Life Management: Success in Life

Is Success in Life a Mirage?

Success or success in life are much loosely used words. Generally, anyone who becomes a bit popular is seen or considered as a successful person. Is that really true? Are so called successful people really successful in all aspects of their life? Does being highly successful in some narrowly defined field(s), particularly at the cost of being failures in some other equally important aspects of life, equal being successful in entire life? Is it really possible to be successful in all the different aspects of life or is it a mirage? And if yes, how? This article discusses these issues.

Success: Wide Spectrum Paradigm

Success paradigms have a very wide spectrum. Seen as rich, turning into celebrity, becoming popular, getting known, seen as influential or recognition of your high status are pretty common success criteria for a very large number of people. In a way, this means that you tend to feel successful when other people acknowledge that you are successful. It may be out of your approval addiction. Even if you are not approval addict, you, on your own (irrespective of what others think), may also feel successful if you achieve certain degrees of any one or more of these things. However, even in here, if large majority of others think that achieving the degrees of success you have achieved in the parameters listed above are not good enough for you to be recognized as successful, your own assessment of yourself as being successful may get diminished in your own mind. Again, approval addiction, may be of lower order.

Also, if you have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) as per your assessment and others also recognize that you have achieved all of these but your own child thinks that you have neglected him/her all through his/her life and he/she hates you for that; are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) as per your and others’ assessment but you have treated your spouse in a such a derogatory manner (intellectually, emotionally and physically) that she/he is on the brink of asking for divorce or running away with another person; are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but when your father or mother needs you most in his/her sickness or any other trying situation and you are away on your business all the time and grossly neglect him/her; are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but fight tooth and nail with your brother(s) and/or sister(s) to meet some selfish ends and severe all the relationships, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you did not look after your children’s education, development and growth and because of this negligence, they ended up without any decent education, grew with skewed values, got into drugs and other bad habits, have become irresponsible and undisciplined, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you wife has not grown much after her marriage with you since you have not supported her enough as a husband, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you have not developed the capabilities of loving  other people (your family members and some others) or have not genuinely loved them, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you have not acquired and assimilated the proper education to develop yourself into a cultured and refined human being and constantly brag about yourself, belittle others and are in a habit of ill-treating and insulting the people, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you have fallen into becoming a drunkard, a junkie, a womanizer, smuggler, bootlegger etc (even though the charges might not have been legally or socially acknowledged or confirmed), are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you have got into habit of saving your face by impressing upon people that you are successful or better than them or many others and in the process you have to act, pretend, fake or camouflage (meaning that you are not a genuine person), are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but a large section of people also throw rotten eggs or shoes at you or in extreme case, plan to kill you or even kill you because you have antagonized them harshly, unreasonably and unethically; are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but you have been corrupt and greedy and have amassed money illegitimately (though may or may not have been caught doing so by law or by people); are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but have misguided the people dependent on you, manipulated and exploited them to achieve your personal interests, took wrong decisions affecting the people (and have not been caught by law or by people), are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but you have been responsible for hurting people physically or mentally or financially because of which those people suffered grossly in their life (and you have not been caught by law or people and you still live a high brow life shamelessly), are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but your thinking, advices, decisions and actions have led to careless accidents, skirmishes, battles and wars killing civilian and military people, are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but your thinking, advices, decisions and actions have led to provide, illegally or legally, such goods and services whose production, distribution, disposal and consumption pollute the environment and adversely affect the people health wise and economically, are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but your thinking, advices, decisions and actions have led the prices of basic human requirements like essential food stuff, water, education and health care soar sky high to the extent that the citizens of the country/world cannot afford them, are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but you have, in fact, bought all of these by manipulating/lobbying unscrupulously the power, the people and the media and it has not come to you by adopting natural, ethical and legal course, are you really successful?

You have all of these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status), but you have deprived yourself of understanding and enjoying the nuances and beauty of languages, science, biology, mathematics, technology, arts, sociology, civics, culture, nature etc normally learnt through formal and systematic primary, secondary, higher secondary and university education or even through informal self education outside of school and college, are you really successful?

You have all these (rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential, status) but you are not able to look after your health due to variety of reasons though within your control and therefore, you are perennially physically, intellectually, mentally, emotionally or spiritually sick causing troubles to yourself and people around you, are you really successful?

