing educational/training/learning systems. Right from deciding what knowledge needs to be imparted, and a feedback system to keep it on-track, developing course-ware, delivered via eLearning, remotely as needed, and building a data bank of human resources for recruitment and employment. The business/industry makes forecasts human resource requirements just like they do for other capital and plant assets. They specify the knowledge/courses that are needed and have to be mastered, and just-in-time, so they do not become obsolete. Just like parts in a manufacturing plant with just-in-time delivery, to keep pace with the changing forecasts, innovation and new products/models as demanded by the economy. To upgrade their skills to keep pace with rapidly changing knowledge, with ICT delivered eLearning and blended teaching. Which is location independent, asynchronously, to service a world class work force and learning organization.

Sustainable Living This was a welcome change from IT, to agriculture and life sciences. It was a new field for me, who had not raised even a small garden, let alone a fish pond/aquarium. Essentially I have worked on re-circulating closed system, made of fish, plants grown in gravel with no soil, sunlight and a lot of finger crossing. The only input being fish fingerlings, seeds, fish feed, and about a 40 watt pump.

I also have worked on solid fuel amateur rockets, steam engines, Sterling engines, CSP concentrating solar power? and wind energy. These reminded me of my early engineering days, and it was fun to be away from IT !

Background of Vipen Mahajan- catalogs my experience, in the various areas, organizations, firms, assignments, projects that I have worked on. One thing I noticed was that if you are smart, you can learn/apply a new technique in one field. Having succeeded, and then you almost know how to apply it to other fields that you are familiar with. This needs little effort and you are comfortable and confident about using it.

The future
I am looking into networking with like minded people and Civil Society, academic, think tanks and other Organizations so I can contribute my bit to make this planet a better place. I am also very keen to mentor, train, teach our young people, give them hope so they can build a better planet and a better future.

Recently I listened to Jay Row, [
and found this talk about Bhagavad Gita,the oldest Management school and the talk she gave at Harvard business school. I found it exhilarating and a combination of many Gurus, like Steven Covey, Norman Vincent Peale, Deepak Chopra and others, while translating and communicating the Vedanta and its distillation the Bhagavad Gita to be an inspiration a personal guide to human behavior see this on youtube
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXcVVYSb18s&feature=relmfu(external link) ]

Where The Mind is Without Fear

WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

Vipen Mahajan
July 2009. New Delhi.
Principal Consultant

New Delhi โ€“ Chicago โ€“ Boston โ€“ Munich

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