Here are the comments that were earlier part of Free Speech Forum of this Outlook Magazine article which had gone missing later. Read in a sequence, they offer just a glimpse of the infamous bala lilas of Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam.
Please click here for the Outlook article ‘Ten Percent Solution’
Nov 20, 2015, 4.32 PM
Now their laboratory land cost is about 900 Crores to 1000 Crores!!! If they shift their operations to Zaheerbad from the present place, they can hope to get a net profit of at least 800 Crores after providing for cost at Zaheerabad.
December 10, 2015, 11.09 AM
This article skirts several inconvenient facts about the Company and merely presents the Company’s view point uncritically. Let us examine some of their major claims.
In the first place, the Company claims to be content with 10% profit margin. This is not a result of any generosity but rather their sheer incompetence as demonstrated over decades. In line with their own targets, the Company should cross Rupees 1000 Crores in 2015 – 16 but their H1 revenues is a mere 138 Crores! In fact, their earlier plan was to reach Rupees Rupees 1913 Crores during FY 2013 – 14 but they never crossed even Rupees 500 crores at any point of time in their history. So we are talking of a company that has absolutely no respect for numbers and attaches no sanctity whatsoever to results. So, how seriously should the public take their 10% claim? With lack lustre Product line up and a pathetic performance to boot, does 10% profit really look all that visionary? Given the fact that Top Management of IIL get paid salaries in region of crores, aiming at such low profits in the first place itself is criminal. They can afford to be indifferent about it because it is the Tax Payer’s money, not their own.
IIL is renowned for its poor project execution. Its Karkapatla plant is yet to obtain even the basic WHO PQ though the project commenced five years back with that aim. It is a white elephant that sucks the Tax Payer money each and every day it runs but the article makes no mention about it. The land acquision at Pondy for expansion has been an abject failure and the land is lying waste though more than fifty crores has been spent on its acquisition but the article is silent on it. The fact that NZ plant gets mentioned without even a whisper of about its earlier failed initiatives tells its own tale.
On the New Product front, the Company’s record is nothing, if not dismal. Economic Times issue of May 30th, 2010 here carried an article where IIL declared grandly that it will release four vaccines in that year – Pentavalent, JEV, Bucillosis and Recombinant tick. Nothing happened in the year that followed. Two years later, in Business Line issue of 9th February 2012, here IIL announced that it will develop vaccines for JEV (which was due two years earlier!) and Chikingunya but no sign of them three years later. This Company’s hunger for publicity over performance has a long history.
Notwithstanding such a dubious track record, IIL has absolutely no compuction in making loud statement yet again in Business Line yesterday (9th December 2015 issue) here that it will launch Recombinant Vaccine ‘CysVax’ by this year end with all the routine noises about Pentavalent, Chikungunya, blah blah which was due as early as 2011. Like good politicians, IIL seems to be betting too heavily on short public memory!
While the earlier example illustrates its lack of respect for numbers, the Karkapatla fiasco and broken commitments on New Product demonstrates its lack of concern for deadlines of any sort. Being a PSU there has been no accountability fixed for such failures and the Directors and Top Management held on firmly to their jobs, enjoying all their perks with little commitment and even less focus. IIL’s claims of doing CSR beyond their regular work is laughable. Keeping this Company running at tax payer’s burden itself looks like CSR.
With one failure after another, one unkept commitment after another, the IIMA alumnus K.V. Balasubramaniam, Managing Director and Dr.K. Anand Kumar, Deputy Managing Director, want a blitz of publicity to cover up their rotten performances. It is sad that Outlook Magazine has unwittingly played into their hands, rather than bring up truth to light, which is what is expected of a magazine of your reputation.
With Mr.T. Nanda Kumar as Chairman not being effective in the least, it is in tax payer’s interest that this comes under disinvestment radar soon and atleast helps the country take some baby steps towards reducing fiscal deficit. Farmer’s interests are better served through drug price control than through funding such money guzzlers. Getting black money from abroad is one thing. What is more important is plugging holes through which hard earned tax payer money is frittered away for benefit of a few. The workings of IIL is in need of urgent public interest and close scrutiny.
Dec 14, 2015, 10.00 AM
Disgruntled elements after leaving the company send anonymous letters, post blogs in social media as a way to vent their frustration. The motive behind such acts are to tarnish the image of the organisation. Any wise reader will understand motive behind such blogs.
IIL is the only company to introduce more than 20 veterinary and human vaccines with their own R&D in India. Some are for the first time in the world and some are first time in India. IIL is the only manufacturer of some vaccines in India. Today, IIL is one of the most reputed companies in vaccine industry. IIL plays an important role in providing affordable vaccines to farmers and Govt institutions.
Some of the Veterinary vaccines, which are sold at USD 2 outside India are being sold at 15 cents in India. Indian farmers are enormously benefitted by quality vaccines supplied by IIL.
IIL is one of the profitable companies which is not funded by Govt. The allegation that the company is a tax payer’s burden which is not true. Financial discipline of the company is a role model for other PSUs. Some of the PSUs came and studied IIL model.
The allegations that the vaccines are not introduced by IIL is false and IIL regularly introduces vaccines. It has recently introduced blue tongue vaccine for the first time in India in colloboration with TANUVAS and ICAR. IIL has already introduced Brucella vaccine. Pentavalent vaccine has already completed Phase I /II and ready for Phase III. Other vaccines are at various stages of regulatory pathway.
The disgruntled element may not be knowing that any vaccine takes atleast 5 to 7 years in regulatory pathway. Rogue elements who have left the company should mind their business instead of expressing their frustration in blogs etc. Some of the former employees, after obtaining good experience and proper remuneration for long years, start badmouthing about the company and resort to destructive behaviour. In other words, disgruntled ex-employees are harmful to any organization and it is a perfect example of a person spewing venom on organization which provided delightful career for long time.
Readers should note that such disgruntled elements cannot harm an organization which has been built on values and ethics.
