Monthly Archives: July 2015

Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal joins daughter Shruti’s venture ‘The Tamara’ as Chairman

Bengaluru :

Infosys co-founder and former CEO SD Shibulal is joining the board of The Tamara, the hospitality venture set up by his daughter Shruti, as its chairman at a time when the company is planning at least one fresh acquisition in the German speaking region of Western Europe

Since he retired from Infosys last year, Shibulal has been making investments through his family office Innovations Investment Management.
Since he retired from Infosys last year, Shibulal has been making investments through his family office Innovations Investment Management.

Since he retired from Infosys last year, Shibulal has been making investments through his family office Innovations Investment Management, most notably in real estate and hospitality sectors.

“He (Shibulal) plans to use his years of experience on a professionally run board to bring the foremost standards of corporate governance to The Tamara,” said Senthil Kumar N, director and chief executive of The Tamara.

The Tamara, which operates under the umbrella of Shibulal’s family office, also helps manage properties owned by the Shibulal family across the world.

Real estate makes up over half the portfolio of Shibulal’s family office, which has several resorts and projects in India.

The company’s flagship property and brand is the Tamara Coorg – a pet project of Shruti Shibulal, who is currently spearheading the venture’s Thiruvananthapuram project as well as the acquisition being pursued in Europe.

Shruti, who holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School and started her career with Merrill Lynch, has also been actively building the family’s real estate portfolio. She also runs several finedining restaurants, including Caperberry and Fava in Bengaluru’s upmarket UB City mall.

“Each one of our platforms (such as The Tamara) has a professional management and governance structure in place from the beginning. They develop their own medium and long-term plans based on various factors. For example, our decision to consider acquiring a hotel property in the German speaking part of Western Europe is part of our long-term strategy,” said Kumar, an IIM-Bangalore and BITS-Pilani graduate who joined the Shibulal family office in 2005.

The company has started construction for its upcoming projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kodai projects. It has also begun operating two new properties – Lilac in Bengaluru and Palma Laguna on the Kerala backwaters, Kumar said.

Shibulal’s family office currently manages the entire wealth of the family including any new funds added through dividends and share sales, and also helps build the philanthropic and business platforms which the family is interested in, Kumar said.

Since his retirement, Shibulal has also become an active investor in the startup ecosystem and even set up a venture capital and accelerator program called Axilor under the purview of his family office, roping in fellow Infosys co-founder S Gopalakrishnan as an investor.

ET had reported last year that Shibulal and his family own several hundreds of apartments and properties across the world. Shibulal and his family currently have about 1.97% of shareholding in Infosys, worth nearly $1 billion (about Rs 6,400 crore).

source: / The Economic Times / ET Home> Tech> ITes / by Anirban Sen, ET Bureau / July 29th, 2015

Wobbling, but still standing


Eloor, the 27-year-old city library, continues to ward-off competition from e-portals with a satisfied reader base of 17,000 members

Sixty three-year-old Meera Khanna comes to Bengaluru from her farm in Nandi Valley, Sultanpet Village in Andhra Pradesh once every two weeks — “to pick up a few books from Eloor Libraries” on the ground floor of Blue Cross Chambers on Infantry Road. In this world swamped by ebooks, online libraries and new-age libraries like JustBooks, “Eloor” as it’s known by everyone in Bangalore boasts of 17,000 members. This was the place where once you would find Girish Karnad or Ramachandran Guha standing with titled heads, reading quietly by the book shelves — Eloor has no reading room. There’s just a “private room” where “old books” are stored.
Khanna was introduced to Eloor by her son, who now lives in the US. “He became a member of the library when he was a teenager.” And why she crosses borders to borrow books? “There’s no better feeling than picking an old book with yellowed-pages.” And also Eloor has any book that she wants and “a very good layout”.

Eloor was first established in 1979 by Luiz John in Ernakulam, Kerala. According to their website it was because “the government libraries had not been able to satisfy the hunger for books; plenty of new titles were getting published, but there were only very few readers who could buy the books they wanted. Readers truly needed a library like Eloor”. The Bangalore branch was opened 1988. Its shelves stack rows of English books across various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, biographies, thrillers, business and children books. In Bengaluru alone they have a collection of about 1.5 lakh books. They also have outlets in Chennai and New Delhi, and their most recent store was opened in Kolkata in 1994. The one-time refundable deposit of Rs 800 (and you can borrow books/magazines worth Rs.1200.The library charges its members a tenth of the price of the book as reading charges.) Of course they have a few “regular and faithful members” who borrow 30/40 books at a time. “We lend it to them based on trust,” says the N Gopal Rao, the library manager. Ideally, the book has to be returned in a span of two weeks, “but we don’t really insist because some people might take much longer to complete a book. They can simply call and extend the return-date,” says the genial Rao.

