Pearl 1 – Speed

In the last post, we saw value creation is important for the success of businesses and individuals. I outlined 6 parameters which I call Pearls of Relevanism.

Let us explore the first Pearl – Speed, through the success of individuals.

This is a story of 2 people who have made difference by using Speed as their differentiation.

I have taken stories of ordinary individuals like me and you to drive a point – when they can do it we can do it.. I have given only initials as the individuals do not want their identity revealed.

Case 1: DJ

DJ is a passionate technologist. He was assigned to a proprietary technology project used specifically to build a banking product. Working with this proprietary technology was a challenge due to the lack of documentation and the sparse availability of experts.

 The project was to remove scalability constraints with respect to the core banking application. The task was assigned to a senior architect with 20+ years in that specific technology, DJ was assigned a team member to help him.

The architect gave an estimate of 3 months to complete the project as it involved changes to 2000+ components.

After 3 days of the task was assigned to DJ in my regular weekly meeting I was checking with him on the progress. To my astonishment, he said the project is over!  I was not sure whether to panic or celebrate. Though I know DJ is the best technical person we had in the project, I was not sure whether he understood the enormity as the task was originally estimated for 3 months.

I requested for review of DJ’s work with the architect. At the end of the meeting, I could feel the architect was boasting about his technical abilities to DJ.  I realized DJ had created quite a storm with the client and the architect was feeling low and has to boost his ego.

If you are curious about what DJ has done, he had understood the pattern of change required in the code, wrote a parser to fix the issues based on the rule given by the architect.  He tested the converted code using the test cases given.  

He is an example of how Speed can help earn client’s respect by adding value.

Now, he had taken up cyber security as his profession, no wonder people like him who are pro-active and fast are well suited to guard organizations from cyber-attacks. 

Yesterday we saw a case study of ( DJ) on an individual’s success adopting this Pearl. Today we will see another case study. 



Case 2: SA

SA is a data maverick. He noticed nightly batch was taking 16 hours to complete. The client (Bank) he was working for had operations across the globe. It was causing serious reconciliation issues for the bank. He took it upon himself to reduce the batch time, he found in theory with technology upgrade the batch timing can be reduced significantly.

But he needed to show the client it was working. He did not have a proper commercial license to install and test, the bank did not want to invest unless they get  proof the solution will work.

He went to the corporation selling the upgrade (of the technology) and convinced them there is a strong use case to sell their new product to the bank. He got a trial license. He worked on it and demonstrated the time reduction to the client.

When the solution was implemented in production, it reduced the batch time from 16 to 2 hours. Bank was able to reconcile the books on the same day.

His company won a multi-year renewal contract based on this work.  

In both the cases DJ(Case 1)  and SA were not managers. They were technology workers.

What this shows is your position in the hierarchy does not matter. You can make a difference by implementing the pearl – Speed.

Some closing thoughts.

Printed solar cells

Imagine what printed solar cells can do for the implementation of renewal energy goals. According to The university of New castle renewal energy tech.. it is possible.

Printed solar (cells) is cheap to manufacture, at a production cost of less than $10 per square meter and rapid to produce, with commercial scale equipment capable of producing kilometers of material a day.

“No other renewal energy technology can be manufactured as quickly. The low cost and speed at which this technology can be deployed is exciting as we need to find solutions, and quickly,”1


  1. India’s fight against Polio

    Let us explore the Second Pearl – Convenience, through the success of a government-driven program.

    What is convenience?

    Convenience is the process of making things easier for customers by simplifying tasks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that customers want their experiences to be as easy as possible.

    There are very many innovations are created using convenience, if you look around you will find many. ATM, self-service kiosk, mobile banking, online retail, and the list goes on. 

    Here is the case of India’s fight against Polio. Until the early 1990s, India used to register 500-1000 cases a day. It crippled people in the 1000s. India was declared polio-free in January 2014; the last polio case was reported in the year 2011.

    Consider the achievement given the headwinds provided below

    • In 1994 India accounted for 60% of global polio cases
    • Vaccination has to be done covering the whole country within a short span of time, preferably same day (because of choice of the vaccine and the way it works)1
    • Children who live in inaccessible terrains needs to be vaccinated
    • Children traveling (in-transit) needs to be vaccinated

    A great achievement in terms of scale, quality, and speed. I think the main success of the polio program is due to the way the vaccine is administered. A perfect example of convenience delivering results.  

    Children are administered 2 drops of vaccine orally. It does not require medical practitioners to administer the vaccine.