Dec 15, 2015, 5.19 PM
This is in response to Mr.Millind. At the outset, I would like to clarify that calling me a disgruntled employee or a ex-employee are not charges that can stick.
Facts have been presented and none of them have been countered. Neither have the facts as presented have been denied. On the plans and actual turnover, documents exist which anyone can peruse by applying through RTI to NDDB.
There is no fact based response to various issues pointed out especially where Top Management tends to survive more on promises than performance. Documentary evidence is available on all the tall claims. Newspaper titles and dates are quoted to prove the same. Anyone is free to refer to them. If indeed regulatory pathway does take 5 – 7 years on an average, where is the need to rush to newspaper with deadline? A couple of delays is always possible. But one searches in vain for even a single commitment declared that has been kept. Who is interested in Product Development being in various phases of development when it does not come to market as trumpheted loudly in the papers? There is no response whatsoever on the infamous Karkapatla fiasco or wasteful purchase of Pondy land.
There is an interesting statement in his response about ‘Indian farmers are enormously benefitted by quality vaccines supplied by IIL’. In 2014 India suffered one of the worst outbreaks of FMD among vaccinated livestock. While IIL was the biggest supplier of FMD vaccines through Institutional route, there were also other smaller suppliers involved. But the fact that IIL vaccines did not help the situation at all – despite being a major player and all the boasts about R&D – is in itself a glaring example of how much the Indian farmer stands to gain from this Company’s continued existence. I hope no one is even thinking of Insurance gains out of livestock losses here. While reading the episode where a farmer believes more in turmeric than vaccines at the conclusion of the article, I felt that the wise Indian farmer’s wisdom could well be true. In situation where vaccines have failed and therapeutic properties of Turmeric are unproved, it is less risky to go with Turmeric rather than vaccines and that is what the wise farmer did.
If aiming at 1000 crores by 2015 – 16 and reaching a stellar 138 crores in H1 of the same year and not even crossing 500 crores in the year 2013 – 14 where is should achieved 1913 crores is any great example of financial discipline worthy of study by other PSUs, it is high time that all PSU Heads are first sent for some basic training in financial literacy (and not at IIMA please!!!!!). Again, there is no information about which PSUs have come and studied the IIL Model. Make one suspect that it is yet another bald claim like many of the Company’s other claims.
Calling those who bring out the truth about a company’s functioning as ‘rogues’ only shows the company’s frustration at being exposed despite its several attemps to present a rosy picture through media and its desperate attempts to silence conscious citizens. Further, it is advised that such ‘elements’ should ‘mind their own business’. It is exactly this sort of public indifference and lack of interest in workings of this PSU that Top Management is able to stay glued to their positions despite cheap gimmicks. To illustrate, during the first half of disastrous 2015 – 16, all that the Managing Director Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam could show as his visible achievements was planting of 5000 saplings! During the previous year when the company struggled to achieve even 483 crores out of target of 700 Crores, all that Deputy Managing Director, Dr.K. Anand Kumar could show by way of his achievement was ‘Champion of Champions’ Trophy in Inhouse Employee Sports Events with laurels in Badminton, Volley Ball, Cricket and Table Tennis! Is it wrong to expect that these highly paid ‘professionals’ so called, give up their petty obsessions with Gala dinners, meaningless Protocols, Running Marathons, Media Publicity and such and hold themselves accountable to more substantial and crucial metrics, given the high costs of keeping them in jobs in the first place? IIL’s functioning, or malfunctioning, is every citizen’s business, especially of those who are interested in ensuring that tax payer money is being utilized properly.
NDDB is funded by tax payer only and so IIL being a wholly owned subsidiary of NDDB cannot claim otherwise. Even the huge land of IIL in Gachi Bowli and Jubilee Hills belong to NDDB and not to IIL and that fact should settle the question beyond all doubt. All the earnings of IIL will not even help them buy even the Jubilee Hills property, its smallest domestic property by size, at prevailing market price. Can IIL still continue to deny that it is being heavily subsidized at Tax Payer’s expense?
Dr. K. Anand Kumar’s whatsapp status recently read ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’. IIL should not be shocked when some Truth actually Triumphs in an organization that claims to be built on ‘values and ethics’. When the best that the person defending the company can do is to heap abuse than meet facts squarely, it is all the more reasons for members of public to dig into the muck that the company is vainly trying to hide.
Dec 16, 2015, 2.39 PM
This is a message for Madhavi. Please feel free to contact me for juicy details about vaccine manufacturers in Hyderabad, India.
Dec 18, 2015, 1.17 PM
There is an old adage…”People who live in glass houses should not thoorw stones”. This is more relevant when people with criminal misconduct, a “fifth columnist” gives sermons on management, after leaving the organization.
How strange and pompous on the part of this critic, who himself is responsible for inflicting all the damage to the organisation, leak company information to competitors, then leave the organisation and look what…asking questions to the same organisation on why such blunders have happened…?!!!
Now the betrayal does not end there. Snooping on every activity that IIL does, even after leaving the organisation and throwing muck on regular basis. Now aren’t all the above sound like a sick and frustrated mind?
These kind of people should not be allowed to work in the industry, since they can potentially put any company at risk.
Lets come to some of the baseless charges.
Sometimes Government policies also influence the turnover of the company. A raise in the price of petroleum products may affect one company and environmental issues may affect another. Even most acclaimed brand – Maggi, was not spared from such overtures or competitors glare. Government’s vaccine policy may affect any company. IIL has always been committed to its stake holders and employees and minor issues cant jolt the organisation. Gentleman…stop brooding on internal affairs of other companies.
Product pipeline has nothing to do with current profitability. It is a way for future. Its operational efficiency and value that is generated from the brands are more important. Gentleman, you cant get critical about the company’s status while you are also responsible for this.
There is a saying in hindi…”Ulta Chor Kotwal ko dante”..
