Companies & Sectors
Adidas brings ex-China head to lead India operations

The German sportswear major has brought in Erick Haskell, ex-COO of its China operations, to head the business here as it looks to move on after last year’s alleged Rs870 crore fraud at its arm, Reebok India


New Delhi: German sportswear major Adidas group today announced a top management change in India with Erick Haskell, ex-COO of its China operations, coming in to head the business here as it looks to move on after last year’s alleged Rs870 crore fraud at its arm, Reebok India, reports PTI.


Haskell takes over from Claus Heckerott, who led the restructuring efforts at Reebok India that had filed an FIR alleging fraud by its former MD Subhinder Singh Prem and COO Vishnu Bhagat, which both of them have denied.


Heckerott, in the meantime will continue to be a part of Reebok India, supporting the business model change and fresh start initiatives, the company said. He will move into a new position within the Adidas group later in 2013.


“The restructuring of Reebok India is coming to an end and the group has decided that it is time to focus on the business aspects here in India. I will be looking to leverage on my China experience for growth here,” Haskell told PTI.


On the status of investigations on the case, he said: “It is largely in the hands of the authorities now and we are co-operating.”


In order to avoid what had happened in Reebok India, he said, “We are ensuring that there is going to be an internal control mechanism across all verticals and we are working with our headquarters in Germany to have a comprehensive system”.


He said the company also has a “zero tolerance” policy against involvement in corrupt practises by any of its franchise partners and suppliers.


Commenting on Haskell’s appointment, Adidas group Chief Sales Officer Multichannel Markets, Roland Auschel said: “During the past year, we focussed on setting up Reebok India for a fresh start in 2013, while continuing to build on the strength and success of the Adidas brand.


“Erick’s leadership, experience and proven track record in China make him an ideal candidate to lead the group's business in India into the future, building upon the positive momentum that Claus Heckerott has already established.”


Commenting on the voluntary retirement scheme that Reebok India had offered to 200 employees last year, Haskell said 84 have taken it up and the combined employee strength of Adidas and Reebok in India now stands at 240.


With the downsizing of stores, Reebok India has 500 outlets now with two-third of the original franchisees staying on board with the company after its transition into a new business model.


Last year, the company had announced plans to reduce store count by one-third from 900 outlets operated by 600 partners.


On the future plans in India for Adidas group, Haskell said: “The idea is to work together with the retail partners at front-end and suppliers in the back-end to take us to the next level. There is tremendous potential in India just like what it is there in China.”


He said while Adidas has 7,000 stores in China, it has only 630 in India and hence there was a lot of room for growth here.


“We are in a different stage of development of sports culture in India compared to China but I see it growing from a largely cricket-oriented to a multi-sports one, such as football, basketball and running,” he said, adding that the company would try to tap the opportunity.


Going forward, the focus will also be to increase local sourcing, which is currently around 75%-80% of all the items sold in India, he said.


“We do import some hi-tech products or those which are of low volumes. My goal is to increase local sourcing as much as possible,” Haskell said.


When asked with the change in FDI policy in single brand retail in India, whether Adidas would look to change its franchise model in India, he replied in the negative.


“I don't see any fundamental change in the way we do business here, although there is now an opportunity for us to open our own stores. We may look at having our own retail outlet in the long term but not in the near future.”


Short-term decline on BSE Sensex, Nifty stalls for now: Thursday Closing Report

Nifty may be range-bound between 6,000 and 6,060 unless either of these levels are broken

Positive signals from the government helped the market recover more than half of the losses incurred yesterday. We may see the short-term decline stalling for now. However, the Nifty may be range-bound between 6,000 and 6,060 unless either of these levels are broken. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 68.92 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 764:963.


The Asian indices had a mix opening today and so was it at home where the Sensex opened in the positive while Nifty opened marginally down. The Sensex opened at 19,846, 29 points up while the Nifty opened at 6,001, 0.60 points lower.


Soon the market hit its intraday low after which both the indices started an upward journey. The Sensex hit touched a low of 19,783 while the Nifty fell to a low of 5,988. Both the benchmarks went on to hit their intraday highs almost at the same level as yesterday. The Sensex hit a high of 20,006 while the Nifty went up to 6,053.


The day’s high was hit after the news that the state-run oil marketing companies can now raise diesel prices in line with increases in global crude oil prices. The rise in prices may happen in small quantities over a period of time. The government also hiked the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine which will be effective from April.


However, according to finance minister P Chidambaram, the fuel subsidy bill for the current fiscal is expected to remain unchanged even after a government decision to allow state-run oil companies to set diesel prices.


The government on Thursday also approved a 50% reduction in the reserve price of spectrum used by CDMA mobile operators. The reserve price was fixed earlier at Rs18,200 crore. The spectrum auction for both GSM and CDMA will be completed by March 31 and markets will decide how much revenue the government will get.


Both the Sensex and the Nifty covered more than half of the losses incurred yesterday. The Sensex closed 146 points (0.74%) higher at 19,964 and the Nifty rose 37 points (0.62%) to 6,039.


