Category Archives: management practice

एम्प्लोइझ को नौकरी पर रखते समय क्या ध्यान रखना चाहिए?

नौकरी पर रखने के लिए candidate को सिलेक्ट करते वक़्त सबसे पहली बात जीस पर हमें ध्यान देना ज़रूरी है, वह यह है की हमें उसका attitude देखकर ही नौकरी के लिए select या reject करना चाहिए |

ज़्यादातर क़िस्सों में candidate की educational क्वोलिफिकेशन या उसकी क़ाबिलियत याने की – skills से प्रभावित हो कर उसे काम के लिए सिलेक्ट किया जाता है | बाद में पता चलता है की highly educated या बहोत सारी काबिलियत होते हुए भी व्यक्ति काम करने में बिलकुल fail हो जाता है, वह result नहीं दे पाता है |

ऐसा इस लिए होता है, कि किसी भी काम को सफलता से करने के लिए qualification या क़ाबिलियत से ज़्यादा ज़रूरत होती है, right attitude याने की सही अभिगम की | कुछ highly qualified और क़ाबिल लोग अपनी करियर में सफल नहीं हो पाते हैं, क्यों की उनका एटीट्यूड ग़लत होता है | एक तो काम के प्रति उनका रवैया नकारात्मक होता है, वह कोइ भी काम ढंग से नहीं करते | दूसरा हमें कोइ भी बडा या important काम करना हो तो उस में दूसरे लोगों का सहयोग मिलना ज़रुरी होता है | जिनका attitude negative होता है वह लोग दूसरों के साथ काम कर ही नहीं पाते, इस लिए fail हो जाते हैं |

कभी कभी हमें ऐसा लगता है कि IIT, IIM या ऐसी कोइ बड़ी Institute से डिग्री प्राप्त कर के निकला हुआ कोइ भी candidate अपनी करियर में ख़ूब सफल होगा | लेकिन हम वास्तव में देखते है, की IIT या IIM से निकले सारे students अपनी career में सफल नहीं हो पाते हैं | किसी भी यूनिवर्सिटी या बोर्ड के topper ज़्यादातर क़िस्सों में अपनी करियर में कुछ ज़्यादा नहीं कर पाते हैं | Educational qualification से हमें किसी कंपनी में entry तो मिल सकती है, लेकिन उस के बाद उस कंपनी में अपना प्रोग्रेस होगा या नहीं, यह हमारे attitude के उपर ही निर्भर होता है |

इस बात को एक example से समझें | मान लो की दो दोस्त हैं, जो IIT या IIM की एक ही institute में एक ही डीवीझन में साथ में पढते हैं | दोनों लगभग एक लेवल के marks पा कर पास होते हैं | दोनों को एक ही कंपनी में, एक ही position पर एक ही पगार पर campus placement से जोब मिलती है | दोनों एक ही दिन काम शुरु करते हैं | अब तक, इन दोनों का academic performance तो लगभग same ही था | लेकिन एक ही दिन, एक ही तरिके से शुरु हुइ इन दोनों की प्रोफेशनल करियर आगे जा कर same रहेगी? हमने बहोत सारे cases देखे हैं की ऐसे किस्सों में पाँच-सात सालों के बाद दोनों दोस्तों की करियर का नक़्शा बहोत अलग ही होता है | प्रोफेशनल करियर में विकास का आधार दोनों के एटीट्यूड के उपर ही होगा । जिस का एटीट्यूड सही होगा वह ख़ूब आगे बढ़ता है, और जिस का एटीट्यूड ग़लत होता है, वह पीछे ही रह जाता है |

अपनी कंपनी में नौकरी के लिए selection करते वक़्त negative attitude के लोगों को मत चूनो, फिर चाहे वह कितने ही qualified क्यों न हो ? याद रहे, क़ाबिलियत – skills सिखी जा सकतीं हैं | Educational qualification add हो सकतीं हैं | परंतु right attitude आसानी से हांसल नहीं हो सकता | आप की कंपनी में जितने लोग सही एटीट्यूड वाले होंगे उतना कंपनी का विकास तेज़ होगा | नेगेटिव एटीट्यूड वाला हर employee आप की कंपनी की speed को कम करता है |

इसी लिए नौकरी के लिए selection, attitude के आधार पर ही करें |

(यह content मेरी बूक “Business Management Simplified” में से ट्रान्सलेट कर के पेश की गई है । बूक यहाँ पर उपलब्ध है http://amzn.to/1PueOBt ।)

BMS-Front GP

Why ESOPs must be doled out very carefully?

In the very initial days at any start-up, when the funds are in short supply and challenges are too many, the new entrepreneurs may generously dole out partnerships just like Ranbir Kapoor in the Bollywood film Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year. In the film, he makes the peon, the receptionist and the technician equal partners of his new venture.

The film does not portray the post-sellout disputes which arise in many start-ups due to unclear ownership terms in the beginning. Sometimes, such disputes get ugly and spread in the public media. The ESOP dispute after the famous sell out of RedBus.in, founded by (Phanindra Sama and friends) to ibibo.com is one such recent example. Phanindra Sama had to face a lot of public embarrassment about ESOPs given to some employees, even after not doing anything wrong apparently. It is unfortunate but true.