Project time overruns, cost overruns, delay in regulatory clearances, are part of the hurdles faced by many companies, even the so called efficient ones or even businessmen sitting on cash. IIL do not make toys and phones in order to roll out new products every once in three months. Making profound statements without domain expertise is laughable.
Whether IIL should be engaged in CSR? Should they publicise it? Whether CRM activities should be done? How much to spend on this?…Hey, just leave this to the management of IIL. No unsolicited advises please…..
If tax payers money is used in IIL or its parent org, then it will be subjected to CAG audit. None of these organisations are under CAG audit, simply because tax payers money is not used anywhere. Dont thrust your misinformation on others.
All rhetoric are just rubbish. Gentleman, your family benefited in IIL., personally and professionally. As a return gift, IIL is handling all your goof ups in product issues, your killing of retail business, corruption and violation of tender contracts, so on and so forth.
It is quite obvious that IIL needs time to recuperate. Dont worry about our turnover. IIL will bounce back.
I am also extremely tempted to state that …. please keep yourself busy by finding a good placement. This will help you focus on your life, instead of prodding into others’ lives.
Dec 18, 2015, 11.29 PM
I wonder why defenders of IIL lose their composure on fact based criticism? All that is required is to provide a reasoned defence, if any. I have no idea whom or what Mr.Gurudeva is criticizing. Somehow, both Mr.Millind and Mr.Gurudeva seem to see critics as enemies of IIL. I am certainly not one. While I definitely consider the present Senior and Top Management of IIL as being totally unworthy of the rich legacy they have inherited and with solid reasons, nobody wants a Company that has sprung from the deep vision of Dr.Verghese Kurien to diminish badly, which is what is currently happening. Mr.Gurudeva further advises us ‘Gentlemen, stop brooding over internal affairs of other companies’. But only such brooding by Public can solve the mess and the problem that IIL has become. It is not ‘other’ company because it owes its existence to the tax payer. IIL Management does not have the required maturity to introspect and correct themselves and NDDB has abdicated its responsibility to ensure effective control, thereby forcing ‘outsiders’ to bring its malfunctioning to public attention. It is hoped that increased public awareness will force them to correct themselves. I will deal with all these themes in my attempt to deal with what little I can make out of Mr.Gurudeva’s verbal diarrohea. I have ignored his abuse as it is too late for me, a old dog, to learn new tricks at throwing abuse or respond to it. Always, facts and civility for me.
To set out the context of expectations, one should remember that IIL is not like any other PSU. It enjoys several special privileges that is not normally given to other PSUs. Dr.Kurien himself ensured special privileges to NDDB. To illustrate, Professionals and not IAS officers at the helm being the most famous instance. Another more relevant aspect in this connection is non inclusion of NDDB in routine audit of CAG but CAG has right to conduct investigations if they feel necessary. So, non audit of CAG does not indicate IIL’s delink to tax payer money only that there is no misappropriation, but I have not alleged that anywhere. However, IIL enjoys all these benefits and far more. For example, employees of IIL are paid market based salaries – while NDDB employees themselves get paid very less under Pay Commission, compared to IIL – and IIL also gives its employees market based designations (in how many PSUs have you heard of Vice President and Senior Vice President designations?). They have a largely ineffectual tenure system that only suceeded in emasculating trade unions and destroying bargaining process in the company. This tenure system has cost a lot, as we will see later. It has effectively crushed dissent within the organisation as employees are naturally keen to protect their jobs and pay under the three year sword that hangs on their heads perpetually. So a combination of high cost human resources, least accountability levels, and zero monitoring of Top Management performance creates conditions ripe for disaster, assuming the disaster has not already happened. Despite all the claims of working for the farmer and social overtones of its communication, let us not forget that IIL employees – definitely not its top – do not work at minimum wages or for NGO salaries, a view many may hold about such PSU companies. If we compare on salaries versus outcomes expected basis, IIL will rank among higher ranges in Indian pharma, especially at its Senior and Top level. I have no data on proportion of salary to turnover, but my guess is that is should be in the region of 15% – 20% , high by Indian standards, if the guess is right.
So, to whom much is given, much more is expected.
‘It is quite obvious that IIL needs time to repecurate. Dont worry about our turnover. IIL will bounce back’ writes Mr.Gurudeva. I really wish I had a generous boss like Mr.Gurudeva and envy his subordinates at IIL. A perusal of my previous messages will indicate the following. It was said that the Company missed by several hundred miles its earlier target of Rs.1913 Crores for 2013 – 14. It may be noted that this was a staggered target from 2008 – 2009 to 2013 – 14 but not even crossing 500 crores in 2013 – 14 as against 1913 crores means not a single year failure but continuous failures for six successive years. Again, when after a nearly 100% dilution of earlier targets down from 1913 crores to Rs.1000 crores midway, it achieves Rs.138 Crores (H1) in 2015 – 16, which is now no longer a failure but a absolute disaster. So, it is roughly seven years of continuous failures we are talking about. And note that this has happened against a backdrop of growing economy. Has there been a serious market decline or economic setbacks in the country during this time sufficient enough to explain company’s failures? If so, that belongs to realm of facts and can be brought for discussion here. So, what is ‘quite obvious’ to us is not that IIL will ever ‘bounce back’ but that it seems to require eternity to repecurate. So how much more tax payer money down the drain before it can repecurate? How many more Karkapatlas and Pondy and New Zealand plants? And how many more unkept promises in newspapers?
My emphasis on turnover over profitability and other factors is because achieving turnover shows an Organization’s commitment, hard work, efforts and focus on larger financial objectives. Profitability depends on many factors beyond Organisation’s control. In taking turnover as broad basis of evaluation, there is some generosity already factored in.