    Carrying the vaccine is easy. 1 ML contains 20 drops. Hence, good to vaccinate 10 children.


    Therefore, the following are the benefits due to its convenience factor :

    1. Easy to carry door to door
    2. Easy to vaccinate children in transit points like Railway stations, bus stands, etc.
    3. Quick ramp-up of team possible because no medical background is required to administer the vaccine
    4. Less time consuming as it can be administered fast
    5. Parents do not have to carry their children to public health infrastructure, instead, vaccines reached them

    In 2021, 110 million children under the age of 5 were vaccinated under 3 days5.

    As you can see Convenience of administrating the vaccine played a vital role in the eradication of Polio from India.

    In the next post let us look at examples of people who used this Pearl and made difference to their organization.





Pearl 3 – Trust

Trust from the Relevanism perspective is fundamental to any business encompassing quality, compliance, certainty, and consistency. It is impossible for businesses to thrive in the market without their commitment and action on this Pearl.  The below chart provides a number of motor vehicles and equipment recalled in the US between 2009 to 20191.

·         GM (GM) is preparing to spend $800 million to fix — or possibly replace — the batteries in nearly 70,000 Bolts 2.

·         Hyundai (HYMTF) is spending $874 million to replace the batteries in 82,000 of its own EVs 2.

·         It is just not only money; lack of quality can cost lives.  GM and Hyundai are recalling their vehicles because of fire risk.

Today technology is pervasive. Massive adoption of digitalization puts more trust on machines to deliver. Following are the examples of how lack of quality in technology implementations causes loss of lives and wealth.

Loss of lives :  On March 23, 2005, the BP Texas City Refinery suffered one of the worst industrial disasters. Explosions killed 15 people and injured 180. It resulted in financial losses exceeding $3 billion. The main reason was a gross violation of safety norms. The root cause was the raffinate splitter tower was overfilled. Operators did not know it is getting overfilled due to faulty level indicator and failure of alert mechanism3.

Loss of wealth : High-frequency trading (HFT) accounts for 70% of equity trade volume. In HFT Computers make buy and sell decisions at lightning speed and at massive volumes. Computers can analyse analyst reports, read newspapers, and can make buy or sell decisions even before a human gets to understand the implication of these feeds. As a result, small profits can be made by sensing the momentum of stocks. At massive volumes, this translates into massive profit. This is the concept of high-frequency trading.

In 2012, Knight capital investments lost 440 million USD in 45 minutes of trade due to a glitch in the software.

Above examples indicates how trust place an important role in organizations failures. Let us explore examples of how trust helps businesses to thrive in next post






Pearl 4 – Cost


What comes to your mind when you hear ‘cost’, maybe fixed cost, variable cost, CAPEX, OPEX, Cost cut, etc – correct?

In the Relevanism context cost, I am referring to it as responsible spending, in other words being cost-conscious.

 Years ago, I was working as a consultant for a bank. One day the IT director called me and told me that they have 25 licenses of a software product, he asked me to find use cases where they can deploy these licenses.

 My first question was why did they buy these licenses in the first place. I was told his predecessor bought it. It was year end and there was leftover in the budget, therefore he bought it.  Had he not used his quota (of budget) next year’s budget will be cut to the tune of his savings. With a lot of creativity, we could use 10 licenses of the product, 15 went waste.  Do you think this is responsible spending? Of course not.  

In this case, the employee felt he would be penalized (cut in the budget) for being cost-efficient. Certainly, this is not how you want your employees to behave. If so, how can a corporate imbibe a sense of responsible spending to their employees?

I have known a corporation; it imbibes a sense of responsible spending to individual employees.

 How? Through the generosity of its founder/chairperson.

  1. Over and above fixed salary, each employee is eligible for a share of the profit the company makes. The higher you go in the hierarchy the higher the % of profit share.
  2. Every employee from day one is eligible for stock purchase. Stocks are given at a 50% discount to market value. Obviously, there is a cap depending on the employee’s level in the hierarchy.

The above is not gimmicks played on variable pay packages to reduce employee take home. But it is a genuine package running into millions of dollars.

More the company makes a profit, the employee stands to gain by way of profit share and share price. Over a long period of time, this company’s financial results are remarkable. It has remained profitable over the years, it has met or exceeded its profitability targets for many years in a row.

If you keep employees’ skin in the game, incentivize them for their cost-saving behaviour, the corporation stands to gain.

In the next post, we will see how employees can bring innovations in terms of technology, process, reusability and accomplish more with less without compromising product and service quality. 

Pearl 5 – Resilience

India = Resilience!!!

