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The holy officer and the scientist September 3, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Inspirational Story, Social Casue.
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(This blog is based on the story of a boy from a small village  who ventured out to make a mark in the world. Idea behind this write up is to inspire students from lesser Privileged places to think big and also to inspire  people to connect with students and contribute to the society. The content in the story is based on what has been told to the auther by (the then ) teachers  in the school . Names of the characters in the story are assumed.)

These days I have been on a mission to reach out to village schools. Seven days and seven different villages to address 2100 students on career selection. Main aim has been to inspire them and to educate them. I shared, with these less privileged students, the available career opportunities in the country. These children dwell in places where schools are scarcely equipped, students rarely have books in hand to read, computer and internet is out of question and hygiene & health are not just comfortably compromised but also taken in their stride. As they say lotuses bloom in the marsh! I get overwhelmed and amazed to see certain success stories coming out of these villages. Here I share one such story with you today.

I share a story as told to me by a set of school teacher from Karpawand which is is a small village 45 kms from Jagdalpur. With a sub 8000 population the place has not more than 500 hutments. The village is a nature’s paradise. So much of greenery that you can get overdose of oxygen! A village where you can see the greenery of Mais  farming in every hutment. A lot of corn ( bhutta) is produced and sold in other parts of the country by the villagers. Apart from Corn fields the only other occupation is cashew nut farming.

A school dress in light blue and dark blue ( given  by the  government to students under special schemes) is the only luxury that a parent can afford to their children. Study books and other learning material is scarcely available for students. There is no stationary shop even in the village . Light from the earthen pot (only no moon nights) enables the student’s to learn their lessons at home on examination days.

Ganaram ( assumed name) lived in a small outfit in the region and studied at a local school in the vicinity. He always dared to stare at the sun and asked many questions about the sun to his teachers and parent. He was curious about the light and the energy coming from the sun. Ganaram  demonstrated a keen interest in studying science . His parents wanted him to go for higher studies ( middle school) and as such sent him to  a nearby village, for further  education. He had to travel 14 kms on road or bullock cart or an occasional bicycle ride every day.

One old & retired teacher from the village tells that on one particular 5th September ( teachers day) one senior government officer was invited to preside over a function in the school. ( no one remembers the name of this noble government officer anyway )  While going round the school and chatting with children, this officer happened to meet a boy who looked sad. Ganaram  was unhappy because he wanted to learn more about physics and science but his family had told him that this was his last year of school education. Next year onwards he would have to get into the farm and start cultivating mais. The officer listened to all that this boy had to say and what happened next is unprecedented.

Enthusiastic Ganaram  got financial assistance from the holy officer to pursue his Bachelor’s degree from Jagdalpur and Masters in Science from some college in Raipur. Subsequently Ganaram  qualified to be a part of  some leading research institute as a scientist. Current status  of Ganaram  ( as informed by the local people)  is that he is a well established researcher somewhere outside India!

If the wonderful officer did not extend his support to Ganaram  would have we lost a great scientist? I guess Yes and am sure you will also agree with me on this. How great was that teacher’s day when Ganaram met with the angle!  Not just for Ganaram , that was a great day also for the nation and for the humanity. In real essence the spirit of mentorship and service to mankind was demonstrated on earth.

Friends we do not need to be employed in a school to become a teacher.  We all are teachers within. At least we all have the potential to be good teachers at home and in the society. Wherever and for whatever purpose we move, the network of being a teacher within should always follow us.  Its time all of us took this responsibility to spread the light of education. Not necessary that we make financial contributions, sometimes just one word of inspiration can as well push someone to great heights.

This teacher’s day lets all pledge that we shall mentor at least one under privileged child in the society. This I think this would be the best tribute to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan. Let’s strive to make life much more knowledgeable and fulfilled for every child on this earth.

LESSONS FOR EXCELLENCE :

* Scientist’s can take birth in a remote village, but they can become so only when someone from better access extends a helping hand.

* It’s our social responsibility to contribute to the upbringing of every student in the society.

* Imparting education is not just the duty of school and school teachers. We the members of this society have an equivalent role to play.

*. You and me have a teacher within, rejuvenate it.

* This teacher’s day, let us all pledge to share the light of education to at least one student in the society.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Post Script : Recently I got an email from a person, who lived in the referred village, stating  that no such Ghanaram ( assumed name ) hails from the village and this story might not be factual.

My submission : Its not just teachers who are responsible to ensure the academic growth of the students, the society shares a collective responsibility. May be, the details shared with me by the school teacher could be distorted. However even if  the story is imaginary, still it can inspire & suggest individual’s to support student’s in distant localities.