That brings me to the point on least accountability and zero monitoring of Top Management peformance. Anywhere else, such performance would have forced the board to act immediately. Not so here. With such a long history of Performance Deficit, the Managing Director Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam was not asked to step down by the Board, nor did he do so in his own conscience and in one final snub to every norm of decency in governance, he has not even been allowed to retired on his due date, 30th November 2015 but granted an extension! The least one expected of Mr.K.V.Balasubramaniam, a ruthless weeder of poor performers (in his perception) and one who took huge delight in warning his managers that they were ‘being watched’ is that he would watch his own back atleast once in a while. Perhaps in his anxiety to watch others, he forgot that he also had outcomes to achieve. But Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam’s attitude does not surprise me. Being mortal, he may have a very human inclination to hold on to power and perks, but what was IIL and NDDB Board doing? They should have atleast ensured some feedback and action mechanism at the minimum. The tenure system failed badly here as it normally gives one chance every three years to decide if an employee needs to be retained. If Mr.K.V.Balasubramaniam was only capable of evaluating other’s performance and not his own, someone should have shown him the mirror but nothing of that sort seemed to have happened. If there had been a minimum introspection done, the Company would not have sought more publicity without even checking what happened to their earlier commitments and if there was any credibility left at all. While Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam takes the flak being the Managing Director, it is not as if his deputies come out all shining in glory. To take the top three, Deputy Managing Director Dr.K. Anand Kumar has been there for overwhelming part of this period and Senior Vice President has been there since the beginning of his career but there has been no encouraging signs anywhere. That leads me to conclude that there is no hope in this leadership team. Not anymore.
Further, reward policies, even non monetary ones, also seem to promote diluted performance standards. It is a normal and accepted practice everywhere that when a company does well, employees stand to gain and when companies do badly, employees tend to lose. The interest of the company and employees are thus effectively linked. But IIL reverses the conventional logic on its head. In the year of disastrous performance, IIL employees have recently been rewarded through redesignation to higher ranks. Managers became Senior Managers and Assistant General Managers, some other Managers became Deputy General Managers. Some General Managers became Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents. So if there cannot even be a minimum link between employee rewards and company performance, where is IIL headed to?
While I may have been harsh in pointing out Deputy Managing Director’s commitment to personal sporting victories and Managing Director’s interest in greenery, though both facts are true, the larger point being sought to be made is that there is no seriousness whatsoever in running this organisation.
The last point I would like to respond is to Mr.Gurudeva’s comment on Project Overruns. Delay in Regulatory Clearances being part of hurdles faced by many companies including the so called efficient ones. Agreed. But the point is that it is happening too often for anyone’s comfort. If atleast two out of four commitments had been kept, it would have still given the benefit of doubt in favour of the company. But none being kept is a problem. If targetted turnover had been achieved atleast 50% of the time, again scope for some hope but that in no year it was achieved is a very serious concern. In continuation of this point, he writes ‘IIL do not make toys and phones in order to roll out new products every once in three months’. Agreed again, but why seek publicity that often as if it is the most happening place, when it is clearly not? Again you are perfectly right in saying that we lack domain expertise. I humbly admit that I do not have it. The point here is that those with so called expertise make commitments which they then royally fail to keep and once again feel bold enough to make more commitments. Now, which is more laughable?
His comparison with ‘so called efficient ones and businessmen sitting on cash’ is strange. Businessmen sitting on cash tends to lose their cash if they do not deliver as promised. The IIL paradox is that their employees do not lose when they do not deliver and the longer they dont deliver, they seem to gain even more! He talks of Maggi but let him note that India MD was replaced after Maggi fiasco (afterall, it was one event in Maggi’s entire tenure in India) but IIL MD still walks on as if nothing has changed in his world and never will.
I appreciate the advice for me to keep busy by finding a good placement. At my age, I am far beyond the competence of any placement agency to find me one. I am a Social Worker and especially interested in proper use of public funds. Please feel free to point out errors of fact and I am ready to stand corrected.
My humble request to all the participants of this discussion is to keep it civil. I have already posted two long posts and will stop with this third one, unless there are substantial new points coming up. Perhaps time to recoup from my ‘sick and frustrated mind’ as Mr.Gurudeva mercifully puts it.
Dec 21, 2015, 11.05 AM
From what I can make out of postings of Mr.Anand Natrajan and other ‘friends’ of Indian Immunologicals, it appears to be a straight case of a disgruntled ex-employee in Mr.Anand who appears to have lost his job and has very inappropriately chosen to use the Outlook to air his personal grievances against the company, attacking the top management and giving it the garb of public interest debate. He is also cleverly trying to mask his comments as a concerned citizen, as if the ‘citizen’ is only concerned about the issues in the company (read Mr.Anand’s own issues). This is a cheap tactic of Anand Natrajan. If he has some personal issues with the company as one can observe, he should approach appropriate forums. He should also know that readers can judge the motives well and will not get carried away by such cheap postings by motivated people. From what little I know as a person from the industry, Indian Immunologicals stands as a shining example of a semi-government company, developing and selling vaccines at affordable prices to farmers and still run efficiently. Outlook should now close this thread of comments of motivated people like Anand Natrajan or the so called ‘concerned citizens’.
Dec 21, 2015 11.48 AM
This is response to Tina, London
I am posting as Concerned Citizen and I do not know who Mr.Anand is. One common thread between all the three defenders of IIL is their obsession with persons posting rather than facts presented and issues involved. Afterall, all the three defenders may be the same person posting with three different IDs or Concerned Citizen may not be just one person but multiple persons posting under one ID. All these are immaterial when facts are presented and a mature response is required. Neither does Anand’s employment status or otherwise should be of any relevance to this debate.
Had Tina been a company employee, I would have been forced to interpret this request for outlook to close this debate as a failure on their part to reply to points raised. This is a free speech forum and it should not close just because it causes inconvenience to a few. There is a larger good that may come out of this. And that is definitely my intention.
Dec 21, 2015, 12.44 PM
Dear Tina and all the other Henchmen of the ‘Company’,
I wish I had lost my job much earlier. I gave it up willingly in disgust after seeing the clay feet of this management that failed to live up to every single promise. I am quite happily settled in Australia now and have no intentions of searching for work in the Industry that Gurudeva wants me to be debarred from.