The ability to bounce back from adversity is referred to as resilience. Let’s take a look at how India recovered from the devastating pandemic.

India’s health-care system is one of the most vulnerable in the world. The doctor-to-patient ratio is 1:1445, and the hospital bed-to-person ratio is 0.7:1000. COVD-19 ravaged India in May 2021, with around 400,000 cases per day. Vaccine production capacity was inadequate at the time, and only about 2% of the population got vaccinated.

India successfully handled the third wave of the pandemic in February 2022, with over 300,000 daily cases, without affecting the economy or the lives of millions of people who rely on daily earnings. Here are the GDP data for the last three years, as well as a prediction for 2022.

Year   GDP in Trillion(USD)

2019                               2.8

2020                               2.6

2021                               2.9

2022                               3.2


Many elements contributed to India’s recovery, including but not limited to the typical Indian’s ability to cope with uncertainty, endurance and higher than global average immunity. The key reasons for its bounce back, according to me, are the following factors, which I divided into three groups.

  • Anticipate and respond
  • Taking advantage of strengths
  • Interim relief measures

Anticipate and respond

After experiencing nightmares during the second wave, the government, businesses, and the general public anticipated the third wave.

  • Two pharma companies, Serum Institute of India and Bharath Biotech, quickly ramped up vaccine manufacturing and now produce 250-275 million doses per day and 50-60 million doses per day, respectively.
  • 76 billion vaccine doses have been administered as of today. In addition, India has provided almost 100 countries with approximately 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not made in India during the early days of the pandemic. There was a shortage of PPE. It increased production of PPE from 0 to 450,000 per day in just 4 months5. India is now the world’s second-largest maker of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits.
  • The government provided a fiscal stimulus package worth Rs. 20 trillion, or nearly 10% of GDP.

Taking advantage of strengths

India Mobile penetration is high: Spreading COVID awareness and immunisation are critical components of pandemic preparedness. There are 1.1 billion mobile phone connections in India. Caller tunes broadcasted COVID and vaccination-related information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Taking advantage of IT capabilities: The CoWin Portal was created in a short amount of time to allow for the scheduling of vaccination appointments and the tracking of vaccination trends in real time.

Community support: Volunteers, community members, and government leaders all contributed to the removal of vaccine apprehension. Only vaccinated persons were allowed in malls, movie theatres, public transportation, and visitors to closed communities such as apartments. Employees at retail stores were given “I am vaccinated” badge. All of these accelerated the pace of vaccination.

Interim relief measures

Government provided:

  • 100,000 for kin of those who died due to COVID
  • Free food grains distributed for 80 crore people for an extended period of time
  • Central bank stepped in with loan moratorium package
  • Free vaccine given for needy
  • NGOs stepped in big time to help the needy

Due to the above factors when the 3rd wave hit the country, it did not have as much impact as the 2nd wave. IMF forecasts 9% GDP growth for this year and 7.1% next year. Making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Pearl 6 – Agility

Mckinsey describes agility as follows in its study “Defining Organizational Agility”:

“Agility is the ability of an organization to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment.” 1

In his book Straight from the Gut, Jack Welch recounts strategic decisions he made as GE’s CEO regarding the company’s nuclear reactor business.

In the year 1981, he had business review meeting with executives of GE’s nuclear reactor business. In the review, he was presented a very bright feature for the company.  They forecasted sales of 3 new nuclear reactors every year. 

Jack Welch to their dismay told them they will never get another order for new nuclear reactor.

The people who presented the business plan have spent their entire live working on nuclear reactor business. In their opinion Jack Welch is making decision without understand business. However, he pushed his decision hard on them.

He instructed them to create a business plan centred on selling nuclear fuel and services to the installed nuclear reactor base. He also allocated resources to continue their high technology reactor research.

With this shift in strategy and its execution, GE was able to turn a loss-making firm into a profitable one.

Jack Welch was more than accurate in his prediction, between 1981 and 2001, GE received only four new orders for their advanced nuclear reactor, indicating that his judgement was correct

This, in my opinion, is an example of agility. GE’s workforce and technological advancements were linked with the company’s transition, resulting in profitable business.

If you’re wondering what prompted Jack Welch’s decision, it was the accident at Three Mile Island two years ago.

The accident resulted in the melting of the core in reactor #2 at the Three Mile Island power station in the United States in 1979. Despite the fact that no injuries or negative health impacts were reported, it raised concerns among decision-makers about the safety of nuclear reactors.  Jack Welch predicted the safety concerns will discourage governments to buy new nuclear reactors.