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Why do people kill people? July 30, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in National Issues, parenting, Social Casue.
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PRELUDE :  Recently there was a robbery in the town. The  lone housewife at home was murdered ruthlessly by the robbers when she tried to resist. The thoughts in this write-up originate from this incident.

 

The whole city is sad. The news of a gruesome murder of an innocent house wife has sent shivers down the spine. The bone marrow has curled up and down. It’s not only unfortunate but also unbearable. How can one be so ruthless and so cruel to stab a lone woman at home? How daringly brutal it is. Has humanity touched its lowest ebbs? Are we all not safe and secure anymore?  What about our future generation, will they face more of such instances in their life? Of all why do such accidents happen at all? Is it only a law and order issue? Has this to do with police and administration or humanity and parenting? Many questions pass through the gray area and keep shaking the spirit.

It is important for us to understand the reasons which prompt an individual to indulge into such unscrupulous acts of crime. 

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 

 

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

face book fast & twitter holiday May 21, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Social Casue, Twitter.
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Recently I came across an anecdote which goes like this: When the house maid reported for her duty at home after being absent for 4 days in a row, the house lady went furious on the maid. She demanded an explanation as to how could she disappear from her duty without any information. What the maid replied was interesting “Madam I had updated my status on face book and I expected you to have read it!” Internet age has arrived in India! Sounds incredibly true – isn’t it!

My friend who works with a media company recently changed his job. He got an excellent opportunity to work with one of the best companies in media segment in Mumbai. He got this break through twitter. He spread a tweet stating “Looking for a media job in Mumbai, commitment to deliver results” His tweet got re-tweeted by many and ultimately it reached the eyes of one HR manager. Less than 140 characters on twitter made him get a job worth more than 14 lac rupees!

From media to maid, networking on internet has impacted each one of us. LinkedIn, Buzz, Orkut and much more – this is the age of social network. One in every 3 professional in India is on either one or the other social network and this trend is catching up like a wild fire. Professionally these platforms are helpful for an individual to develop a wide reach. On the individual’s personal front these networks are being used to identify lost friends and to share recent status update. Some people use these networks for productive purposes like : to identify a suitable place to stay in a new city, to reach to the prospective blood donor when in urgency, to connect with an overseas consultant etc. 

While there are various positive uses of these professional sites, I have experienced that there is a huge dark side to these networks. One of the biggest challenges in the new age socially networked generation is that they are connected but have no personal connect. A hand shake and a smile is very effective in enriching any relation but this is found missing in relationships of today’s generation. It is always easy to speak when no one is watching you. The internet network has encouraged people to speak out but only when they are behind the screen. This reduces the individuals confidence to speak out in public.

I have also observed that there is a mad rush to expand one’s social network on internet. Most of the users want to be connected to as many “contacts” as possible. There is very less or no discretion in making friends. These social networks defy Dale Carnegie’s theorems on how to win friends and develop relations. Anybody can invite, connect or follow almost anybody today. Especially when this tool gets into the access of naïve children it becomes all the more destructive. I see children less on sports grounds and more on computer screens now a days. If this trend continues, in the future generation it will be very tough for us to identify Tendulkar’s and Nadal’s and Beckham’s to represent the world of sports.

I recall my school days when my parent’s used to inspire me to develop a good social network. We had a “friends club” in the vicinity of our residential colony. Children from neighborhood were members of this club. Entry to this club was restricted, our parents  would keep a close watch on the quality of club members and also encourage us to organize events and activities which would include participation from people of various age groups. Festival season of holi, deepawali, durga puja, summer vacations, Christmas holidays etc were  days of jam packed social activities. This actually is the essence of social networking for me.

According to GoodMobilePhones survey the average user doesn’t know 20% of his Facebook friends.  The remaining three-fifths are acquaintances, folks we don’t really talk to. We are in general touch with at best one in five of our contact list in the network. I am myself present on a few social network sites and I try to use the networks in the most optimum and fruitful manner.

After reading the above survey I studied my social network statistics and realized that more than 70% of the friends on my network are connected just for the sake of being recognized as a network friend, either of us is just adding up the numbers to the friend list!  In fact I observed that there is absolute no communication with more than 60% of people connected on my network, at best if there is any  interaction, it is restricted to one click “like”. The sincerity and genuineness of being acknowledged with a “like” on facebook or linkedin is always a question mark for me.

