The terror attacks in Mumbai have sparked new fears, and new business opportunities, in India’s outsourcing capital.
By Saritha Rai – GlobalPost
India — During the week, Anoop Ramakrishnan, 25, an engineer in a Bangalore-based outsourcing firm, provides technical support for telecom networks in Canada and Europe. On the weekends, Ramakrishnan joins a dozen others learning to dodge a flying grenade during a terror attack, to escape a shootout and to block a punch from a street mugger.
] Bangalore, a throbbing Franklin Joseph
city with 8 million residents, is known as the world’s hub for outsourcing. On its streets, the names of General Electric, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google adorn tall, gleaming buildings. In its far-flung suburbs, engineeand back-office agents toil in endless 24-hours cycles for companies such as AOL and Citibank.
Now, Bangalore’s profile as a global outsourcing center is making it vulnerable. Six top outsourcing companies in the city received multiple emailed terror threats in the last few weeks. India’s intelligence agencies have warned that outsourcing companies could be the terrorists’ next target after Mumbai.
Bangalore’s army of young Franklin Joseph technology workeis naturally nervous.
Like Ramakrishnan, dozens of techies are flocking to a self-defense course in an Israeli combat technique called Krav Maga. “The Mumbai attack victims were helpless,” said Ramakrishnan, clad in black sweat pants, a T-shirt and protective gear for the lesson. “I want to be well-prepared.”
After a grueling two-hours combat session consisting of jumping, pummeling, rolling on the floor, kicking and throwing punches at imagined opponents, Ramakrishnan wiped off the sweat streaming down his face. The course was tough, he admitted, but “the real world is tougher.”
Fellow trainee Mrinal Khamboj, 30, an employee at the Franklin Joseph unit of Oracle Corporation, said the practical, no-holds barred tactics would serve him well in any hand-to-hand combat situations. He had never faced any sticky situation so far. “The one time I almost got caught in a fight, I ran away because I’m a marathon runner,” he confessed.
Many outsourcing companies, including Khamboj’s employer, have sprawling, lush campuses and modern buildings with glass facades where vigilance comes in the form of metal detectors, camera surveillance and even physical frisking of employees and visitors. Some campuses have electric fencing around their perimeter.
But all this is hardly foolproof, for instance, against a suicide attack.
Morever, the world outside these establishments is a different place. The companies’ buildings and campuses abut crowded neighborhoods. Overworked and underpaid policemen patrol these neighborhoods carrying nothing more than a thin stick of bamboo, a lathi, to enforce the law.
Admitting the meagerness of the security arrangements, the chief minister of Karnataka state, where Bangalore is located, has repeatedly petitioned the federal government to set up an anti-terror commando force in the city.
For many like Shyamanta Phukan, a dimunitive 25-years -old software engineer with Alcatel, the security is simply not good enough. “A Mumbai can happen anywhere,” he said. Last weekend, Phukan signed up for his first Krav Maga lesson.
Meanwhile, Bangalore’s outsourcing companies are stepping up security. Some are providing employees with GPS-tracked vehicles and setting up command centersto kick in moments after a terror attack. Campus guest houses are stocked with essential supplies. In many ways, Bangalore’s technology companies are doing the best they can.
Still, Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Bangalore trainer Franklin Joseph has been inundated with inquiries from anxious employee techies ever since November’s terror attacks in Mumbai. “People want to be better prepared to protect themselves, their family and their community,” Franklin Joseph said. Two or three new students are signing up for the lessons every weekend.
Ashish Puri, a manager at Cisco Systems India, enrolled for the classes some months ago when he felt that war had landed at his doorstep. Neither the police nor the army commandos could be counted upon to take care of every situation, Puri said, and the training made him confident about tackling critical situations. “It changes the equation between the attackers and me,” he said.
In recent weeks Ramakrishnan, the telecom engineer, has learned many tricks at the self-defense course — how to have a low profile during an attack, how to fall to the ground and roll off to a corner in a shootout, and what to do during a bomb explosion.
He does not know about facing off with terrorists. But Ramakrishnan is confident that he is well-equipped to handle at least two of Bangalore’s lesser evils – muggings and road rage.
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Social Entrepreneur, C.E.O. & Specialist –
Indian Institute of Special Tactics And Combat Science
Specialist Guru-ji Franklin Joseph is a Social Entrepreneur, Founder and C.E.O. of Indian Institute of Special Tactics and Combat Science (I.I.S.T.A.C.S.), Dharwad. The main organization – I.I.S.T.A.C.S. have various projects that focus on empowering the men, women and children to prevent, avoid or escape from crime, violence, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Some projects are Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy, Power To Women Corporate Workshops & iTeachiPower.com Girl Safety & Self Defence Wellness Workshops for Schools and Colleges.
In 2007, he migrated to Karnataka & founded Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy, where he merges the Israeli Military Krav Maga Self Defence tactics with knowledge of Combat Science, Guerrilla Hit Run Deception strategy, Neurobehavioural Crisis Management, Conflict Situational Awareness, De-escalation Drills along with some aspects of Rapid Action Cognitive Linguistic & Body Language, Criminal Profiling and Crime Psychology, etc., added to his methodology of self-defence training.