Most People’s Success Paradigm Is Narrow

In the earlier paragraphs, I listed down a large number of areas where if you are not successful, you may not deserve to be called fully successful in life despite the fact that you may be rich, celebrity, popular, known, influential and you have status. A person is fully successful in life only if he achieves success in all the spheres of life: personal life, professional life, home life, family life, married life, human life, social life etc.

However, most people’s paradigm of success is quite narrowly defined. For some, only becoming rich is success, for some getting a particular award is ultimate success, for some bringing up the family decently is success and for some, TV and news papers flashing their pictures frequently is equivalent of success. The fact of life is that many people do believe in these narrowly defined paradigms of success. If they see others getting these kinds of successes in these narrow fields, they feel impressed by such persons and many times they feel bad about themselves since they could not achieve that kind of success.

Even achieving the success in these narrow fields is debatable. Whether amassing a wealth of one hundred billion dollar is success in the “richness” paradigm of success or making forty billion dollars is good enough to be called success or say, earning few millions is also success or even earning a decent salary or income to satisfy the major needs of the family is also success? How much money one should collect for being labeled as successful in this narrow field of earning money?

Same question arises when people label someone successful because he is highly learned. For one to be labeled highly learned, does one need to acquire four PhDs or five post graduate degrees or any decent college education is good enough?

That’s why, based on the extent of quantity and quality achieved in these narrow fields, one starts getting known as more successful or less successful or just about successful.

You may achieve success (more success, less success or just about success) in some such narrow fields but then is it possible to achieve success in all the aspects of life; the aspects I defined in the earlier paragraphs to get qualified as fully successful (even here it may be more fully successful, less fully successful or just about fully successful)? Is that, then, a utopian thought?

Another relevant question about success is: what is more important in life; being fully successful by even moderate (just about OK) measures in all the aspects of life or being more or most (if one can define “most” in the context of success) successful person in couple of narrowly defined fields (like becoming rich, becoming popular, holding a very senior position like CEO or president of a state, bagging a very prestigious award etc) but being a hopelessly dismal failure in some equally important areas (dismal failure as a father or as a husband or being a white collared mass murderer by producing or serving goods and services that are very dangerous for human consumption like environmentally detrimental chemicals, harmful untested medicines, cigarettes, drugs, prostitution, child labor etc)?

Questions Answered

Is it really possible to achieve success in every aspect of human life in superlative degrees (i.e. more success)?

The answer is “yes” and “no”- both. It will entirely depend on each person as to what and how much and how well he does in each aspect of his life.

That is the reason why for achieving success in all aspects of life one will have to set out his goals in each of these aspects on a timeline in terms of quality and quantity to be achieved, plan out allocation of his resources (most importantly his time) accordingly and most importantly, actually deploy them accordingly. Also, review from time to time as to what is his progress against the targets and is he deploying the resources as planned. He may have to carry out mid course corrections on all of these, if required.

In addition, it is equally important for one to carve out the correct value structure. Getting tremendous success in any field by flouting these values in fact is no success; rather that is a failure. An extreme case could be that a chief of a state declares an undeserved or unwarranted war, under some external compulsions, on the other state though his value structure does not permit him doing so. Now achieving the status of the chief of a state by fair means is definitely a success of very high order but as a president declaring a war that he personally does not believe in, is an utter failure. Under such circumstances, a successful chief of the state may prefer to resign rather than wrongly declare a war that kills millions of military and civilian people and come out as a more fully successful person.

If getting success like this in all the aspects of life is possible, then, why a large section of people do not achieve this? The answer is: imbalance.

Some people tilt too much on trying to achieve quality and quantity of only few aspect of life forgetting or giving less importance to other equally vital aspects of life. The resources (including one’s personal time) by and large remain the same- they are limited. Now if you use too much of these limited resources only on very few aspects of life at the cost of other important aspects of life, you cannot achieve success in all of them in equal measures (quality and quantity wise). Thus, because of such imbalance, your overall success remains lopsided.

Is it then really good to have such lopsided success? Answer is common sense: it has to be a “no”. If you give too much importance to your professional work and therefore, do not spend from your limited time, appropriate quantity and quality of time with you wife day after day, month after month and year after year and then, if she disappears from your life by falling in love with someone else who cares for her or by taking divorce, will you call yourself successful?

Will it not be more appropriate in such situations to achieve even moderate successes in all the important aspects of your life rather than achieving tremendous success in just about few areas at the cost of being a hopeless failure in most of the other equally important aspects of life?

