Dr. Samuel Paul (March '99)
The third block of Koramangala is perhaps, the quietest part of this locality. Not isolated by any means. Yet, peaceful. Perfect setting for creative minds. Here, in these calm surroundings live Dr. Samuel Paul and his wife, Lily.
They lived in Ahmedabad for many years, where Dr. Paul was the Director of the prestigious business school, Indian Institute of Management. As professor for 27 years he eventually became the Director, in 1972. He was also visiting Professor at Harvard Business School for one year. In 1978-79, he was Chief Technical Advisor (on Leave) at the ILO, Geneva. He quit IIM in 1978 when he was invited by the World Bank to join them as an advisor. At IIM, he had just begun work on Public Sector Reform and the World Bank needed a specialist in this field and Dr. Paul fitted the bill.
In 1992, Dr. Paul decided to come back to India, even though he still had 5 years of service left with the World Bank. Way back in 1982, they had bought this plot in Koramangala and the house was constructed in 1990, during their sojourn in the US. Their architect, Zachariah had ensured that when the Pauls were ready to move in, they would be comfortable. That's precisely what it turned out to be. The home is spacious and sophisticated. You can't miss those exquisitely crafted and colourful stained glass lamps that are found almost everywhere. These are not collections from some art exhibitions, but handmade by Lily herself, who learnt this intricate craft while in the US.
These days, Dr. Paul - though he continues his association with the World Bank as advisor on various committees - is spearheading an organisation called the Public Affairs Centre (PAC) which he founded in 1994. The PAC's main objective is to make society aware and active in demanding greater accountability and performance from agencies of the state. "If people come together as a group, their voices will be heard. Only then some action can come about," He says. He mentions the Koramangala Vigilance Group of which he is a member that takes up public causes with the authorities concerned on various matters. A major focus of PAC is providing support to such citizen action groups to improve the quality of life by building creative bridges between citizens and the city administration. PAC initiated Report Cards on public services. This stimulated several of the public agencies in the city to review and improve their performance and attitude towards their customers.