It is a pity that these defenders have imbibed the Congress Culture of shooting the messenger, probably on account of an retired IAS Chairman who flourished during the Congress regime.
That also probably explains sudden appearance of articles critical of Modi Govt in Times of India newspaper, where the company tried to defend its failure in selling FMD vaccine by passing the blame on to Central Government’s decision of strengthening federalism and decentralising FMD control program.
Again reiterating the facts presented earlier – This company got into Human Vaccines business, only by promising its owner – NDDB that it would make profits by exporting these vaccines to WHO and that this surplus would be plouged back to animal disease control activities – the mandated role of this company.
However, this not only turned out to be another unkept promise, but a misadventure of Himalayan proportions. This company kept in haemorrhaging on hyderbad human vaccine plant, as well as other ventures such as Indiagen and Cattle feed plant.
The decision that really took the cake was the one to buy land at Pondicherry for putting up a plant for FMD plant – right in middle of Paddy Fields. This paddy field is now lying fallow – no FMD plant and still paying interest to the bank.here
The deaths of infants on several occassions after using Measles vaccine manufactured by IIL was a PR nightmare. Again example of Maggi – the CEO of Nestle was fired after the Maggi disaster then why not in IIL?
It is a pity that after working in this company for 16 years, I hve to expose its rotten core – no thanks to its ‘over the hill’ and ‘senile’ management.
Dec 22, 2015, 3.12 AM
Mr.Anand – Some of the words used / referred by you are crossing the decorum and it only confirms my convictions about your background as stated in my previous comment. You also wished that you should have lost your job earlier indicates that you were already on the edge. Further, you seem to be rather frustrated and have lot of free time to post lengthy messages with ulterior motives.
I dont know you, but would advise you to attend some program to alter your thinking for the better. By spitting venom across, you are only creating venom around for your self consumption. It is very easy to comment sitting miles away (India – Australia).
Indian Immunologicals is a respected company and the attempts to tarnish its image by a select individual should not be tolerated, hence my comment.
I prefer not to get into a dialogue with you since you seem to lack basic ethics and would suggest other readers not to get dragged into this thread.
Your approach is clearly an example of cowardism and lack of professionalism.
Dec 22, 2015, 8.45 AM
Dear Tina and other defenders,
It would be interesting to know what happens by not tolerating my critique. If I am in Australia, you are in London. So why are we worked up so much – unless your ID is fake and you are actually in Hyderabad, working for a certain company 🙂
Also, you are right. I am on Christmas Vacation and I am thoroughly enjoying myself responding to your mails and polishing my media skills. The more, the merrier!!!
Coming back to facts – I am yet to see a single denial on issues raised by me which proves I am right.
Is it not true that IIL does not have a valid Pollution Control Certificate for its Gachibowli plant?
Is it not true that IIL only made losses on its Human Vaccine vaccine plant at Gachibowli, and also failed to get WHO pre qualification, thus breaking the promise that it made to NDDB about generating surplus from this venture and also by misdirecting its energies away from animal diseases control – its mandate.
Is it not true that IIL’s name appeared in report of Volker Commission among companies that paid bribes to Saddam Hussein’s family in return for getting businesses. Also, is it true that no action was taken against the directors inspite of such a serious charge? See here
Is it not true that IIL messed up every single product launch, with complaints pouring in immediately after introduction – starting with Megavac 6 in 1999 when the product had serious complaint, killing hundreds of pups with Parvo outbreaks, followed by Vetfen 600 which was of rotten quality initially, then Tikkil Liquid which was of lousy quality initially and then others – Calsagar – the launch disaster. In between there was Raksha Triovac that gave football sized lumps to poor mute animals. This was followed with the gem of human vaccine – Measles vaccine – though its alleged role in killing babies was never quite established here. Otherwise, the company would have been shut down by now and the management would have been behind bars. The sheep pox vaccine is still in some court in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. The vaccine allegedly killed more sheep than the disease itself.
And some tireless defenders still swear by the Management and the Company. Good luck to them.
Finally, we are a democracy, sweetheart. You are free to spout venom on me, which you have so sexily done. Even if the thread is closed, these facts will remain on the net for all to see.
Dec 22, 2015, 10.22 AM
Oops – My apologies. I did not even know if Tina is Man or woman. Words such as Sweat heart and sexy are common usage here in Adelaide. I am quite not sure how a person showing himself or herself as from London would take it. Hence the usage of such language is regretted.
Dec 22, 2015, 11.00 AM
Right from the beginning of this thread, I have been requesting for civility in discussions, but throughout there has been abuse. Now, Mr.Anand’s sexist remarks takes the cake. Let us remember that free speech is not irresponsible speech. “Tina” being man or woman is not relevant. Any participant who has bothered to take sufficient interest to respond deserves to be treated with respect. After making many excellent points, such remarks have a tendency to divert people away from the core topics. I am happy Mr.Anand has realized it on his own and has apologized. The attention can now move to more substantial topics. In the beginning, I had the same difficulty of having wade through lot of filth in Mr.Millind and Mr.Gurudeva’s responses and had to isolate the little that was worthy in their response in order to reply. Let us keep the discussion respectful and focussed. We owe our readers atleast that.
On the Company’s defenders end, not a single substantial fact based point has still been answered. Irrelevant points has been repeatedly highlighted. First, disgruntled elements, then fifth columnist, later, Mr.Anand’s employment status and then our so called ‘sick and frustrated minds’. It has not been lacking on the other side as well – henchmen, senile, sweetheart, sexily. Which of these is relevant to issues at hand? Mr.Anand makes an important point about the ‘eternity’ of postings on the Internet. Therefore, a mature response and action from IIL or NDDB is required. Company defenders will do a great service to all the readers if they atleast start responding to substantial points raised. Let us note that non response or abusive response wont force the thread to stop. Even it is assumed that it could stop here, Internet is too large a space for dissent not find another popular host. So once out in the public domain, it always stays there and refuses to go away or be ignored. The best response is to take it seriously and meet the points fair and square.