To check the strength of my social friendship on these networks, once I decided to be on a fast – social network fast. This meant no post on facebook, twitter or linkedin for a period of seven days. It was like a twitter holiday for me. I observed my fast with complete honesty only to find that on eighth day life on the network was as usual. No one realized that I was absent for a few days, no one missed me, no one wanted to know any more about me! Unlike my school days social network when if I was absent even for a day there used to be so many knocks on my door, just to enquire the reason behind my absence!. When I made some new status updates / posts on the networks, the likes, the re-tweets and the comments started coming in as usual.  

Lessons for  Excellence :

1. Social Network should be used with a definite purpose, not just to add friends and kill productive time.

2. Learn to use your discretion to make friends on social networks, It is not just to add friends, we should also know to “UNFRIEND” unknown connections.

3. If children have to be exposed to social network it should be a controlled, monitored and restricted use.

2.  Proper virus protection should be used while operating on such internet sites.

1. Network sites may be the new age buzz but we should not miss on spending time with friends & relatives & being physically present with them.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

MAY of BENGAL May 13, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in National Issues, Social Casue.
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I am not an expert to speak or write on politics but still am inspired to scribble a few thoughts originating out of the recent state election results in India. As they say “bhagwan ke ghar deer hai andher nahi” i.e God’s mill grinds, may be a bit late; like wise in India Democracy brings in change, though it may take some time n some cases.

The message I wish to drive in is that we still have the power to change our government. Not everything can be purchased or sold in today’s world. As they say people get the government they deserve likewise political parties get the public treatment they deserve! The ballot can be hijacked but you can not steal public opinion for long.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee says , “This is a victory of people. I am dedicating this victory to people. We will establish democracy. We will bring back the lost glory of Bengal.”  I sincerely hope the glory of Bengal is restored. Hopefully the environment is made favourable for big industrial investments in the state. Hopefully the railway gets out of the no night running blemish, hopefully the people of Bengal and India get to see the change they have longed for.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you get absolute power where corruption has already made deep inroads into the system, it would be all the more challenging to keep up balance between growth and austerity. It might not be an easy road ahead for the new government to deliver what they have committed to the people. The lesson learnt is that when you do not confirm to your words, you get  thrown out of power. Hopefully this lesson is learned not just by the out thrown czars but also the just in Kings & Queens!

Hopefully the Didi will travel this new path with alacrity and business sence.  Not just new deeds to be done, a lot of weed need to be undone! Need of the hour for the NEW GOVERNMENT is  to be careful. May this “May of Bengal” be recorded as a real historic landmark of growth and prosperity. Best Wishes to  Ma, Mati & Manush (mother, land and man) of Bengal.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Munni WINNER Hui …. January 23, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Career News And updates, Inspirational Story, Management, parenting, Social Casue.
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Munni Badnam Hui & the famous Sheela has been the talk of the town for quite some time now…. Both these numbers have been dominating the world of music and rhythm across the nation.

There is a real life story going behind this badnam munni which only a few would know. In the song lyrics, there is a stanza where the following words are used : mai Zandu Balm hui….” . The whole story evolves around the usage of word “zandu balm” in the song. Zandu is a brand owned by the Emami group which is a brand leader in over the counter (OTC) pain relief ointment segment. The bone of contention has been the use of the word Zandu Balm in the song.. rather the mis-use of the brand Zandu balm.

The owners of brand Zandu had an objection that their patented brand name was mis-represented in the song and used without prior permission. It is perceived widely that Zandu has not been mentioned with a positive connotation in the song though it does not get noticed so apparently. Why only Zandu balm, Munni could have as well said “mai Godrej hui, or mai Dettol hui etc. The owners of Zandu brand were hurt as they foresaw the probability of an impending profitability loss because of the dent the song would cause to the brand perception. Ultimately in September 2010 Emami served a legal notice to Arbaz Khan Productions, the producers of movie Dabang, citing copyright infringement.

The tussle went through a few rounds of to & fro exchange of views and finally what comes out over a period of time is that both the parties find an out of the court amicable solution. A win – win formulate was evolved where in Emami got the rights for the song ‘Munni Badnam hui’ from T-Series & in return they withdrew their charges in the court of law. The deal does not stop here, going ahead Mallika Arora Khan ( the munni girl in the song) would sign a two year contract with Emami group to promote the brand Zandu through commercial advertisement as a brand ambassador.

This is a classic case study where the two parties fighting over an issue join hands to evolve a win win solution. All of us are aware of the Hare and the Tortoise story where the tortoise wins the race because he went ahead in a consistent fashion toward its goal. The hare was over confidant and hence had to loose. There are new versions available for the same story. In the next race the hare learns the lesson and decides not to stop but to keep running till he hits the target and ultimately he wins. The tortoise again challenges the hare and this time it was decided to have the target across the river. Hare ran fast but could not swim across the river and lost to tortoise again. Finally both the hare and the tortoise decided to join hands; tortoise climbed on hares back to run and reach the river bank from where on they exchanged their seats! Both of them jointly achieved their target with a record performance!