Priya Mohanraj (52) is intently flipping through the pages of Sufi by Idris Shah in the religious section at the Library. The books she has borrowed – Shamans Mystics and Doctors by Sudhir Kakar and Sufi – were suggested Rao who has worked at Eloor for the past 15 years. “The people here know the taste of every reader (member) and suggest books accordingly. This really spoils you. But it saves you a lot of time too. I like reading about religion, philosophy and psychology and they just seem to pick the right books for me,” says Mohanraj, a former economics professor and emotional counsellor for adolescents.

Rao himself was a voracious reader who enjoyed library hopping, when he signed on to be a librarian at Eloor in 2000. At the time, they had about 100-120 members coming in on a daily basis and the numbers would double during weekends. Today, however, the numbers have dwindled at about 40-60 people on weekdays and increases by 10-15 by weekend. Eloor had its hey days in the 90s when they saw a surge in membership. In 2000 they had 12,000 members. Between then and now they have only 5000 new members. Still, 27 years since its inception in Bengaluru, the library remains a hub for serious readers and continues to cater to different generations of its 17,000-odd members. “For someone who likes reading, there’s no better feeling than holding the book, feeling its weight and enjoying that ‘old book smell.’ Something e-commerce giants like Amazon or Flipkart cannot match,” says Rao (36).

Books have inspired serious competition here, he recounts. When the fifth book in the Harry Potter series – The Order of the Phoenix – released in 2003, there was about 100m long queue outside Eloor even before they had opened the store at 10am. The store had bought 20 copies from distributors and those on the waiting list were called when the book became available. But of course there is no such rush in the recent times, what with pre-ordering available on many online stores. “Members let us know much in advance what book they are looking to read and we place orders accordingly with the five distributors we have,” says Rao. Eloor adds books to their shelf every month when the distributors send the latest releases and Rao hand picks books based on their readers’ liking.


Krishna Murthy, at 83, is the oldest member here. The octogenarian loves reading thrillers, “and whenever he visits I ensure I give me the latest arrivals in that genre. Usually members tend to stick to the authors they like and don’t explore others so I recommend something is worth a read and is of their liking,” says Rao. The youngest include a bunch of six-year-olds who come in to borrow Marvel comics and superhero gen-next books. In fact, there are a few parents, mostly in their 30s, who bring their kids, as young as three, to read out children’s books to them. “They just want the kids to feel the library, you know,” says Rao with a smile.

It has been tough, he admits, surviving the onslaught of online stores. “The youngsters like to read on their Kindles, phones and rarely have the time to come visit a library.” But he is optimistic. “The advent of newer libraries such as Just Books and Easy books have not really dented our business, mainly because of the collection we have,” he adds. However, Eloor too will have to keep up with the times. “We will start an online portal soon where readers can select the books they want and we can home deliver them,” Rao says.

source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Nandini Kumar, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / July 30th, 2015

Ripples of ecstasy at Malabar river fest

Participants of the beginners’ boater cross event of the Malabar River Festival at Kakkayam in Kozhikode on Friday. Special Arrangement
Participants of the beginners’ boater cross event of the Malabar River Festival at Kakkayam in Kozhikode on Friday. Special Arrangement

The beginners boater cross event as part of the third edition of the Malabar River Festival was held at the Kakkayam Reservoir in Kozhikode on Friday. Rakshit Singhal from Bangalore emerged the first place winner in the contest. Siddharth Sharma of Jaipur and Sandeep Thuppad from Bangalore came second and third respectively. Twenty five participants from different part of the country took part in the competition, which started at 10 a.m. A large number of visitors had thronged the place to witness the event.

According to V.D. Joseph, chairman of the Kerala State Kayaking Academy, one of the organising partners of the festival, the beginners race was held, more than a competition, as a demonstration event to establish the fact that kayaking could be done by anyone if a little bit of training was given. “The event must have definitely inspired many youngsters here to make their splash into the white-waters in a kayak,” he said.

According to P.G. Rajeev, secretary of the District Tourism Promotion Council, Minister for Tourism A.P. Anilkumar will formally open the Malabar River Festival being organised by the DTPC at Thusharagiri on Saturday. The international white-water kayaking championship, the main event of the festival, will take place on Saturday. Around 50 Kayaking athletes, including paddlers of international repute, are participating in the event. The four-day event will conclude on Sunday. Noted travel documentary host Santhosh George Kulangara will be the chief guest of the valedictory function on Sunday.

Details can be had from,, Manik Taneja 09740067323, (Kayaking), and V.D. Joseph 9447637079 (Malabar River Festival). Interested may register for the event online

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Staff Reporter / Kozhikode – July 25th, 2015

Alappuzha duo in Indian squad

Thiruvananthapuram  :

Alappuzha girls Maria Rony and Seraha Jacob have been named in the seven-member Indian girls team for 21st Asian junior and cadet TT Championships to be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 22 to 26.