The broader markets underperformed the Sensex today as the BSE Mid-cap index was up 0.25% while the BSE Small-cap index fell 0.03%.


Among the sectoral indices, the top gainers were BSE Oil & Gas (up 3.11%); BSE Realty (up 2.05%); BSE TECk (up 1.60%); BSE PSU (up 1.41%) and BSE IT (up 1.36%). The losers were BSE Capital Goods (down 0.62%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.15%).


Nineteen of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were ONGC (up 3.66%); Reliance Industries (up 3.40%); Bharti Airtel (up 3.36%); Tata Motors (up 2.67%) and Wipro (up 2.63%). The main losers were Cipla (down 2.09%); ICICI Bank (down 1.39%); Bajaj Auto (down 1.14%); Hindalco Industries (down 0.93%) and Hero MotoCorp (down 0.92%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Indian Oil Corporation (up 6.60%) and HPCL (up 6.06%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—TTK Prestige (down 6.65%) and United Breweries (down 5.01%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Sundaram Brake Linings (up 19.76%) and Vikas Globalone (up 19.15%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—IOL Netcom (down 19.74%) and Damodar Threads (down 13.67%).


Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 32 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were HCL Technologies (up 4.48%); BPCL (up 3.64%); DLF (up 3.40%); ONGC (up 3.21%) and RIL (up 3.09%). The key losers were Cipla (down 2.02%); Reliance Infrastructure (down 1.95%); ACC (down 1.77%); HDFC (down 1.62%) and Ranbaxy (down 1.61%).


Asian indices settled lower with the Taiwan Weighted emerging as the biggest loser (down 1.09%). Bucking the trend, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.09%. China unveils Q4 December 2012 gross domestic product (GDP) data tomorrow, 18 January 2013


At the time of writing, two of the three European indices were trading in the green while the US stock futures were mixed.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks totalling Rs1,029.50 crore on Wednesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs691.75 crore,


HCL Technologies has entered into a long-term, global IT infrastructure management outsourcing services agreement with Nokia. The scope of this engagement includes datacenter, network management, end user computing services and cross-functional service management across Nokia's global IT infrastructure operations. HCL has been delivering global service desk and desktop management outsourcing services for Nokia since 2009. The stock rose 4.48% to close at Rs704 on the NSE.


Hatsun Agro has sought its board’s nod to withdraw its proposal to raise up to Rs50 crore through a rights issue. The board in June 2012 had approved issue of equity shares on rights basis to existing shareholders amounting to a maximum of Rs50 crore. Hatsun Agro fell 1.69% to close at Rs87.10 on the BSE.


Science is understanding nature!

Let us teach our young children in school that true science is learning from the workings of nature as our best teacher. Let us change our educational system from rote learning and memorizing to creative curiosity in every child where it is dormant

“Whosoever would be a man must be a non-conformist”—
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Science is all about telling stories about how this wonderful wonder, nature, works. Each storyteller understands nature in his/her own way. Naturally, science will have differences of opinion and keeps changing from time to time. That which does not change does not qualify to be called science. Naturally, we have had our share of surprises as also misunderstandings. All this is fine. The Big Bang Theory, the Relativity Theory, Quantum Mechanics, as also many others that followed do have their share of misunderstandings in built into them as long as scientists just rely only on their five senses to study and understand this enigma, nature.

Medicine, which follows the natural sciences of physics, chemistry and biology has to, per force, have the same degree of uncertainties and possibly more, as the human body is a greater wonder than many the other aspects nature. Human mind seems to be unfathomable, at least, for the time being. Applying the faulty reductionist science to the dynamic chaotic human physiologic laws leads the medical world into the bottomless pit of misunderstanding resulting in human suffering, making our interventions worse than his/her disease. Our whole edifice, built on the concept of individual diseases and their treatment, seems to be getting torn apart.

Having said that, I must explain in simple terms the difference between the usual reductionist science that we use and the chaotic holistic science that nature follows. Let me simplify that without losing the essence. Let us say that one wants to know the taste of a nice chocolate. If one goes to analyse the chocolate for its contents as is done in reductionism, one comes up with sugar, cocoa, and milk as the main ingredients. Then we study the tastes of the three separately. If, in conclusion, we pronounce that the chocolate should taste like sugar, milk or cocoa, even a child, which has tasted chocolate in the past, will disagree. Similarly, while studying the effect of fresh garlic on human health one goes by studying its individual constituents like anti-oxidants and the SH group that gives its smell; one comes up with wrong conclusions. Just as chocolate tastes as a whole, garlic will be an effective drug only when eaten whole, that too after chewing in the mouth for the saliva to activate its vital action. The last two actions are called holistic actions vis-à-vis the reductionist ideas of tasting sugar as chocolate!

The hot topics in science today are the moon journey and stem cell research. Both these efforts are trying to bend nature’s laws to suit our convenience and not trying to understand nature. I shall avoid the moon journey for this article because of space constraints. Stem cell research has become a money-spinner. In fact, that is the bane of scientific research. Societal respect for science seems to depend on the quantum of grant money that one gets. Knowing how one gets these grants, etc, I need not tell the readers that only those that know the ropes do get those grants. Lesser mortals who are not in the loop might find it hard to get in. Research institutes, coming up like mushrooms all over the country, are vying with one another to get into to either AIDS or stem cell research, where plenty of research funds are available.

