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Lessons in management from Chandrayaan

Mylswamy Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan-I, has been swamped by invites from MNCs and forums for lectures on management of human resources in a multi-partner collaboration, reports BR Srikanth.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2008 23:16 IST
BR Srikanth

India’s first lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-I’s successful formula in management of diverse manpower — groups of scientists and engineers from across the world working in unison — has proved such an awe-inspiring model that multinational corporations (MNCs) and management forums across the globe are keen to emulate it.

Mylswamy Annadurai, project director of Chandrayaan-I, has been swamped by invites from MNCs and forums for lectures on management of human resources in a multi-partner collaboration.

He has spoken about ‘Team Chandrayaan’ at Bangalore-based MNCs Honeywell and Bosch, but declined invitations from Tata Consultancy Services and Project Management Institute, USA, for paucity of time.

Likewise, members of the Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram chapters of the Confederation of India Industry have heard him, while those in New Delhi will get an opportunity next week.

“I never thought I would be a good manager, but only an engineer. The MNCs want to hear how we managed a project involving so many partners and whether they could replicate it along with collaborators. We were like a family with a lot of give and take, and that enabled us to pull it off successfully,” he told the Hindustan Times.

On board Chandrayaan-I, six of the 11 instruments are from international space agencies — the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Agency, European Space Agency (a consortium of 17 European nations) and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Soon after the launch on October 22, the team won recognition in the form of an award for global cooperation from the International Lunar Exploration Working Group.

Besides, the successful launch and placement in a precise 100 km orbit have inspired many of its international partners to suggest that they would like to participate in Chandrayaan-II, scheduled for 2012. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 425 crore and signed a pact with Russia as a partner for a soft-landing on Moon. This will be followed by a robot carrying out chemical analysis of lunar soil on the presence of water and mineral composition.

“We have heard from some of these teams that they want to be part of Chandrayaan-II and they have also indicated the kind of instruments they plan to contribute,” Annadurai said.

He said Chandrayaan-III, planned for launch in 2015, would aim to land and bring home samples of lunar soil for detailed analysis on minerals and chemical substances present on Moon.