When Grandmother Solved My Company Problem

An eureka moment — did run with my clothes on though.

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Photo by Lubomirkin

I never imagined in my life that the magic of a simple act by my grand mom from a south Indian village could one day profoundly impact a commercial plant operation on other side of the world.

Connecting the Dots

Few years ago, I was back in the office after a vacation. I was doing my rounds catching up with folks. I was about to cross the office of a seasoned executive. I did not have a business reason to enter his office. I entered anyway. He had a positive aura around him. Every time I entered, I always felt more positive and better by the time I left his office. I called him Mr. Positive Energy. As always, he was seated at his desk, looked up and welcomed me with his warm smile. After some pleasantries and chit-chat, I asked him what was the most pressing issue he was working on. A power plant was built sitting on top of a coal source. The way he explained it to me — they dug the coal from underneath — it was like layers of sponge cake with coal and clay mixed up, held together by water. The wetness of the coal/ clay combination created problems for the conveyor belt system that moved the coal while it dried. There was substantial caking — similar to dried up clay on a jeep wheel that had visited rugged terrain. He added — “The plant folks are exploring solutions.”

Tribute and the Bigger Impact

If connecting dots inspires innovations, this contribution of my grandmother from a village in India impacting a massive plant in America would be cherished among the top in my life.

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