One could manipulate the stem cells in vitro in any way one likes but, when they are inside the human body they do not necessarily follow what the scientists want them to do. They might have their own compulsions of holism to do what they do depending on the environment. In short, there are innumerable imponderables inside the human body that we are not able to account for and manipulate from outside. The same holds good for genetic engineering. One could do anything in vitro to engineer the genes but once inside the system gene penetrance depends on the environment to a great extent! I wonder why people do not talk about the audits on the outcomes of the first trials of genetic engineering in patients with leukaemia. What matters at the end of the day is healing outcomes, as all our “so-called” science is to help patients in distress. Predicting the unpredictable outcomes based on our reductionist thinking is akin to giving respectability to astrological predictions.

The million dollar question is: could we learn from nature about the working of such cells which are pluri-potent in nature. My good friend, Bart Flick, a noted orthopod at the University of Georgia, could answer at least a part of this question along with another great researcher, Professor Rustum Roy at Penn. State. Bart was lucky to have had training under that great electric man of medicine, Robert Becker in New York University in the 1950s. Whereas a household salamander could re-grow its cut tail in a few days, a frog or you and I can not do that! Why does this happen? How could the salamander, a less evolved animal, do that while higher evolution comes in the way? It reminds me of how snakes can suck their myocardial blood directly from the ventricles through small holes in the endocardium that spread the blood through fine meshwork of vessels all over, while we, the higher evolved creatures, need a separate circulation—the coronary tree, which seems to be the best business where we claim to improve their blood supply with our interventions (going in between with malice)!

Silver is a great healer of human ills from “times out of mind” in Indian Ayurveda. Rustum Roy could get nano-silver particles in water to heal many ills. Bart did similar experiments on wound healing. In place of the conventional dressing, Bart dressed wounds with silver mesh that got a small current from a DC source. The latter might do two things: a) it might get the silver deposited as nano-particles on the wound thereby avoiding any infection, and b) also reverse the cell wall polarity at the cut ends for the cells to grow. The wounds heal! He has even healed fingers with the terminal digit cut off to re-grow to full fingers with finger nails and fingerprints! That is not my story today. Bart did something wonderful which tickled me. He learnt a great lesson from nature as a bonus!

He was fascinated to see some gelatinous glistening debris on the healing wounds stuck to the inside of the silver mesh. He cleverly sent the material to the laboratory without telling them where it came from! Lo and behold, the report said that it was from the bone marrow with many blast (mother) cells that are pluri-potent. I understand that as a great lesson that nature had to teach us, but we did not learn up until Bart came up with his innovations. If the environment is created that is conducive, nature can produce pluri-potent cells (akin to stem cells) at the site, without our expensive stem cell research, to repair the cuts without any effort on our part. This is called observational research and learning science from nature. This is not trying to teach nature a lesson or two as our moon voyagers and stem cell researchers are trying to do and achieve the impossible with their grants. I do not think Bart got any grant for this serendipitous research outcome. I strongly feel that this kind of research of carefully observing nature as to how it tries to keep man (or any other creation) alive on this planet deserves the best Nobel Prize.

Field energy could stimulate the ischemic myocardium to re-grow new perforating vessels to relieve anginal pains as also to increase the left ventricular ejection fraction. My friend, Glen Gordon, who invented this simple device was himself a patient waiting for a heart transplant after a massive heart attack  from which he survived by the skin of his teeth. His ingenuity from his dying bed did the trick and made him walk out of the hospital with his own heart remodelled to bicycle through half of the United States to convince his doctors at Mayo Clinic that he was  alive and kicking.

Click here to access other articles by Prof BM Hegde.

Let us teach our brilliant scientists, our young children in school, that true science is learning from the workings of nature as our best teacher. Let us change our educational system from rota learning and memorizing to creative curiosity in every child where it is dormant. Every new born child is but a genius waiting to be allowed to blossom. (e=out, ducare=deliver). Let not their schooling come in the way of their education! While a good teacher teaches, a better teacher preaches, the best teacher reaches the child’s heart! Thank God for giving me such great friends like Rustum Roy, Bart Flick and Glen Gordon.


 “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative”—Oscar Wilde.

(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, Chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London.)



Udit C

4 years ago

"To understand anything, any human or scientific problem, what is important, what is essential? A quiet mind, is it not? A mind that is intent on understanding."

J Krishnamurti

Some of us are fortunate to have studied in the lap of nature, as it were, at the various campuses of the Krishnamurti Foundation. Practically all concepts introduced are linked to visible examples and experiments in the the local environment.

The Krishnamurti model of primary education has been developed and extended to rural education as well.

The Rishi Valley Rural Education Centre trains teachers as well as students. It facilitates the setting up of schools at the village-level called Satellite Schools, providing multi-grade education to choldren, with a NEGLIGIBLE dropout rate.

See http://www.

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