In our society we come across so many situations where two parties with similar interests keep fighting over an issue. Similarity of interest is generally perceived as CLASH of interest and people keep fighting to secure their interest first! All such disputes ultimately end up cultivating huge losses to both the parties in terms of time, money and resources. A lot of opportunities for growth & positive development is lost in the process and actually goes unaccounted!

We have witnessed business tycoons and industrial houses fighting over issues for ages in our country. Just imagine if they had not fought but opted to co-operate and work together! Surely it would have delivered much profitable results for all.

From our childhood days we learn only about win lose games. Games children play have a winning team and a loosing team. In school and at home children should be taught to play games where there could be more than one winner. Why is it must that if one child wins, the other child has to loose! Earlier the lesson is learnt, better it will be for the society of tomorrow. Lets visualize a new generation with all winners and no loosers.

If we look at the Munni song from the angle of this lesson, surly we could bet Munni badnam nahi hui, but Munni WINNER hui! ( Munni did not get a bad name, actually she is a winner )!

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
FS Management (I) Pvt. Ltd.
http://www.aglakadam.com

Author can be contacted for feedback on : info@fsindia.in

Corporate Social Dabawalas! November 10, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in Fun Reading, Jara hut ke, Life and all, National Issues, Social Casue.
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Dabbawala’s are very famous, not just in Mumbai & India but across the world. When I say Dabbawala, I am sure you immediately start thinking of the dabbawala’s of Mumbai who have an impeccable record of delivering more than 200000 lunch (tiffin) boxes to the respective users everyday within a time frame of 3 hours from 11.30 am till 1.30 pm. Day on day for the last few decades the dabbawala’s have been demonstrating zero error in their services to an extent that they have been recognized as Six Sigma Performance! For those who are still not aware about all this I encourage you to just Google dabbawala and see the 29400 results!

As per Wikipedia the definition of dabbawala goes like this : A dabewala, also spelled as dabbawalla or dabbawallah, literally meaning person with a box, is a person in the Indian subcontinent, most commonly found in the cities of Mumbai and Karachi, who is employed in a unique service industry whose primary business is collecting the freshly cooked food in lunch boxes from the residences of the office workers (mostly in the suburbs), delivering it to their respective workplaces and returning back the empty boxes by using various modes of transport.

Friends, here in this writeup, I am not intending to poke my nose in the business of the dabbawala’s who every day crisscross Mumbai by about 60 kms in the locals trains. I however refer to those dabbawala’s who haven’t yet found space in the treasury of Google though they are rife almost in every city in India! Yes I have discovered a new breed of dabbawala’s in the corporate world. A breed with a variety so unique and hi profile that it may take Google years to get an insight into these dabbas. I take this opportunity to share my observations on these dabbawala’s in this write-up. This is a post deepawali discovery.

These real dabbawala’s are actually found only in the festive season of deepawali. These are people with sweet boxes trying to reach and please their respective business beneficiaries prior to the festival day. This is a typical syndrome in the PP (public private) mode of “life – business – governance cycle of operations” in the corporate world in almost every city in India.

The nature and truth behind these dabbas (boxes) and the corporate dabbawals has though evolved over time. The journey of the dabbas started as a good will gesture when friends & relatives used to exchange sweets on the auspicious festive occasion. This was a well intended exchange of wishes and had nothing quid-pro-co hidden inside. Over ages now the tradition of dabbas on deepawali has evolved to deliver different motives.

You can find various kinds of contents floating in these dabbas today. I met one such gentle man who is a typical babu and a proud receiver of dabbas every deepawali. He received more than 35 Dabbas this deepawali. I was enlightened with academic information that these days not all the dabbas have sweets inside, in fact most of the dabba’s do not have sweets inside. Many other kind of items are also found in these sweet boxes like latest mobile handsets, video camera’s of small sizes, biscuits & coins (of course made of gold), diamond rings (to please madam), different variety of gift /travel vouchers etc. Stretch your imagination and you will still fall short of thereality… these sweet boxes have hi fi dimension products inside… They say that majority of the dabba’s in deepawali are used to guise the exchange of hard cash! As per one guesstimate the exchange of ‘green’ can accumulate to the tune of a few thousand crore rupees on a pan India basis. All these transactions just over a couple of days!