However, one need not aim at only moderate successes in all the aspects of one’s life under an excuse of the balancing act. It is true that balancing your resources and particularly your time over various important aspects of your life will mean spreading them thin and so the achievements may not reach their maximum possible or potential limits. Yet, if you are willing to think of ways and means of increasing your effectiveness and efficiency and implementing them in your day-to-day life, more and more quality and quantity successes can be achieved in large majority of all your important aspects of your life without neglecting any one of them.

Success: Effectiveness and Efficiency

In earlier paragraphs I mentioned that it is possible to achieve a great degree of success in each of the many important aspects of life and thereby feel fully successful in life. But to achieve it within the limited resources that one normally has, one has to deploy them in a “balanced” manner and learn to become more effective as well as efficient.

I am giving a complete road map to do so. The first step is to understand difference between effectiveness and efficiency.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

First try to a get a clarity on what is effectiveness and what is efficiency.

Effectiveness is all about the answer to “what”. What is it that I wish to achieve? What are my goals? What are my destinations? Therefore, what is it that I wish to do?

Efficiency is all about the answer to “how”. How well, how fast and how economically or productively am I doing the tasks or activities that will help me reach my goals or destinations?

Obviously effectiveness comes first. If you do not know your destination how can you decide the direction in which you should proceed and the path you should tread on. But in over zealousness of achieving the goals which are still hazy to you, in the fastest possible way, you may still start running instead of walking. However, you are most likely to start off and keep running in a wrong direction because your destination is still not well defined; it is still quite hazy. You will keep moving forward to a destination which is really not yours, much faster. And that is a mistake.

What is the big use? You are making a mistake. You are efficient, no doubt but you are efficient in making the mistakes. The lesson to learn is: without effectiveness, efficiency has no much use. Efficiency without effectiveness makes you to commit the mistakes only faster.

So, do not start off without answering the first question “what”. And even if you start off without answering the question “what” and somehow realize half way through that you are not reaching your goals or destinations despite being very efficient, stop and remind: have you answered the question “what” before taking off? Pause, take your time and answer “what”, get clarity on your goals and destinations and the related tasks that need to be accomplished. Then. carry out the mid course correction of the direction in which you had earlier started off and now start treading the new correct path with great efficiency.

Success: Sharpen Your Human Software (HSoftware)

In earlier paragraphs I have discussed the broader dimensions of success and then I have started jotting down the ways to achieve such a success starting with “Success: Effectiveness and Efficiency”.

This is the next rung in the ladder of “how to achieve the success in life?” Here I have emphasized that the person desirous of success must continuously improve his “Human Software (HSoftware)” (a term created by me).

So, as per “The Shyam Bhatawdekar Model of Effectiveness: HSoftware”, human effectiveness depends on following four factors:

  • Values
  • Knowledge base (rational intelligence IQ, emotional intelligence EQ and spiritual intelligence SQ- nothing to do with established religions or gods)
  • Paradigms (mindsets or thinking patterns)
  • Will power to do

These entire four factors are so very highly integrated or intertwined or interdependent with each other that one has to look at all of them together simultaneously. And at times, even improving one factor does not necessarily and always provide the right impact of improving the other though one depends on the other.

For example, some god men perform certain miracles and their followers who may be in millions feel impressed by them and believe in their godly powers. These god men themselves proclaim to possess such powers. Exactly the same miracles are performed by the well known magicians. Their objective is to just entertain the people many of whom might be the followers of these god men also. But the magician always insists that he just performs some intelligent tricks and not the miracles and the spectators look at the magic nothing but the tricks. But tell the same people to start seeing the godly acts or miracles performed by their god men as mere tricks or magic, a large majority of them not only do not accept it, they feel terribly offended. Though these people have improved their knowledge base about these magical tricks, their paradigm (mindset) towards accepting god men as performing real godly miracles remains intact. They continue to remain the followers of these god men on the basis of the miracles performed by them. Perhaps their will power to change their paradigms about the god men’s capability of performing miracles falls short somewhere. Now the will power to carry out the required change further depends on some more additional pieces of knowledge and unless they acquire that additional knowledge, the will to do or act in the right direction will not get activated fully.

So, if one has to become effective and efficient, one will have to keep on working incessantly to improve the four factors (HSoftware) mentioned above and keep changing for better.

