November 21, 2019
Interviews

TOM JOSE, THE PASSIONATE MAN WITH GREATER MANIFESTATION

Tom Jose, currently the chief secretary to the Government of Kerala, is a 30 year veteran of the Indian Administrative Service and has several accolades to his honor. He was previously Additional Chief Secretary of the Labor, Skills, Excise and Water Resources Department of Government of Kerala. He was earlier the Principal Secretary of the Public Works Department.

Tom Jose
Tom Jose

Tom Jose was born in Palai, Kottayam. Mr. Tom Jose received his MBA with specialization in marketing from Cochin University of Science & Technology. He attended St. Thomas College, Palai for his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. In 2010, he received a diploma in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, the pre-eminent university in the field of Public Affairs in the United States. Mr. Tom Jose has presented research papers on business ethics, entrepreneurship, and economic development at national and international management conferences. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Business Intelligence, The Indian Manager, and Austrian Journal of Applied Ethics.  He smiles in smug and states that he infact stumbled into IAS at the age of 24 years, when he saw a photograph of IAS topper and he decided to give it a try, cracked it and the rest is history.

Tom Jose
Tom Jose

He has administrative, managerial, and diplomatic experience in various posts at state, national and international levels. He has been the Managing Director of large enterprises, such as the Civil Supplies Corporation, Construction Corporation, and Rubber Mark. He has also led the Directorate of Industries and Board of Revenue. Earlier in his career, he was the Sub-collector of Thrissur and the Collector of Pathanamthitta. Afterwards he held the charge of the Managing Director of KSIDC before being posted in Labor Department as Principal Secretary. From there he was promoted as Additional Chief Secretary, Labour & Skills. As ACS, he was instrumental in setting up and promoting Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), which later became State Skill Development Mission (SSDM). Centre of Excellence in Public- Private Partnership Model were floated by KASE and a national level ‘Skill Fiesta’ on the lines of World Skill Competition were also conducted.

Tom Jose
Tom Jose

From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Jose, as the First Director of Air in the Ministry of Defence, handled weapon acquisition, air traffic management, air security, personnel management and policy for Air Force, among other things. He spent nearly four years in Moscow, Russia as Chief Coordinator for Military Technical Cooperation between India and Russia. During this time, his duties included promoting military ties, developing strategies, and acquiring strategic weapon systems. Improving relationships with Central Asia, India and Russia etc. It was a job which had many interesting dimensions to it.

On reminiscing Russia, Mr. Tom Jose fondly remembers that even the country is cold, the people there are very warm and resilient in their behaviour and attitude. The country has gone through terrible times, despair, wars, monarchs, a country with a lot of rich culture and history.  It was an enchanting experience, he reckons – He travelled to places so far the common tourists never step their foot into, high security areas, far flung areas like Mama and Arkhangelsk. It was a real experience to the Northern Pole and revel in the amazing scenic climate there.

Tom Jose
Tom Jose Unique Times

In 2011, he was chosen as the Managing Director of Kochi Metro for setting up the company and obtaining approvals from the Union Government for the Metro project. This he achieved within a record time of 9 months, a feat unheard of in bureaucratic circles. He was instrumental from setting up the company from the scratch, secured approval from Govt. Of India in a record time. There indeed was challenges and oppositions from the system and society, he is proud to feel the sense of accomplishment, as metro opened solutions to the severe traffic problems in the city. He still follows up with the progress of the project as a chief secretary, as the current corridor’s inauguration is pending in the coming months.

He won accolades all around for his cool leadership in the handling of Kerala Floods 2018. State managed the rescue and relief operation with much composure, and was appreciated to have taken care of the disaster management in an exemplary fashion. He consider it as one of the great highlights of his career.

A new urban canal-rejuvenating programme is under the pipeline which will elevate the city into the levels of Venice, and is in the process of acquiring land for relocating the people near the five canals. There are a lot of places in the town where the normal people cannot reach via road, but through water. However, unfortunately there is no water transport which connects those now. A 60-70 boats are under planning and jetties are tendered. These boats are going to take you to places you thought never existed, and this will be a sure development to the city. Another prestigious project he is working on currently is a leisure city inside Cochin which will be sprawling 40 plus acres of land which will include amazing entertainment, recreational and living activities. There is no ecosystem currently to relax and unwind or to hangout for the techies and other professionals in town. There will be world-class indoor roller coaster, cinemas, boutique restaurants, zero gravity/virtual reality experiences, live permanent theaters like an amphi or closed grandeur ones, shopping malls, pubs and other leisure activities where you can spend a day. It is indeed amazing to hear out the vision of this magnificent mind of Mr. Tom Jose who genuinely expects to uplift the value of the city higher.

Tom Jose
Tom Jose Unique Times

He then goes philosophical as he says that life is a series of sorrows with occasional bouts of happiness. It is indeed a struggle for survival like any other mammal, which you need to courageously face. One has to keep a cool head, analyse the actionable possibilities. It has become a second nature to Mr.Tom Jose, coming from a management background to check the pros and cons, he states that every action has a consequence, and keeping a composed logical head is the key to survive. Do not blindly believe anything that come in your way, question the current belief system and find your won rationale perspective to it. You then tend to find aspects to it and it opens up broadened mindsets, you become more tolerant and will be able to accept other people more smoothly.

Mr. Tom Jose’s grandfather used to have a splendid library and that had instilled a habit of reading in him. Being an ardent reader, it is very positively reflected as ‘wisdom’ in his demeanor now. He had read the entire Greek mythology in his childhood and the classics like Illiad & Odyssey. Something fascinated him strongly was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Tom is really looking forward excitedly to visit the Bran castle in Transylvania, Romania very soon.  One really interesting visit that he remembers is of 221B Baker Street, London. He has driven around in Northern America, 30-35 states of USA etc. In his leisure time, he also watches TV shows like A Man in the High Castle, which gives you different perspectives of what alternative possibilities could have happened in a parallel real life unlike in this exists. He also is fond of movies. He has a lovely wife, Soja Jose and son, Sean Micheal Jose who is pursuing mechanical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. We wish this spectacularly inspiring mind all the very best in his endeavours to develop and uplift the city and its value to world standards

Tom Jose
Tom Jose Unique Times

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