Once upon a time the burnt cracker debris in front of your house was an indication of how well you celebrated the festival. Today it is the count, variety & size of the used dabba’s thrown in the dustbin indicates how “wealthy” festival time had been for you. Hopefully now the IT sleuths will have a special drive from the upcoming festival season to take a count of the empty dabbas in front of houses in the streets.

Festival time dabbas are increasingly becoming an integral part of our corporate culture today. If a business unit does not indulge in dabba’s the happiness quotient in times to come is likely to come down, the payment lead time is likely to increase, the discounts or giveaways will be forced to be hiked and worst the future business prospects are at stake! Considering all this it makes sense for a business unit to distribute dabbas in advance of the festival. This is very much important the dabbas have to come in advance, if it is delayed the boss might not be pleased enough!

It was a surprise for me to know that most of the corporate’s in India spends at least two weeks time in advance to fulfill this corporate special responsibility! At times even an especially dedicated taskforce is set in action to work out the logistics and allocation of dabbas. The CSR administration machinery works round the clock to work out the dabba inventory. Which dabba to be handed over to which babu /
beneficiary and by whom at which place is a critical decision.

The best part is one cannot apparently identify these sweet boxes as bribes yet those hand’s who deliver the business checks gets greased. The giver and receiver of the dabba’s as well are much relieved from the pseudo sense of sin involved in the exchange of bribe. After all deepawali symbolizes the victory of good over evil and hence one need to be careful & safe!

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
http://www.aglakadam.com

HONESTY is just a POLICY! October 23, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in career guidance and counselling, Children n Students, Life and all, National Issues, parenting, Social Casue.
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We do teach school students morals in life. Honesty is the best policy was one of the first phrases I learned in my life. Moral Science was a very important subject in school curriculum. We were taught moral science in school which we not only learnt by heart but also assimilated in our character in life. I remember those days when at home we used to get additional lessons on values in life skills by way of Panchatantra Stories etc. But it seems civilization has changed drastically and so have social values.

It was one of those days when Common Wealth Games was making the news headlines ( for Gold reasons!) One morning while reading newspaper my daughter asked me a question which triggered various thought processes very vital for today’s society in general and the education policy makers in specific. Here is sharing it all with you ….

The news goes like this : India bags 6 more Gold medal’s in the Common Wealth Games…. My daughter Mahima, who is a class VIIth school student, reads it loud for all of us around to listen & then remarks.. “looks like something is wrong…” I questioned her : “What is wrong about this? India gets Gold Medals & this is a reason for us to cheer and be happy…!” No Papa I didn’t mean that, yes I am happy with the Gold medals and the achievements but I never saw India getting so many Gold medals so I thought something was fishy! I asked her about her perceived apprehension, the answer was startling : She said : I think the game is fixed, India being the host country we are getting more medals then what we deserve… I snapped back : What nonsense dear, the players have practiced and performed ..hence they are winning and the reward follows…. You should not think negative.

Yes dad, I know that its not good to be negative.. but is there anything negative in suspecting that a game is fixed? In the previous few months we have been reading in news paper that various cricket games are fixed! Even in the school assembly when children have to read news, they have orated such news at times! Dad looks like you are not aware, there is a lot going wrong about these Common Wealth Games.. I read so much about one minister called Kamadi who is being blamed for so many mistakes in the CWG stadium!

With such a reply from a class seven student I got dumb stuck. What morals should we teach our children? More important how do we justify them what we teach? When we tell our children that it’s a bad habit to abuse, why does the next person on the street do so? why does the actor in the movie does so on a cinemascope screen or a TV show? We teach children about hygiene habits then why does we see so many people easing off by the street? What ever we teach them they try to correlate it with the world around them. It is getting increasingly a challange to teach & inculcate values in today’s generation. Today’s children demand that whatever is preached should be practiced also, not just by the teachers and the parents but by the society in general! When they do not find a synchronization they get confused. This is where their personality shatters.

One more reason is the excessive exposure to media – our children are exposed to the good as well as the bad in the society. You pick up a television sop and mostly you will find that it the story is based on some plot of a never ending conspiracy! Worst, invariably the conspiracy is played in between relationships and not enemies! You can see stories where a brother conspires against a brother or a mother in law is secretly working against the daughter in law, husband wife & the third relation stories are a common place now a days. Even the kids can guess such connections in a television sop while we teach them at home not to tell lies, be honest. Sorry sir, honesty does not deliver the desired results in today’s world always.. I was shocked when a parent informed me that their seven year old kid is used to telling a lie just for the sake of evading homework!