Can we expect the defenders to get into that task now?
Jan 29, 2016, 9.43 AM
I was going through the discussions with lot of interest. For all the facts and data presented by Concerned Citizen and Anand Natarajan, something like an official communication was expected from the Company but it disappointed yet again. A lot of this information was never known to public before and Outlook has done a great service through its free speech forum by publishing these comments. The timing coincides well with the efforts taken by the Government to see that public funds are used properly and responsibly. Hopefully, higher officials in the Government take note of them and carry out their own investigations to validate the numbers given. The valiant efforts taken by some to expose the malfunctioning of a PSU with the hope that it can be put back to rails should not go in vain.
My daughter’s classmate works at IIL in one of the technical departments and she had come to see her friend. I spoke to her about the article. She said she had read it and a lot of company employees too had. I asked her if the facts were true. She said that as per little official communication that reaches the employees, all the facts presented were true. Nobody among her colleagues who read it contradicted it too. As far as New Products were concerned, the Newspapers quoted did carry the news and hence beyond dispute. I asked her what happened to Company’s latest promise on Business Line 9th December 2015 on CysVax which was supposed to be launched by end of the year. She said that she had not even heard of that product except in the newspapers, She quickly defended the company saying that year end could mean financial year end which still gives more time. But if employees themselves have not heard of it in their regular course of work, it seems to be yet another bland promise tossed in thin air to fool an unsuspecting public.
Perhaps this explains the company’s silence. The truth getting exposed mercilessly and they are too dazed when woken up from their long sleep.
I asked if the company’s officials were so busy that they could not even give a proper response. She said I must understand that Management has its own priorities rather than satisfy a retired botany high school teacher with time on her hands. The Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director are locked in a tough battle over whose secretary should get exemption from wearing company uniform, the Senior Vice President has the all important task of coordinating gala dinner and personally oversee putting up of tents, arrange the flowers and ensure a proper dais. The Vice President who failed big time to get WHO PQ for Karkapatla even after five years was busy arranging for food and drinks, the only task he excelled in. So who could have the time to respond? Further, if at all there were any facts in favour of the company, it would have been presented already. In exasperation, I asked her if atleast these comments were formally discussed within the company. Again, the answer was in negative.
This silence only means company has nothing to contradict with what has been said already. The pathetic attempts of some company’s defenders to attribute motives rather than meet allegations squarely highlights all that has gone wrong at IIL.
While sympathizing with many demands on official’s time and obvious benefits that Indian farmers are supposed to reap when Director’s secretaries do not wear uniforms, I hope they could find a few minutes to review why they have repeatedly failed to deliver on commitments made through newspapers. And their failure to deliver on their latest commitment on ‘CysVax’ means nothing has changed, not even its non performing Managing Director, at the least.
In the meantime, there is some hope for change though my daughter’s friend is cynical of any remote possibility of change at IIL. Modi government has tightened the norms for PSU Heads appointment and monitoring of performance. Contracts have not come in the way of terminating non performers, as recent example of Dr.Avinash Chander of DRDO who was sacked fifteen months before the expiry of his contract. Recent sacking of non performing bureacrats is another encouraging sign, all these show that time is fast running out for that incompetent duo, Mr.K.V.Balasubramaniam and Dr.K. Anand Kumar and their group of bunging and inept senior management to hold on to their chairs and perks. Concerned Citizen’s mails were nothing if not a comprehensive report card – with red ink written all over – of Mr.K.V.Balasubramaniam on his ‘rotten’ performances over the years. Government has now solid evidence at its doorstep to act against him and the ineffectual top and senior management functionaries.
If anything further is required to prove that Mr.K.V.Balasubramaniam has turned IIL into a personal fiefdom where rewards are distributed purely at whim without regard to results on ground and sound principles, it is the recent atrocity that he inflicted on the company in form of designation changes. While any organization will have more people at the bottom gradually reducing them as it approaches the top, IIL is unique in having twice the number of Vice Presidents than General Managers. Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam has been given an unusually long rope.
Hope this third rate comedy show ends soon and its clowns step down.
May 28, 2016, 11.23 AM
The unaudited results for the year 2015 – 16 is pegged at around Rs.370 Crores and odd as against the target of Rs.687 Crores. Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam ‘reliquishes’ his position after his extension ended on 31st March 2016 (of what sort, one wonders. At the time of writing, his LinkedinProfile still indicates him as Managing Director of IIL, two months post ‘relinquishment’!!!). One has to admire the man in his stubborn determination to underperform at every given opportunity and admantly maintaining that unblemished record to the very end. Even if one is generous to forget the earlier targets of 1913 crores and then 1000 crores, even a modest target of Rs.687 Crores for the FY 16 was found to be beyond his competence at the fag end of his career. Even if the target gets too optimistic, atleast the minimum one should be capable of is not to go below the previous year’s actual. Even in this regard, the IIM – A educated Mr.Balasubramaniam achieves a Guiness worthy record on deficit. He has scored a complete 100 plus crore less than previous years 483 crores (against target of 661 crores). I am subject to small corrections on this figure as it is unaudited results we are talking about.
One wonders what was NDDB’s need to extend his tenure from 1st December to 31st March when he should have retired on 31st November? If anything, it only cemented his reputation for under performance, something that he has keenly and consistently demonstrated over a long period of time, as facts and figures in previous comments reveal.
Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam’s shoddy legacy of ‘Over promise. Under deliver’ has run its full course.
One hopes for some improved performance – with all evidence poining against any such hope – from the new Management. Here is wishing the very best to Dr.K. Anand Kumar, earlier Deputy Managing Director and New Managing Director, Dr.G.S.Reddy, Senior Vice President and S. Sankar Rao, the Vice President who is eternally trying to get the WHO PQ.
