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Monthly Newsletter
May 2012


In this issue:


Tessy Thomas, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Mitt Romney & Jacob Zuma



Sitting around in an office which has a 'come as you are' dress code, it's a shock to hear that Indians are globally the smartest turned out workforce. A July 2011 global poll by Ipsos, the world's second largest global survey-based market research company, of around 12,500 people in 24 countries on business attire found that Indians are the smartest dressed workforce with 58% donning a suit or other smart clothing for work. Only 21% said it was fine to wear shorts. The Europeans at 27% are the most casually dressed! The survey found that Indians particularly did not see casual dressers rising up the ranks, with 64% saying they would not make senior management and 58% describing them as slackers.

An interesting revelation for people who subscribe to the-lower-the-neckline-higher-the-rank school of thought. "Grooming and dressing up plays a big part in your rise up the corporate ladder," says Minocher Patel, corporate etiquette guru and founder of Pune-based Ecole Solitaire, a residential corporate finishing school. Patel shares an incident where a Pune-based IT company didn't hire a girl who wore a short skirt to the final interview with the CEO. "Not because her skirt was too short but because her legs weren't waxed!" Dressing up for work is a thin line: too much of anything suggests you're trying too hard, while too little implies you can't be bothered. Here are few style and grooming rules that will help you define the line:

Think Meryl Streep Not A rapper from the 'hood


If someone is newly married in the office you will know by the chuda or the sudden love for gold. "Tradition demands dressing up but a workplace is a neutral ground where bling has to be minimum," Patel notes. "Men should sport only a wedding band. A kadha may be worn but hidden under the shirt," says Yatan Ahluwalia, an image consultant.

Women should stick to a pair of earrings (not dangling), a simple chain, 1-2 rings, a bangle (note the singular) for Indian clothes and a bracelet for western ones. Avoid religious rings, chains and bracelets. "If you want to wear stones, wear them on your person," says Patel. For men, an earring screams mid-life crisis. And if you must, sport corporate bling: tie pins, brooches and watches.


Think Angelina Jolie Not Pamela Anderson

According to a July 2010 poll in the US, the worst work wardrobe crime isn't harem pants or flip flops but too much cleavage. Six out of 10 bosses said low-cut tops and dresses were their top fashion hate. Ahluwalia claims "professional" dressing is misunderstood. "Tone down the 'sex factor' at work. Avoid tops and blouses that are cut too deep.

Let people judge you by your work, not by your natural or artificial assets," he says. The same rule applies to men. If you are wearing a jacket or tie, button up. Don't try to be the office Antonio Banderas. And butt cracks and midriffs are completely unacceptable. If you wear skirts or work dresses, ditch the minis. Flaunt good legs in a one-inch above the knee hemline. Men stay away from shorts.



Think Anand Mahindra Not Vijay Mallya


Wearing colour to work is very subjective to the work culture, says Ecole Solitaire's Patel. So if Mallya dons Hawaiian or Tiki shirts, he's just trying to build up his 'king of good times' brand. Similarly the chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter can get away by wearing a Hawaiian shirts under suit jackets too but us lesser mortals have to comply with colour codes.

Steer clear from anything too bright, metallic or in your face. "Unless you wear a uniform, never dress like your boss or colleagues. Avoid matching the colours of your clothes to the office interiors, walls or the company logo. There are other ways to show loyalty," says Ahluwalia. The rule with colour: warm colours (rust, orange, brown) with other warm colours. Cold colours (blue, purple, green) with other cold colours and neutrals (black, white and beige) together.
Think Hina Rabbani Khar Not Hillary Clinton


When it comes to makeup less is more. A neutral eye shadow, some mascara, a hint of blush and colour to stain the mouth. "Choose long-lasting and waterproof products and touch up your makeup and lipstick at least once, if not twice during an entire working day," says beauty and grooming consultant Jojo.

Always keep a mascara and lipstick in your purse and use it to your advantage. Keep the nails neutral or light-coloured. Nail art has no place in the office.


Think Aamir Khan in Three Idiots Not Aamir Khan in Dil Chahta Hai


Goatees and soul patches are allowed in creative industries but clean-shaven is the preferred corporate look. "For women, pony tails, put-up style or open hair, if it's not too long, is acceptable at work," says Jojo.

Use gels, mousse and anti-frizz serums to set or style hair. For hair colour, steer clear of blondes or ravishing reds. All shades of brown are acceptable and recommended.




What's Hot What's Hot Tessy Thomas, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Mitt Romney & Jacob Zuma

Tessy Thomas
She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India.

Tessy ThomasShe sees no paradox in a woman working to develop Agni-V, the indigenously developed, 5,000-km range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile that some would call a weapon of mass destruction. Scientist Tessy Thomas, who guided the team behind it, calls it a “weapon of peace” and says there is no gender discrimination in science.

Associated with all the Agni series missiles, Thomas led the Agni-IV team as project director for vehicles and mission and was project director (mission) for Agni-V.