When we look deep into the evolution of all this, it seems as if the excess of exposure to our kids either through media or other wise is the culprit. Evil was always there in life, there has been no generation without a immoral clan around in the society. The only difference was that earlier the children then were not exposed to all that. The only information about bad person was in fairy tales. The question is what ever we teach our children at home or at school, if the society does not endorse it will the teaching get assimilated? Will we then have a valid stand to stand by our teachings in front of these students? Today do we have the answers to the questioning eyes of our young generation. Ethics & ethical behavior is not the agenda of today’s children, they are getting exposed to the latest in the technology but surely their value system is getting degraded day by day.

The real world is day by day becoming a rough & tough place to be. Today’s student have to be fully prepared to face it. Classroom education in itself does not make our students better prepared to face the world. It is the responsibility of us citizens of the country to take on this responsibility and behave in a balanced manner in public at least. A lot needs to be done on this. Come lets start thinking and as they say austerity starts at home, lets be a responsible parent at home in every wake of our life.

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
http://www.aglakadam.com

Yoga@ Call Center – The Customer Plight October 18, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, International Issues, Management, National Issues, Social Casue.
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If Peter Drucker & Jack Welch would read these stories they would surely revisit their understanding about the worth of a customer, at least in India. There was a time when a lot of PSU’s and government run companies in India were strongly criticized for lack of service consciousness. This lack of service attitude ( the service apethy) was invented, revealed & amply advertised by the privately owned companies, post globalization. But over a period of time now it seems the so called huge size companies are not able to manage their growth and are compromising with their customer consciousness… Here is sharing two real life experiences I encountered myself ….

Story 1 :

Company : Dell

Product : Laptop

I responded to a lucrative newspaper advertisement from Dell and rang up the call center. It took two attempts to get the call picked and then subsequently get it transferred to the right desk. Goes without saying one has to repeat one’s introduction and state purpose of call at least twice or thrice before getting connected. After going through all this telephonic yoga and exercise, the call center executive on the other side says he does not have all the information and as such he shall call me back with all the inputs.

When no one called back in the next 48 hours, I wrote to as many email id’s as possible as I could discover, innovate on @dell domain ( after performing an intensive research on the dell website). To all my emails I got only two auto responder replies, both not from India. I then searched for Dell users on Twitter & fortunately hooked on to someone who was a bit responsive. He forwarded my query to one Mr. Rajiv Verma who took 7 days & multiple follow-ups to partially revert on basic queries raised by me post initial quote. In the meanwhile I got a feeling as if I was trying to do something wrong & illegal hence I had to struggle so much to purchase a Dell laptop. Was I trying to purchase something undeserved! The humiliation and anger surpassed my tolerable limits and I decided to stop my ordeal buying a Dell Laptop. I communicated the same to Dell officials via email. Here is the reply which I get from them :

Dear Mr. Varwandkar,

I have been looking over the email exchanges between you and Rajeev. I noticed that ……..

…….. Again, I will provide feedback to the agent, as this should have been explained to you in a timely manner. We also should not have taken so long to respond to your email on the 10th.

We regret that we are losing a customer; however, we very much appreciate your feedback.

Thank you, Amy (full text of this quote available on request)

The most surprising element is that they realized they are loosing a client, but there was no attempt to retain a loosing customer! Who said customer retention is the key in today’s fierce market place? If companies like the scale of Dell have so pathetic customer response, who will have reasons to believe on the theories of Management prevailing round the management schools across the Globe?

Story 2 :

Company : Idea Cellular Limited

Product : Post Paid connection.

I am a user of Idea cellular phone number since almost 8 years, goes without the saying that the number was purchased 8 years back! I have four connections in the corporate category, all in the name of a private limited company.

Barring of services for invalid reasons or for errors at their end or just for fun (pun!) has been the order with Idea. Off late I have got used to introducing myself to Idea Call center executives every time I have some unfortunate reason to call them & get some rude treatement. To add to the misery is that the call center trauma is not free, they proceed with your call only once you accept that your call will be a chargeable call and no more a toll free call!

What happened recently with me was really innovative on behalf of Idea, it was an Out of The Box Idea which changed the happiness quotient in my life. One fine morning a call is received from an unidentified person, who states that he is calling from Idea franchisee and he needs my identity proof. The arrogant caller exceeded his limits when he said that he is standing near a particular police station and I am supposed to submit an Identification proof within 15 minutes! I refused and asked him to come to my office to collect whatever document required.