Continue to watch this space for timely updates about the company.
April 03, 2017, 03.20 PM
A recent and interesting development on the legal front at Indian Immunologicals Limited is in need of larger public awareness and scrutiny.
A middle level managerial employee, renowned across the company for his consistently poor performance, was sacked just when his 3 year contract was about to expire. As there were no ethical issues involved but only poor performance, the proper legal step would have been to allow the contract to lapse without renewal and do the final settlement. But Mr. K.V. Balasubramaniam in his almighty wrath not only forced a dismissal but also denied him the legal dues. The employee then fought the case in court for a couple of years and got himself reinstated (presumably with back wages). This is a record in several ways. Rarest of rare case where a Company contrives to lose a case against a Manager who enjoys no legal protection whatsoever in his role. Secondly, attracts charges of contempt of court by stubbornly sticking on to its illegal action. Thirdly, compounds its foolishness again by going on appeal even after reinstatement. Fourthly, the speed at which multiple courts disposed of this case very well shines the light upon the legal hollowness of the Company’s position. (Case documents can be accessed here)
And here is the icing on the cake – this happens in a PSU with exclusive Legal and Human Resources Departments!
This case needs to be highlighted if only because it is a curious case of a Management incompetent enough to lose against a incompetent Managerial cadre employee. Many empty heads seem to matter even less than a single empty head. So much for teamwork. However, there are several genuine victims of the Company’s nefarious practices where final settlements have been stopped, legal dues denied, false cases hoisted and enquiries imposed upon even after being properly relieved from the Organisation. All those victims should take heart from this and fight for restoration of their legal rights and dues with renewed vigour.
Let us recall that in May 2015, Indian Immunologicals Limited filed a 102 Crore defamation suit aginst Dr.Bhoj Raj Singh, currently with IVRI, on his findings that IIL vaccines failed the random tests conducted by him. My point is not on the merits of the case. There may be or there may not be. So let us assume for the sake of argument that Company’s case indeed has merits. But can these brainless duds be trusted with a case of this magnitude? The clear and present danger is that even with a good case, instead of receiving Rs.102 Crores from Dr.Bhoj Raj Singh, they may end up paying him double that amount!
As tax payers, it is our sacred duty to prevent this Company from indulging in such reckless adventurism. Such actions do not help anyone except pander to Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam’s lordly whims. Having been retired from the Company, he has no price to pay for his irresponsible decisions but IIL has a price to pay at our – tax payer’s – expense. Perhaps it might be a good idea to file a case against him and recover the costs that his irresponsible decisions has imposed on the company. This is too simple a matter for a person in Managing Director’s role to be unaware of and too trivial an issue to mess up so royally.
It is sad to see that IIL Top Management, despite all criticisms, both internal and external, continues to function like a group of overpaid clerks with no clear idea of right and wrong. They merely follow the Managing Director’s whims like headless chickens. And my unconditional apologies to the chickens if they have felt – rightly – insulted at the comparison.
Keeping in mind the principle that at IIL, the most incompetent will reach the topmost, perhaps it is time to promote its Legal Head for his or her sterling achievements in the Court.
April 08, 2017, 1.19 PM
Indian Immunologicals Limited is not only indifferent to its Knowledge Capital but actively abuses the same in every form. Here are two examples that bear testimony to it. No company in the knowledge space can afford to be so complacent in this regard as it provides competitive advantage, a critical requirement for survival of any biopharma company today.
On 11th February 2017, in response to the Economic Times article ‘How the Biopharma Twins Ended Up Heading Two Biopharma Companies in Mumbai’ by Mr.Suman Layek, alert reader Mr.Raziuddin Qadri raised a important question. All employees who join IIL have to sign a agreement that they will not join any similar industry / competitor for a period of one year in any capacity, either as a employee or as a retainer or on contract. This is done to prevent company’s technical strengths from moving out all hot and ready to competitors. That being the case with normal employee – and Mr.Qadri logically suspects that the Top Management might be subject to longer period of restriction given that they are privvy to more sensitive information – how did Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam, who left the company in April 2016, on expiry of his extension, join Bharat Serum in the same year? What is cooking? The ET article mentions that he joined Bharat Serum in 2016 as CEO without giving the dates. But given a mandatory year gap, the dates dont really matter.
The bigger surprise is from Top Management / Board of IIL and NDDB. They keep quiet and do not even file a case against its ex Managing Director for serious violations of its terms. While they go to any extent in extracting legal defeat from jaws of victory in case of a middle level incompetent employee in a managerial cadre, their silence is both deliberate and eloquent in case of senior level violations. Why?
While you munch on that, there was another incident in early 2014 according to my internal sources. IIL lost a computer disk which contained lot of valuable mission critical data and historical data extending to decades. Strange circumstances surrounded its loss. Among them, the valuable information was stored in an old and out of currency but functioning desktop with poor security controls. It was strategically placed near a glass window so that it could be comfortably broken and disk taken out, which happened. The CCTV cameras turned out images sufficiently hazy that while the theft was established, the identity of the culprit was not. You will find that every activity here did not just happen, but allowed to happen. Perhaps, even neatly planned to happen to perfection. And every step was planned and implemented to prevent identification and action on the theft.
And was any FIR filed in this case? No. Instead internal people went through motions of making some noise about the whole episode but nothing came out of it. Nothing came out of all the drama because nothing was planned to be revealed, just like the CCTV cameras that turned out only images but not identifcation.
So what should we surmise about the Company’s attitude when knowledge assets move outside either in form of people or in form of data?
It will be interesting to see what happened to the contents in that disk? Was it sold? If yes, to whom? For what consideration? Which individual group of individuals within the company profitted from it? Which individual or group of individuals outside the company gained from this? And how much did company lose on that account? What was its impact on Nation’s expectations from the Company? And how is that while computers were regularly lost for a few months prior, every theft suddenly stopped after this one?