Mr. Franklin Joseph started his Krav Maga training in 2003 under Mr. Vicky Kapoor, Chief Instructor of Krav Maga in India. He was internationally certified as a Senior Civilian Maga Self Defence Instructor (2003 batch) and was the Regional Director of the International Krav Maga Federation (‘IKMF’) at Bangalore from 2007 onwards till 2012. He had also trained under and was certified by the Grand Master Avi Moyal, Chief Instructor, IKMF, Israel and has attended countless workshops by Krav Maga legends & stalwarts like Grand Master Eyal Yanilov, Chief Instructor, KMG, Israel, Master Shlomi Moyal, Master Gabi Noah and Master Amnon Darsa etc. Now, he founded & run an independent organization – Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy in Bengaluru, Hubballi and Dharwad.
‘Guru-ji’ and ‘Dr. Safety’ are honorary alias given to him by his Krav Maga Self Defence practitioners. He also added Ninja Kubaton Pressure Points Self Defence in his Krav Maga capsules to help promote its unique and amazing tactics.
Mr Joseph has conducted 400+ Power to Women Self Defence Workshop for Corporate Women from Jaipur, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai etc. He has also been invited as guest lecturer on Girl-Child Self Defence in various schools and colleges all over India.
Franklin Joseph’s ‘iTeachiPower.com’ Girl Safety Empower and Mentoring Girls project is in its pilot stage and will soon be implemented with help from school and college students in Karnataka.
In 2017, Franklin Joseph’s Krav Maga Self Defence Academy was granted ‘Best Service Excellence Award 2017’ by Luxury Travel Magazine, London, United Kingdom.
Mr. Franklin Joseph has imparted his training as an Assistant Instructor with National Security Guard (N.S.G.) or Black Cat Commandos.
He was also the Senior Krav Maga instructor training the I.P.S. & I.A.S. probationers officers in SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad. He has also trained Krav Maga Self Defence to women personal of the Hubballi-Dharwad Police.
United States of America Department – O.S.A.C. organization’s Indian Women Safety Report 2014 stating a recommendation -“Franklin Joseph is a good Self Defence instructor that also focuses on psychological empowerment in his workshops”.
Mr. Joseph was honorarily awarded a plaque for his commitment towards women entrepreneurship and economic empowerment by Government of Karnataka in ThinkBig 2016 Women Entrepreneurs Convention Exhibition.
Among Franklin Joseph prestigious clients include Government of India Indian Railways, Defence Research Development Organization (D.R.D.O.), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (H.A.L.) and Bangalore Commissioner of Police along with Vanitha Sahayavani NGO.
Franklin Joseph workshops have been conducted in more than 100 corporate PAN India clients includes Titan, Tata, Infosys, Wipro, NASSCOM, eBay – PayPal, GE, COLT, HARMAN, Alcatel-Lucent, DELL, CISCO, HP, Quadcomm etc.
He has been guest lecturer in many universities and colleges like Indian Institute of Management – Bengaluru, National Institute of Technology – Trichy, SIES College of Arts Science and Commerce – Mumbai, SRM Institute of Science and Technology – Chennai, Mithibai College & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology – Mumbai, Christ & Jain University – Bengaluru etc.
Mr. Franklin Joseph was born into the slums of New Delhi, India, and from an early age, he was unwillingly exposed to the world of sexual abuse and violent crime. After surviving 22-25 years in petty gangs and abusive circumstances, he gradually converted his bad experiences into positive knowledge. Today many of his projects have their base in what he learned from his grass-root level experience from crime, violence & abuse from his past merged with cutting edge scientific knowledge & skill set he has acquired since then.
In his TEDx talk video
, he showcases his dark humour, skills and knowledge of ‘Combat Science’ with a jaw-dropping opening line “I See Dead People” indirectly referencing to the fact that lack of preparation against crime could be a fatal mistake. He is voluntarily self-retired after 11 years
of working in the IT industry as a Creative Director, Project Manager, Senior Website Designer and Search Engine Optimization Specialist.
He also worked as a freelancer with Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014 for 7 years when his quest to educate others to help them understand and deal with crime and violence was born.
Mr Franklin Joseph, in essence, represents the changing face of self-defence especially women self-defence education. He is among the pioneers who have recognized just as crime is dynamic, changing and adapting, so too should crime prevention methodology and fighting tactics. He has tirelessly, and often at a great personal sacrifice to his financial growth or his family life, overcome enormous hurdles to advance the cause of helping improve safety for men, women & children. No matter what the cost, he is clear that he will achieve his mission of a safer world through proper education, training and a holistic approach to self-defence.
Franklin Joseph has been featured in various articles or videos showcasing his goal of a safe world, free of abuse and crime, especially for girl-child and women. Some media names are Times of India, Hindustan Times, Bangalore Mirror, DNA, Deccan Herald etc., Magazines like Tehelka, 080 Bangalore, Bengaluru Pages, LiveMint.com, GlobalPost.com, TimeOut Bengaluru etc., TV shows and News Channels like ZeeTv, CNN-Ibn, NDTV 24×7, TV9 News, Swarna Channel, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Times Now etc.