“There is no gender discrimination in science because science does not know who is working for it. When I reach there for work I am no more a woman. I am only the scientist,” says Tessy.

A rare woman in a male bastion, the 49-year-old scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) played a key role in making India’s most potent inter-continental ballistic missile.

The sari-clad Tessy recalls that women were two to three percent of the scientific community at DRDO in the past. “Now they are 12 to 15 percent. This difference has come about in 20 years.” Tessy says the successful launch of Agni-V was a dream come true for over 2,000 scientists who were working for last three years. “It was a great moment. We have many scientists working on different technologies.”

After Agni-V, she has set her eyes on Multiple Independent Re-Entry Vehicles (MIRV). “We are thinking of a new technology for MIRV system. We have done Agni-V with single re-entry vehicle. We are now thinking of multiple RVs.”

Among scientists, father of India’s missile programme APJ Abdul Kalam is her inspiration. “When I joined in 1988, Dr Abdul Kalam was a director of DRDL (Defence Research and Development Laboratory) and was the one who directed me to join inertial navigation group.”

Tessy considers missiles as “weapons of peace”. She says, “If you are strong enough, nobody will dare to touch you. If you have a stick in your hand, nobody will come to beat you because you will retaliate. It is as simple as that. It is not what I want. It is the country’s requirement.”

Early life and Education

Tessy hails from Alappuzha, Kerala. She was born to a small-businessman father and a homemaker mother and did her engineering graduation from Government Engineering College, Thrissur. She grew up near a rocket launching station and says her fascination with rockets and missiles began then.

She also has an M.Tech in Guided Missile from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune (now known as the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology). She was named after Mother Teresa, the late Nobel laureate who worked with the poor in Calcutta.

Tessy was associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project. She was the project director for Agni IV which was successfully tested in 2011. Tessy was appointed as the Project Director for 5,000 km range Agni-V in 2009 and is based at the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad. The missile was successfully tested on 19 April 2012.

In January 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Indian Science Congress that Mrs Thomas is an example of a "woman making her mark in a traditionally male bastion and decisively breaking the glass ceiling".

In 2011, three women scientists won the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award, India's top science prize, compared to 11 from 1958-2010 and one was for Ms Thomas.  The media also love to call her Agniputri, or one born of fire, after the missiles she has helped develop. "We are all proud of our country. Agni-V is one of our greatest achievements," she says.

Personal life

She is married to Saroj Kumar, now a commodore in the Indian Navy and they have a son, Tejas, an engineering student who shares his name with India's indigenously developed light combat aircraft, also made by the DRDO.

In a glowing tribute in 2008, The Indian Woman Scientists Association did not forget to mention that "like most women she also does a tight-rope walk between home and career, between being a mother and a scientist who is dedicated to her job.

”We feel Tessy Thomas serves as a role model and an inspiration for women scientists to achieve their dreams and have their feet planted in both worlds successfully," the group said.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
A good choice for President Nominee

A. P. J. Abdul KalamThe Samajwadi Party complicated Congress' calculations for the upcoming Presidential polls by introducing the name of former President APJ Abdul Kalam as a possible consensus candidate.

The resurrection of Kalam's candidature came on a day when the Congress, which is hamstrung in the numbers game, emphasized the need for forging a 'consensus' on the Presidential election as UPA, NDA and non-NDA Opposition are not in a position to elect a candidate of their choice. Congress and allies have indicated dialogue for zeroing in on a jointly-sponsored candidate.

Brief Introduction

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam born 15 October 1931 usually referred to as A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, was the 11th President of India who is also a renowned aerospace engineer. He served as the president between 2002 and 2007. During his term as President, he was popularly known as the People's President.

He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour in 1997. He has also been a professor (of aerospace engineering) and is the first Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram (IIST).

Before his term as President, he worked as an aerospace engineer with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology.

Kalam played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974. Many scientific experts have however called Kalam a man with no authority over "nuclear physics" but who just carried on the works of Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai.

He is currently a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management Indore, Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore), and an adjunct/visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions across India.

In May 2011, Kalam launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the What Can I Give Movement with a central theme to defeat corruption. He also has interests in writing Tamil poetry and in playing the veenai.

Future India: 2020

How the President is elected?

An electoral college of all elected MPs and MLAs of all state legislatures elect the President. India has 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs. Each MP's vote has a value of 708, an MLA's vote value differs from state to state. Total value of votes of all 4,120 MLAs is 5,49,474. Total value of votes of all 776 MPs is 5,49,408.

In his book India 2020, Kalam strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and a developed nation by the year 2020. He regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.

It has been reported that there is a considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him.

Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology. He has proposed a research program for developing bio-implants.

He is a supporter of Open Source over proprietary solutions and believes that the use of free software on a large scale will bring the benefits of information technology to more people.

Awards and Honours

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam's 79th birthday was recognized as World Students' Day by United Nations. He also has received honorary doctorates from 40 universities.

The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government.