After a few days all of a sudden my idea number gets barred not only from making outgoing calls but also from receiving incoming calls. The reason stated is that this number has been identified as no identity. I am asked to fill up a fresh Application Form (CAF), submit two fresh photographs and sign over all the new application formalities once again as if I am purchasing a new connection. On top of it the Idea officials insist that I should sign blank forms and not filled up forms!

After various follow-ups and persuasions an insider informs me that the Idea officials have lost the original application form and I am now being harassed to get the new documents! When I contacted the Idea grievance redressal cell in day time on the phone numbers as mentioned on the website, no one picked up the phone. I tried reaching the appellate authority where a soft sounding but harsh worded person picked the called and replied mechanically to my queries. He went ahead to charge me for not fulfilling the formalities and using the idea Post Paid connection for years together!

While I am still going through this ordeal as of date, I thought this a great idea to write down my ideas on diminishing customer consciousness amongst huge corporate in India. I am not the only one who has suffered , I am sure there would be thousands and lacks of such victims. I strongly demand future managers to be empathetic to customer plight, delight will automatically follow through!

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
FS Management (I) Pvt. Ltd.

Email : info@fsindia.in
Date : 18.10.2010

Shabash INDIA – WELLDONE Media October 3, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in EQ, International Issues, Life and all, My Letters, National Issues, Social Casue.
6 comments

Finally the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court did pronounce the judgement in the Ayodhya title suit and more than 24 hours over without even a single incident of violence recorded anywhere in the country. This unprecedented situation of peace, unity & harmony in
the country has been a big relaxation to the common man, the society, the business & also the international community. Surely a big part of this success can be attributed to the Indian media because toiday we all rely on media for getting the information from every corner of the world.

The government had taken proactive measures to ensure communal harmony irrespective of the court verdict. Many a advisories had been issued to the various sections of media to restrain caution while interacting with the public through press or electronic methods. News channels were asked to exercise restraint in coverage of the ruling. The high court had even officially asked media not to speculate about the verdict till it has the copy of the operational part of the order in hand. Bulk sms was banned and it was a smart government initiative.

Historically, the most common form of the spread of information has been word of mouth, “Did you know…” sentences keep moving around from mouth to mouth to a never ending destination. The use of technology has accelerated the pace of movement of news. No doubt the media today plays a highly significant role in this and its all around us – it may be newspaper, radio, tv, sms, internet. Infact the flow of information triggers or arrests the growth of our society. Without the support of media, its very difficult to disseminate information across the wide geography!

I am sure when we come to think of 26/11 we all can easily recollect the fires & flames seen and read widely in the contemporary print & electronic media. It was not long back that Indian media was accused of having exceeds its limits in reporting the issue. Reading reports about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai sends shivers down my spine even today. Rather than playing the role of a responsible medium & presenting a balanced and responsible coverage; what happened had stunned the impressions and conclusions of the world around.
Similar was the case of Gujarat riots when the psyche of the nation was fractured in number of ways. Hate waves ruled the nation and thousands lives were lost. Surely media today has demonstrated that it is a powerful medium for instigating change in the society.
My personal understanding is that the bulk of Muslim & Hindu masses in India are absolute peace loving. Though the Ayodhya verdict by its nature of ruling itself did not instigate large scale controversy, still it was sufficient enough to disrupt the nations working for at least a few days or months. Media could have played a very important role in manipulating the situation.

Ayodhya verdict has been a critical milestone for the nation globally as well. The international community was looking at India with a critical eye. Common wealth games ahead and also a heap of investments were at stake for an economy which is just on its way out of the recession.
Unlike past this time, image of the nation did not take a beating in the international community. The most vital reason for the nation’s image management has been the balanced media coverage. Since the international community’s medium of getting Indian information is English, they read only what the English media writes; which this time reflected angle of Indian secular
tradition.
Looks like our media friends, have been into the introspection mode and have delivered a face of responsibility to the nation. Not even a single channel nor a single newspaper spoke of anything about any event in past related to the Hindu Muslim disharmony. On the contrary
complete media was rife with stories of communal peace. I saw some channel telecast where a Muslim was shown serving the needs of a Temple & the Goddess statues in the temple! Stories in print were read about how Hindu’s have been respecting their Muslim friends religious beliefs and celebrating Eid with them.

This was very sensitive & appreciative on the part of the media that they behaved very responsibly. Every statement printed every coverage telecast was well balanced to my understanding & knowledge. In fact some units went ahead to sponsor advertisements
requesting people of the country to adhere to peace and also suggesting why peace is must for the nation.

It is the responsible & matured behavior of media that the prime concern of National unity and integrity seems to have strengthened post Ayodhya verdict. Nothing wase not blown out of proportion and only positive vibes went into the public. Media infact played a constructive role in promoting mutual understanding among the general public, nothing was found reported out of
vengeance.