The Indian Tax Payer has not heard the last on this issue. Atleast not yet.
May 07, 2017, 10.27 AM
In the government website dpe.nic.in I was surprised to see a signed profile of Mr.K.V. Balasubramaniam (KVB) here. This oestensibly is for the appointment of Non Official Directors of CPSE’s. The surprise was more on account of the fact that he never acknowledged Indian Immunologicals Limited to be a PSU and IIL responded to any number of RTI requests that they did not come under RTI Act! However, in his retirement, he perhaps finds it useful to be in the DPE Databank for any future employment opportunities in PSU. He has also perhaps realized that he can only survive in a PSU and nowhere else.
Yes, he has been ‘seperated’ from Bharat Serum and Vaccines recently and his profile indicates him as Ex-CEO. Well, without going into too many reasons for his seperation, let us just charitably understand that it was entirely involuntary on KVB’s part.
Ab Hain Mazaa! While seven criteria is laid down by way of eligibility, KVB chooses two and one is really funny. He considers himself as ‘Persons of eminence with proven track record from Industry or Business or Agriculture or Management’. One should admire his guts. Despite all facts being on public domain and a well documented history of his consistently pathetic performance and absolute lack of elementary knowledge of corporate governance principles, he would still like to consider himself as a ‘person of eminence’ with a ‘proven track record’! And we have seen in good detail what his ‘proven track record’ is. Hope Government does not take his claims at face value and instead looks for facts. They need not simply accept what is written in these comments but validate it themselves with records available with the Company. And I was always under this impression that someone else should refer us as ’eminence’ and not ourselves. However, it is a criteria laid by government and it became the ’eminent’ KVB’s natural choice given his lack of modesty and inclination not to see the facts.
DPE and IIL have a lesson to learn from Bharat Serum and Vaccines. They could see through the ’eminent’ KVB’s incompetence in less than a year. NDDB and IIL Board never understood it even in a decade and a half of his existence there and even went to the extent of rewarding the ’eminent’ KVB’s incompetence with an extension. Let them understand that demonetization is not the only way to help the taxpayer. Splurging tax payer money on incompetent people is a cruel way to disrespect their hard earned contribution to the exchequer.
And they really need to evaluate their quality of recruitment of Top Management in PSUs.
May 07, 2017, 2.06 PM
Recently, during first week of April 2017, Indian Immunologicals Limited celebrated Gala Dinner. During the event, the current Managing Director, Dr.K. Anand Kumar (KAK) found it difficult to even grip the mike. Words failed him, memories chased him, emotions overwhelmed him in droves and he choked often as waves and waves of feelings swept over and his hairs stood on end. He shed profuse tears though some mistook it for sweat. I could even feel tremors beneath my feet at display of such intensity. I forgot to check if Hyderabad Meterological Department registered some seismic activity at that time. Did IIL find a cure for Cancer? Did Pakistan agree to give up its claim on Kashmir? Did Chandrasekhara Rao become an atheist in his supreme moment of truth? Did Owaisi decide to embrace Uniform Civil Code or did Rahul Gandhi suddenly start winning elections? Sorry to disappoint you, ladies and gentlemen. The truth is much more mundane. IIL had just crossed INR 500 plus crores. It achieved INR 515 Crores (unaudited) against target of INR 640 crores in FY 2016.
I am happy at KAK’s modest scale of celebrations. I thought he would expect Telangana Government to declare 500 days of celebration, one day for each single crore. Never mind that this target was due a full nine years earlier, according to their own documented targets.
Internal sources inform that KAK’s ‘work’ these days primarily involves blaming his predecessor for everything that has gone wrong. Not that his predecessor was any great example in the first place, but the facts point out otherwise. KAK joined the company as Deputy Managing Director around 2009 and by 2012 onwards, he was given sufficient degree of operational control. So, a lot of accountability for decisions taken since 2012 can be laid on his door as well. From there on, the responsibility for several acts of commission and omission lies with him. His recruitment to IIL itself was shrouded in mystery. Should a Deputy Managing Director position go to someone who was a mere Associate Vice President of Quality at Wockhardt? And thanks to his stupendous feats there, Wockhardt failed USFDA multiple times and has been plagued by quality problems ever since. So much for his quality orientation and process expertise! (And such expertise has not even helped IIL to get WHO PQ afer all these years.) Did NDDB consider this ‘failing big’ as a qualification to head IIL? And could NDDB not find a single Indian among its teeming billions to head IIL? Did it require a New Zealand citizen, of all places on earth – Dr.K. Anand Kumar carries a NZ passport – for this position? But one must admire KAK for his patriotism towads his adopted country. His only ‘visible’ achievement at IIL was to start a plant in New Zealand! It is his patriotism towards his country of origin that is in doubt. Of course, one sympathises with him on his difficult in serving two masters. But did KAK come to IIL to serve NZ interests?
That apart, he has been in leadership position for long enough to demonstrate results on his own. And if crossing a mere INR 500 crore is his reason to celebrate, that too nine years after it is due of which seven years he has been at the top, then I cannot think of a greater insult and rebuke to the much harassed Indian tax payer!
I understand that KAK made all the members of the Top Management to visit a famous piligrimage centre for thanksgiving. I am finally happy to have atleast one point to agree with KAK after all these severe differences. I too believe, like him, that only God can save IIL. So all employees and customers and tax payers are better off praying to God to save IIL than to place their trust in KAK and his coterie. Having said that, I hope that KAK does not take this opportunity to blame God as well, on the same lines he does with his predecessor.
It is NDDB’s duty to ensure that IIL gets a proper leadership. KAK is a worthy successor to KVB only on his comparable scores on scale of incompetence and nothing else. Mr. Dilip Rath and other members of the Board should take their talent management responsibility more seriously, put their travels to Hyderabad and attendance at Board meetings to far better use than merely tasting an exotic range of namkeens ordered straight from kitchens of Bikanervala.