Nothing Industrial Just Individual

K.L.S. Sharma graduated (B. E.-Electrical Engineering) from Mysore University, 1968 and got his masters M. Tech. (Instrumentation and Control Engineering) 1971 & Ph. D. (Control Systems) doctorate degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, 1973.

Employment history

  • Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad for 7 years in their Computer Group and Control Systems Group
  • ABB Limited, Baroda and Bangalore for over 25 years in their Utility and Industrial Automation Divisions
  • Consultant, Competency Development in Automation and Control Solutions, Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab, Bangalore for a year
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor at National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, promoting Automation and related education for over 3 years (AICTE/INAE Assignment)

Current engagement

  • Advisor, Education and Training in Automation
  • Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Instrumentation Technology, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore guiding them to align their syllabus with current automation industry requirements
  • Member – Editorial Advisory Board, A&D Magazine on Industrial Automation
  • Member – Campus Connect Program, Automation Industry Association of India (AIA)

Current areas of interest

  • Education and training in industrial automation


  • Senior Member, International Society of Automation (ISA), Past President, ISA Bangalore Section, and Education Chair, ISA Asia Pacific District


1. If you are not in Industrial Automation/Industrial Electronics Industry, where you would be?
When I did my graduation in 60's, Mysore University had only 3 branches in engineering, namely mechanical, civil, and electrical. I chose electrical branch. The then electrical branch was more with electrical subjects and almost nil with electronics and related subjects. It was only in my M. Tech. in IIT, Delhi during 1969-70, I studied Electronics, Instrumentation, and Control Engineering. Subsequently, as a part of my Ph. D. work in IIT, Delhi during 1970-73, I had an opportunity to study the real-time operation and control of power systems in Tata Electric Companies, Mumbai and use their data for my research work. Real learning in electronics, computers, and control systems was while working in ECIL, Hyderabad during 1973-80. Without these, perhaps, I would have joined electrical industry and remained there.

2. Your mentor and how has he/she made a difference in your life?
Many people made difference in my life and are responsible for what I am today. I fondly remember two of them during my academic life. They were, Late Shri S Raghavachar, my high school teacher and Late Prof. AK Mahalanabis, my Ph. D. guide in IIT, Delhi. During my professional life, many seniors in ECIL and ABB shaped me. They were all formal and demanding during the work but were more informal, humane, friendly, and guides outside the work.

3. The ideal business person and why?
The question is a little difficult to answer as the perception of ideal business person differs from person to person. All said and done, I can safely place Late Shri JRD Tata in the top position for a role model of an ideal business person.

4. Which book are you presently reading? The book that inspired you and why?
I am not a serious reader and generally read only light material (mostly political and social magazines). However, I keep reading technical books and articles in my area – Industrial Automation. One of the books which I enjoyed reading was Automation Unplugged by Jim Pinto (Published by ISA - International Society of Automation) wherein a wonderful analysis has been made of the automation companies and also an insight into what future automation will be.

5. What was your turning point in your life?
I come from an agricultural family background and, after graduation, was contemplating to start a small scale industry in my home town while taking care of the lands also. For this, I was undergoing some training in Kirloskar Electric Co., Bangalore.
The first turning point was during the training period in Bangalore. I accidently saw an ad from IIT, Delhi in Times of India for M. Tech. program in Control Engineering and Instrumentation and applied for the same. During the entrance test, I was almost rejected as I had no background in electronics and control engineering. However, I got selected, may be because of my past academic records.

The second turning point was to leave ECIL and to join Hindustan Brown Boveri Limited (presently ABB) in late 1980 where I learnt and practised automation by executing automation projects in India and abroad. During the fag end of my career, I taught automation and trained many in ABB. This, subsequent to my retirement from ABB in late 2004, helped me pursue automation related education and training in academic institutions and industry.

6. What are your strengths and weakness?
It is for the people with whom I worked or I came in contact to comment on my strength. My major weakness, as understood by me, is my soft nature, accepting the explanations/reasons, looking for too much perfection, etc.

7. When... you get angry.
Like anybody else, I also do get angry sometime but sort out the issues after cooling down.

8. After business hours, what's your ideal past time?
I read magazines - both political and social, listen to music – mostly old songs, browse internet, and watch TV sometime.

9. What car do you drive? Your dream car and why.
I drive Toyota Etios Vx Petrol Version. I do not have any dream car as such. What I wish to have is a sleek, medium sized-sedan with good features. Of course, I have to settle with what is available in the country. I enjoy long distance driving with family and friends.

10. Where did you go for your last holiday? Your favourite destination in the world and why?
The last holiday/sight seeing me and my wife had are Hong Kong, Schenzen, and Macau. I have several favourite destinations (Europe, US, Australia and New Zeland, etc.) to be made for holidaying/sight seeing with family. I enjoy travelling and seeing places.

11. About your family.
My wife, Sumitra, is a house-wife. I have two daughters: Anupama, a house-wife, lives with her family (husband Arvind, sons: Varun and Vishal) in Bangalore while Anjali, an IT Professional, lives with her family (husband Natesh and daughters: Diya and Maya) in Houston, US.

     Digital Magazines

December'15/January 2016