You may also like to refer: (The Shyam Bhatawdekar Effectiveness Model: HSoftware) or (Human Software- HSoftware)

Success: Paradigm and Paradigm Shift

(On this topic, you may also like to read (Paradigm and Paradigm Shift) at

Another important next logical step one must take to achieve success in life (in personal, family, professional and social life) is “Paradigms and Paradigm Shift”.

In the earlier paragraph, “Sharpen Your HSoftware (Human Software) I mentioned about the need to sharpen one’s HSoftware (Human Software) which consists of values, knowledge, paradigms and will power (to do) and so, in fact, I had already covered “paradigms” there. So, why am I repeating it? It is because despite possessing great value structures and great knowledge, many people just cannot change their paradigms. I also gave one example of this to show how people get stuck with these rigid paradigms and if these paradigms happen to be retrograde, then there is a huge problem ahead of them.

And it is due to “paradigms” that a person’s day to day actions and behavior are decided. So, questioning your paradigms whether they are effective or ineffective, right or wrong is an important aspect of your life if you wish to be successful. More correct paradigms will lead you to the path of success, the less correct ones or wrong ones will lead you another path which may not lead you to success.

For example, some people have a rigid paradigm of loving their own mother tongue and they start believing that it is not necessary to learn other languages to the extent they may even hate other languages. Loving one’s own mother tongue is a good paradigm but not learning other languages or hating them is a backward paradigm. So the people who get stuck with this paradigm will never attempt to learn a new language (say, English which is pretty much used language in the most places of the world these days). This will put them to disadvantage in many aspects of their personal, professional and social life.

So, the person having such a paradigm problem must question his paradigm, get more knowledge about the advantages of learning the popular languages of the world and use the will power to start learning them.

This is how one shifts from a rigid paradigm and becomes flexible and shifts to a more effective or advanced paradigm.
So, by questioning one’s existing paradigms which are hundreds of them in every one’s mind, one can know which paradigms to shift from so as to adopt a better new paradigm that can lead one to success.

Success: Goal Setting

(On this topic, you may also like to read (Goal/Target Setting)

We started with defining “success” or “success in life” and then went on to discuss the steps one should take in order to achieve success. In previous paragraphs we discussed the first three steps namely:

1. Effectiveness and efficiency 2. Sharpen your HSoftware (human software) 3. Paradigms and paradigm shift.

Next logical step to achieve success is “goal setting” or “target setting”.

In each aspect of success i.e. success in professional field, success as a parent, success as a husband, success as a son, success as human being etc, you will have to define your goals or targets to achieve on a specified time line.

Goal setting exercise is very important. Purposes of goals are: to focus your attention, to give you a time frame to work and in which to plan, to help motivate yourself and others and to ensure everybody is clear about what is happening.

Goal or target setting is done on short term, medium term and long term basis. In the context of personal goals, one can even think of setting up life time goals.

When setting goals you should follow this sequence:

  • See it
  • Say it
  • Write it down
  • Do it

Goals should be SMART:

  • Goals should be specific (S)
  • Goals should measurable (M)
  • Goals should be agreed (by you and with others) (A)
  • Goals should be realistic (R) and
  • Goals should be timed (should be achieved in a specified time) (T)
  • If your goals do not meet the criteria listed above, they cannot be called goals. You will have to revisit them and redefine them in order to make sure that they stand true to the above-mentioned five criteria.

Success: Daily Management

On this topic, you may also like to read at: (Daily Management)

We started with defining “success” or “success in life”  and then went on to discuss the steps one should take in order to achieve success. In previous paragraphs we discussed the first three steps namely:

1. Effectiveness and efficiency 2. Sharpen your HSoftware (human software) 3. Paradigms and paradigm shift 4. Goal setting (target setting)

Next logical step to achieve success is “daily management”.

  • Important aspect in daily management is that the management should be done on a day-to-day basis. This ensures that daily jobs and daily objectives are accomplished strictly on daily basis. There is a perfect control system built into daily management which does not ordinarily allow any slip up on daily plans, activities and results.
  • Business and life in general whether personal, family or professional, we know, are now so complex and difficult, the survival of firms and individuals so hazardous in an environment increasingly unpredictable, competitive and fraught with danger, that their continued existence depends on the day-to-day mobilization of every ounce of intelligence.
  • Daily plan is the set of tasks and activities to be executed during the day as per a decided sequence on a time line.
  • Daily plan should be derived from the goal setting exercise. In order to achieve the goals, one has to perform several activities. So one has to decide which activities need to be done today so that one can finally achieve one’s goals well in time.
  • Day’s plan thus arrived at is then the basis for executing the daily tasks and activities.
  • These daily tasks/activities are slotted during the day’s available time- when to do which activity? Each activity thus decided must therefore be executed in accordance with the daily time sheet.
  • In doing so, continuous improvements will have to be effected to ensure that higher performance is achieved within the existing resources and with high productivity.
  • From time to during the day, you must keep a track of your actual accomplishment of activities/tasks  against your plan. This is the control aspect of daily management. If you do so, the slip-ups in the day will be minimum and you will easily glide towards achieving your goals or objectives.