This is the first time two paddlers from the state are making it to the national junior squad together.

Maria is studying at Sacred Heart College, Thevara in Ernakulam while Seraha is a student of St Joseph’s College, Alappuzha and both are doing first year bachelor’s in commerce. But both girls train at Alappuzha YMCA TT Academy with Bobby Mathew.

Maria was part of Asian team which won a gold medal in World Cadet Challenge held at Puerto Rico in 2011 while Seraha was in the Indian team which participated in the World Junior Table Tennis Championships held at Shanghai, China in 2014.

“I’m glad that I got Seraha also in squad. We hope to make it count in doubles. In the team competitions Sreeja (Akula) and Shruti (Amrute) will play singles. We trained well for the past 10 days including the three-day trials in Delhi and we’re eager to do well for the country,” Maria told TOI from Delhi before boarding the flight. Sreeja represents Telangana while Shruti, the reigning national junior champion, is from Maharashtra and both represented India at Shanghai worlds.

The seven-member boys team too was selected after three-day selection trials at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi by a committee including Arjuna Awardee Manjit Dua, Vijay Singh and Jyoti Shah. The international and national rankings of the players were also taken into consideration.

Maria, ranked No. 2 in the country has a world ranking of 228 while Seraha No. 4 in the country has a world ranking of 300-plus.

“We know the threat from China and Korea. When it comes to team competition, India is as best as anyone out there. In individual events, they might have an upper hand,” added Maria.

The Asian meet assumes important as only the top five in junior categories will qualify for the World Junior Championships to be held at Vendee in France from November 29 to December 6.

“The girls really has the potential to qualify for the Vendee World Junior championships from Malaysian meet,” said Table Tennis Federation of India chief Dharnraj Choudhary. “The girls qualified for worlds last time also and performed well too,” he reminded.


Junior BOYS: Utkarsh Gupta, Sanish Ambekar, Lalrin Puia and Ravidira Kotiyan; GIRLS: Sreeja Akula, Shruti Amrute, Maria Rony and Serah Jacob; Cadet BOYS: Manav Thakkar, Parth Virmani and Sarthak Seth; GIRLS: Archana Kamath, Shrusthi Halengadi and Varul Jaiswal

Coaches: Sandeep Gupta, Vijay Singh and Jyoti Shah

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Thiruvananthapuram / TNN / July 24th, 2015

Investiture Ceremony of Navy School

Kochi :

The Investiture Ceremony of Navy Children School, Kochi was held at Sagarika, Naval Base on Wednesday.

Rear Admiral R B Pandit, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command and Chairman, Navy Children School, Kochi was the chief guest. In a formal ceremony, he conferred  respective appointments on the leaders of  the school cabinet.

Paul Joseph of Class XII was invested as the Head Boy and Hemani Yadav of Class XII as the Head Girl.

In his address, Pandit congratulated the newly-formed Prefectorial Council and reminded them of the strategies required for effective leadership.

He also underlined the desired qualities of a leader and expressed that all students must imbibe these qualities and values.

Principal Dr Nellie Paul Verghese in her welcome address stressed the importance of the Investiture Ceremony, by referring to it as a Red Letter Day in the School Calender.

She motivated the office-bearers to move forward with courage and confidence and explore their hidden potentials to blossom as a global citizen. She reiterated that together we can make a difference.

Shireen Francis, Vice Principal, Co-scholastic highlighted the qualities of the installed leaders.

Elsie Babu, Vice Principal, Academics administered the oath to the appointees.

Capt. Sandeep Chakravarti, Command Education Officer and Vice Chairman, Navy Children School, Kochi, Cdr Shruti Dhawan, Director, Navy Children School, Kochi, PTA President and other dignitaries and parents were also present to witness the grand pageantry.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala / by Express News Service /  July 24th, 2015

Hundreds pay tributes to industrialist

The funeral rites of R.N. Saboo, industrialist and former president of Grasim Industries at Mavoor, were held at the crematorium on the Mavoor Road here on Tuesday afternoon.

Saboo, 84, who was instrumental in establishing the Mavoor Grasim Company, had died at a private hospital on Monday.

A native of Pilani in Rajasthan, Saboo, began his career as a production executive at a cotton mill of the Birla group in Gawlior in 1952.

The company appointed him as deputy chief executive to start the factory at Mavoor in 1961 and he had played a vital role in all its spheres of activity for nearly four decades.

Saboo was active in the socio-cultural field in the city. He had also served as president of the Malabar Chamber of Commerce.

He had established the Savithrio Devi Saboo Memorial Women’s College, a cancer ward at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, and an English medium school.