In such a sensitive subject concerning the harmony and peace of the nation, media overall took a very transparent and vigilant stance. Ethical and Sensible journalism, Isn’t it? Shabash Media, once again congratulations. Keep it up….

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
http://www.aglakadam.com

Email : info@fsindia.in

PS : Any Media is free to reproduce the contents in this post in part or full without disturbing the intended message in the post.

Eureka of Emotional Relativity August 17, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, EQ, Fun Reading, Inspirational Story, Management, Motivation, Social Casue.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

Every morning I take my German Shephard for a stroll and that’s one source how I get a lot of food for thought & air ( oxygen) for survival! One interesting incident I share with you which I experienced one morning. I saw a milk vendor halting by the side of a thick stem tree & took an hide on the back of it. We were very near still the milkman’s activity was not in vision for us. Me and my dog, both had an anxiety to sniff around & explore. I smelled an adulteration (and in most probably my dog sniffed a milk treat!).
I was correct & found that the milk man had two pouch of drinking water with him, which he added to the can of milk. May be he would sell half a liter milk more than what the cow owner intended to sell and make some additional money out of it. I admonished the milk man which he refuted with arrogance. I wanted to setoff my dog on to him but I restrained. By the way my dog was also more interested in the spill off milk & not at all in the theft which I had discovered.

I kept feeling bad about this milk man. I pitied & felt worst for the receivers of the adultered milk for a long & was exploring how a lactometer could reach every household. My emotions took a paradigm shift when one day when I saw a road side pani puri wala resorting to the rain dripping water as a source of pani (water) for the pani puri dish! This water was one of the worst impurity I ever saw, the four wheel trolley on which the vendor sold pani puri had a rusted tin sheet where the rain water got stored. Drop by drop the water fell down into the strategically placed pani puri vessel. Poor pani puri lovers, most of them might not even know that contaminated water is being pumped into their stomach along with their most cherished pani puri!
This second event actually enlightened me & I experienced the Eureka of Relativity. Suddenly the milk vendor became a very respected gentleman for me. Till yesterday whenever I saw that milk vendor stop by that ‘adulteration tree’, I used to get an urge to stop him & cure him of his manipulation disease. But today I wanted to garland him & praise him .. you know why? Because I was so happy this milk vendor was so much sensitive & health conscious! He was actually purchasing a one rupee pure water pouch to be sued as an additive in the milk. I thought at least he is not resorting to the rain water for this! How noble this milk man was! What if he had used the rain water? Or worst the road side gutter water? By now I had so much of respect for that noble milk wala that I could have offered him a noble prize for his hygienic intentions!

Well friends every thing we experience in life teaches us a lesson. This experience in my life taught me the Theory of Emotional Relativity! Emotions out of our exposures are very much relative in life. It is only when we see the longer line that we can make out the shorter line!

I was happy with my small car only till such time that I saw my neighbor’s long car! I was happy with my small house only till such time that I realized my friends had a bigger bungalow! I was happy with 90% marks in the examination till such time that I found my colleague already secured 98%. I was happy with 15% of a salary hike in my office job this year till such time I found that the company had also offered 20% salary hike to some one else!

Reserve your emotions :

The message here is to learn to reserve our emotional reactions! When you are tempted to think that “this is the worst that could happen in this situation” STOP .. this may not be the Worst.. I would at best give you the right to feel bad about your experience.. not worst! Bill Gates once while addressing management graduates said “If you think your college professors are very strict, wait for your first boss!”

One more example to site here.. Post FIFA, the Octopus is a lot in demand; wile the parrot was just on the verge of loosing his job also so was the unaware future teller! Once upon a time in Indian haats & bazaars we could occasionally see many future tellers sitting on the road side with a parrot in the cage. A lot of people would crowd around to know what secrets the future had to unfold for them! The only job of the parrot was to pick a slip of fortune for the visitor! I met one such fortune reader recently… He was really sad, his agony was “ Till now the only complaint was that less people come to me & that the traffic was getting less day by day, but now people are asking me to hire an octopus & give away the parrot!”

There is nothing like Best or Worst in this world. If you think an experience was worst, hold on, it could deteriorate further. Likewise if you think you have done your best, think twice, may be you could still do it better!! Theory of Relative Emotions thus advises us not to respond very strongly to worldly exposures and reserve our reactions for future!

Ajit Varwandkar
The author is Managing Director of http://www.aglakadam.com
He can be contacted on info@fsindia.in