For More of the Author’s Work

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:

Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar:

For various other management topics, refer: (Home Pages for All the Management Topics), and (Alphabetic List of All Management Topics)

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Training on all the topics related to management and leadership is provided by Prodcons Group’s Mr Shyam Bhatawdekar and/or Dr (Mrs) Kalpana Bhatawdekar, eminent management educationists, management consultants and trainers- par excellence, with distinction of having trained over 150,000 people from around 250 organizations. Implementation of various HR system is also facilitated by the team of Prodcons Group.

Also refer:, and

Other Topics of Interest

All Management Topics (General Management, Marketing and Sales, Service, Operations/Manufacturing, Quality, Maintenance, Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Information Technology, Life Management)

The topics are listed in alphabetic order:

(Home Pages for All the Management Topics)
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(Alphabetic List of All Management Topics)
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(Business Plan)
(Business Plan)
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(Career Planning within Organizations)
(Case Method)
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(CEO Roles, Qualities and Competencies)
(Change Management)
(Competencies- Life Management)
(Competency and Skill Building for Success- Competency Matrix/Mapping)
(Competency Mapping)
(Competency Matrix)
(Conflict Management)
(Corporate Governance)
(Cost Management)
(Cost of Quality- COQ)
(Counseling at Workplace)
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(Customer Orientation)
(Customer Relationship Management- CRM)
(Daily Management)
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(Decision Making)
(Democracy and Democratic Systems)
(Design for Manufacture)
(Dining Etiquette and Table Manners)
(Discipline at Work)
(Do This Today)
(Dream Exotic)
(Effectiveness and Efficiency)
(Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Efficiency Techniques: Work study: Motion and Time Study)
(Efficient Work Methods or Practices)
(Email Etiquette)
(Emotional Intelligence)
(Enterprise Resource Planning- ERP)
(Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur)
(Executive Etiquette and Manners)
(Exit Interview)
(Financial Ratios and Financial Ratio Analysis)
(Financial Services)
(Functions of Management)
(Gemba Kaizen)
(Genuine Professional)
(Global Mindset)
(Goal/Target Setting)
(Group Discussion)
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(How to Be a Good Boss)
(How to Get Promoted)
(How to save Money)
(HR Dynamics)
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(Human Resource Planning)
(Human Software- HSoftware)
(Impression Management)
(Internal Motivation or Self Motivation)
(Interpersonal Relations)
(Interview Skills)
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(Johari Window)
(Just in Time Management- JIT)
(Knowledge Management)
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(Life Management: I Am Liberated)
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(Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Articles on Management)
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(Soft Skills/Competencies: Details of Each Competency)
(Spiritual Quotient/Intelligence)
(Statistics- Basic)
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(Stress Management)
(Stress Management)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Supply Chain Management)
(Supply and Demand)
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(Three Sixty Degrees Appraisal System)
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(Train the Trainers)
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(Winners and Losers)
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(Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar on Management)
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Counseling: General and Psychological
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(Counseling: Psychological)
(Counseling: Psychological)
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(Do This Today)
(Executive Etiquette and Manners)
(Family Counseling)
(Health: Homeopathy)
(Johari Window)
(Life Management: Competencies)
(Life Management: Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Life management: I Am Liberated)
(Marriage Counseling)
(Ownership on Job)
(Parental Responsibilities)
(Qualities of Spouse)
(Quit Smoking)
(Self Development)
(Spiritual Quotient/Intelligence)
(Stress Management)
(Stress Management)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Swine Flu and Its Prevention)
(Telephone Etiquette)
(Winners and Losers)

About All the Products
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Home Management Tips (Home Tips)
(Home Page for All Home Tips)
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(Entertainment: Movies)
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General Knowledge and Out of Box Ideas
(General Knowledge- GK)
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(Running Commentary on the Run)


About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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