He is survived by sons Alok Kumar Saboo, Sanjeev Saboo, Rajeev Saboo, and daughter Meenakshi Dalmia.

His wife Savithri Devi Saboo and a son Ajay Saboo predeceased him.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Special Correspondent / Kozhikode – July 22nd, 2015

After Battling Illness for 3 Months, Melody King MSV Breathes His Last

Actor Rajinikanth paying homage to legendary musician MS Viswanathan on July 14. | EPS
Actor Rajinikanth paying homage to legendary musician MS Viswanathan on July 14. | EPS

Chennai :

After battling a kidney illness for what insiders say was almost a year, legendary composer ‘Mellisai Mannar’ M S Viswanathan passed away at 4.20 am at a private hospital in Chennai.

The composer had been admitted to Fortis Malar Hospital in Adyar after his kidneys started failing almost 34 days ago. He had been given dialysis and doctors there had been examining his condition in the hope of finding a solution, but at 87, the frail music director was not the best candidate for surgery – let alone a transplant.

Born in Kerala in ‎the village of Elapuzhi in 1928, his penchant for musical performance pushed him to join yesteryear artist Bagavathar’s drama troupe at the age of 14.

It was at this time that he began his sojourns to Madras and had a glimpse of what Kodambakkam would eventually become.

MSV then joined the troupe of C R Subbarayan as a harmonium player.

This is where he met his compatriot Ramamoorthy and struck up a partnership that spanned over 695 films till the latter’s death.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Entertainment> Tamil / by Express News Service / July 14th, 2015

Beads of compassion


Beads of various hues, strewn into beautiful necklaces, chains, and earrings are on display at the Museum Art Gallery here. The exhibition is being organised by on behalf of Preetha Attingal, who is paralysed from waist down since her school days. This is the second expo of, founded as a social networking forum for Keralites by N.S. Jyothikumar and Jeyamohan.

Preetha writes for the Koottam blog under the name ‘Snehapravahini.’ Her deep interest in jewellery prompted her Koottam friends to set up a small business for her. Beads from Varanasi are procured by a Koottam friend who resides in Mumbai. Preetha crafts pretty necklaces and earrings out of them, coming up with her own designs and methods. The price ranges from Rs.125 to Rs.600. The profits obtained from the sale will be added to Preetha’s next venture.

Koottam reaches out to many more talented and needy members. Preetha has been trained to manage the business too, says Sujatha Vinod Shanker, a mural artist. Rani and Renu Mohan, members of Koottam, are overseeing the exhibition. The exhibition, open from 10 a.m. every day, will go on till July 9.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Kerala / by A Correspondent / Thiruvananthapuram – July 09th, 2015

Additional AG passes away

P.C. Iype (64), the Additional Advocate General, died in Kochi on Friday.

Iype, who was appointed as the Additional Advocate General in 2011, had earlier served as the State attorney in Kerala High Court from 2001 to 2006.

He had also served as the former Standing Counsel of the Kerala State Housing Board, the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. He is survived by his wife Jaya, and son Cyriac Iype.

The mortal remains were kept on the premises of the Advocate General’s office for the general public to pay their last respects.

The body will be kept at his residence on Market Road till 3 pm on Saturday and will be laid to rest at the cemetery of St Mary’s Basilica in the evening.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Speaker N.Sakthan have condoled the death of P.C. Iype.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram , July 11th, 2015

Proud Parents Find Rino’s Fortune ‘Still Unbelievable’

Thrissur :

The news that Rino Anto has been scooped up for `90 lakh by Atletico De Kolkata in the ISL auction is something that his parents in Thrissur find hard to digest. “No matter how many times we hear the news, it is still unbelievable,” exclaims Anto T A, father of the 27-year-old Bangalore FC Right Back, who emerged the costliest player in Pool B. The living room of their house at Kalathode is filled to the brim with medals and plaques, a testament to the talent of the sporting youngster.

“We had moved here only 8 years ago. We were based near East Fort and it was in the Palace grounds that Rino first started playing the sport,” said his mother Reena.

Rino is scheduled to arrive from Mumbai on Sunday.

“Right from a very early age, he was attracted to football. Wherever he went, it was essential that he had a ball to play with,” said Anto.

Rino was first educated in Kuriachira St Joseph’s school, following which he spent a year in the Model Boys High school.

At the close of his 11th standard schooling, he was selected to the Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur, where he completed his 12th. Through the years, he has represented Mohun Bagan, Salgaocar and Eagles FC. It was after the 2013 Santhosh Trophy that he passed the trials and was selected into the Bangalore FC, where he has been for the past two years.

“He has signed a contract for the next two years at the club. The ISL will end after a few months and he needs to keep in shape,” said Anto.

Rino is the 3rd among four siblings, Rinto the oldest brother and Joseph the youngest.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala / by Vaisakh Hari / July 11th, 2015