In 1997, Kalam received one of India's highest awards, the prestigious Bharat Ratna for his immense and valuable contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology. He was the second scientist after the late Homi Bhabha to receive this award.

Mitt Romney
With wins in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to US media forecasts, Mr Romney essentially kicked-off his general election campaign and began making his case to take over the White House.

Mitt Romney

Having won an inevitable five-state whitewash Mitt Romney claimed victory in the Republican primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware and New York.

The President responded as only he could, appearing on a talk show where he crooned a speech on student loan interest rates to the backing of Jimmy Fallon's house band, the Roots.

Brief Introduction

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.

The son of George W. Romney (the former Governor of Michigan) and Lenore Romney, Mitt Romney was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later served as a Mormon missionary in France.

He married Ann Davies in 1969 and they have five children. He received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, and then earned a joint JD and MBA from Harvard University.
Romney entered the management consulting business, which led to a position at Bain & Company. Eventually serving as CEO, Romney brought the company out of crisis. He was co-founder and head of the spin-off company Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became highly profitable and one of the largest such firms in the nation. His wealth helped fund most of his future political campaigns.

Active in his church, he served as ward bishop and later stake president in his area. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, losing to long-time incumbent Ted Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled games into a financial success.

Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 but did not seek re-election in 2006. He presided over a series of spending cuts and increases in fees that eliminated an up to $1.5 billion deficit. He also signed into law the Massachusetts health care reform legislation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via subsidies and state-level mandates and was the first of its kind in the nation. During the course of his political career, his positions or rhetorical emphasis have shifted more towards American conservatism in several areas.

Romney ran for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, winning several primaries and caucuses but losing the nomination to John McCain.

In the following years, he gave speeches and raised campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans.

On June 2, 2011, Romney announced that he would seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The results of the caucuses and primaries so far place him as the leader for the nomination.

Awards and Honors

Romney has received four honorary doctorates: an Honorary Doctor of Business from the University of Utah in 1999, an Honorary Doctor of Law from Bentley College in 2002, an Honorary Doctor of Public Administration from Suffolk University Law School in 2004, and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from Hillsdale College in 2007.

People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list for 2002. In 2004, Romney received the inaugural Truce Ideal Award for his role in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In 2006, he received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In 2008, he shared with his wife Ann the Canterbury Medal from The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, for "refus[ing] to compromise their principles and faith" during the presidential campaign. In 2012, Romney was named to the Time 100.


  • With Timothy Robinson (2004). Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games. Washington: Regnery Publishing. 
  • No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2010.
Jacob Zuma
South Africa's polygamous President Jacob Zuma married his fourth current wife, the sixth time the 70-year-old has tied the knot.

Jacob ZumaPresident Jacob Zuma married Ms Bongi Ngema at a traditional ceremony known as umgcagco at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. The wedding is Zuma's third in just over four years and the second since coming to power in 2009 as the country's first president with multiple wives, something that is legal under liberal post-apartheid laws.

In all, he has married six times. One of his wives has died, and another – home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – divorced him.

Mr Zuma's wedding is the latest in a string of marriages for the former freedom fighter, who was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa's African National Congress.

The president now leads the ruling party and is the country's first polygamous premier.

He was born into poverty, went into exile to fight white minority rule and has had to battle accusations of rape and corruption during a bitter power struggle. But his poor roots, charisma and strength in adversity partly explain his enduring popularity.

Before he became the country's leader in May 2009, attention focused on his numerous legal problems. But his private life has since grabbed the headlines.

Brief Introduction

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (born 12 April 1942) is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election. Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma is also referred to by his initials JZ and his clan name Msholozi.

Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane. Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), briefly serving on the party's Politburo until he left the party in 1990.

On 20 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee, following a conclusion by Judge Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.

Zuma has faced significant legal challenges. He was charged with rape in 2005, but was acquitted. In addition, he fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik's conviction for corruption and fraud. On 6 April 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges, citing political interference.

Early Years

Zuma was born in Nkandla, Zululand (now part of KwaZulu-Natal). His father was a policeman who died when Zuma was still a young boy, and his mother a domestic worker. He received no formal schooling.
As a child, he was constantly moving between Zululand and the suburbs of Durban in the area of Umkhumbane (near Chesterville). He has two brothers, Michael and Joseph.

President of South Africa

In September 2008, the ANC ruled Thabo Mbeki unfit to rule a country, thus ending his parliamentary support and forcing his resignation from the country's presidency.

It was announced that the party's deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, would become president until 2009 general elections, after which Zuma would become president. He won the election on 6 May and was sworn in as president of South Africa on 9 May 2009.

Political-Economic Orientation

Zuma is an economic leftist, who described himself as a socialist. He has received support from trade unions and from the South African Communist Party. He also received support from women's and youth leagues of the African National Congress.

According to The Guardian and The New York Times, he supports redistribution of wealth, and has allied himself with socialists and communists that seek to redistribute wealth. But The Guardian (UK) also reported that Zuma has tried "to reassure foreign investors their interests will be protected.

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