Start-ups are generally started by people with similar passion and vision but with complementary skills. Gradually, some more people come on board. These people vary in terms of skills and risk appetite. Many of them come with an expectation of a stable, regular paying job. They don’t wish to risk their security for a potentially high risk ownership proposition because they are not sure of the future of the company’s prospects. It is a personal choice which people make based on their own life stage and priorities. So, they consider the offer of ESOPs as an additional bonus which may or may not materialize because of their own uncertainty about continuing with the company or because of the company folding prematurely.

But, as soon as the company gets listed or sold and ESOPs become saleable, greed takes over. Now everybody wants the share. Ironically, if the founder would have lost money, none of them would have wanted to chip in to share a part of the loss.

So, while deciding about ESOP, one should be very clear and objective without getting emotional. ESOPs should not be given to all and sundry who don’t believe in the company or who don’t share the passion that drives the founders. Hiring some people purely on payroll may be expensive in the short run, but it should be considered in the long run if we believe in our own venture’s value generation potential. One should consider this as some more risk in addition to the risk already factored in.

Entrepreneurs must remember that everybody wants to own the success but failure is an orphan. Nobody wants to own it. We should be selective in choosing our drivers and peons who will suddenly develop aspirations to be millionaires without doing any extra bit for the company. During the regular days, they may have thrown all the tantrums and may have tried to avoid work as much as possible, but when the D-day comes, when the promoters decide to sell out, they suddenly woke up to the realization that “WE founded and nurtured this company with OUR blood and sweat.”

Sensibility should override sensitivity. Ensure that you don’t have to pass through the miserable and humiliating situation like Phanindra Sama had to for no fault of yours. Don’t give ESOPs people who don’t deserve it. Let commitment and merit get rewarded.

Business management lessons from AAP’s failure

The sudden rise and equally sudden fall of Aam Aadmi Party has some important learning lessons for businesses which are currently in the growth mode.

Many businesses which start with a rapid growth in the beginning, start faltering after growing to a specific size. Maintaining growth momentum after attaining some size becomes a real challenge which few companies can overcome. Others either stagnate at that level or go back downhill.

AAP faced some management challenges which it could not overcome. Growing companies also face similar challenges. The debacle of AAP in 2014 elections has some management lessons for growing businesses.

Arvind Kejriwal’s
AAP rose to popularity really too fast. It promised a hope of a corruption free India. It is a success story of a brand getting hugely popular too fast. But, the brand AAP did not live up to the hype it generated. Why? Here are some reasons.

Management Bandwidth
One reason for AAP’s failure is the lack of Management Bandwidth. Just like many suddenly grown companies, AAP, too , faced lack of quality, talented and experienced manpower who could manage the party’s affairs and could provide leadership at various levels of the organization.

Only Branding Focus,
No marketing
AAP and Arvind Kejriwal are good at grabbing media attention and thereby keeping their brand afresh in popular mind. Somehow or the other AAP and its leader kept themselves in the news. Huge advertising budget and a lot of noise in the media may ensure brand awareness and visibility, it may not necessarily ensure marketplace success of the product. The product has to deliver on the brand promise. Here is where AAP failed. Media hype was good, but the party failed to deliver what it was expected to. Particularly, after the Delhi government fiasco, it became clear that AAP was good at agitations and not in execution. Along with focusing on popular attention, AAP should also have developed its own governance and administration arms.

Lack Of Structure
In any family managed business, there is no structure and the family members monopolize control over all decisions and resources. AAP functioned just like such a  business where all decision making rested with a select group of people. This lack of democracy disillusioned many big names in the party who deserted it recently.

Even though it is not the end of the road for AAP and it can definitely recover from the recent setback, it will have to make greater efforts to bounce back due to its own mistakes.

The business which wishes to cash in on its initial success must learn from these mistakes and avoid them.

लीडर को कितना काम करना चाहिए? नरेन्द्र मोदी से बिझनेस लीडरशीप के पाठ |

नरेन्द्र मोदी ने अपनी व्यक्तिगत ताकत के बलबुते पर अपने साम्राज्य का सर्जन किया है |

उनकी राजनैतिक कुनेह, उनका vision, उनकी संभाषण कला यह सब तो प्रशंसनीय हैं ही, लेकिन बिझनेस लीडर के point of view से उनका हार्ड वर्क, उनका कमीटमेन्ट और उनकी कार्यक्षमता तारिफ के काबिल है |

पिछले चार-पांच महिनों में उन्होंने कड़ी से कड़ी मेहनत की है | सेंकडों रैलियॉं, सभाएं, इन्टरव्यूझ तथा अन्य प्रचार प्रवृत्तिओं में हिस्सा लिया है | रोज चार घंटों से ज्यादा नींद नहीं पाई है | लाखों किलोमीटर्स का प्रवास किया है |

इस चुनाव में उनके जितनी मेहनत शायद बीजेपी के किसी नेता या कार्यकर ने भी नहीं की है |

बिझनेस लीडर भी अपनी कंपनी में सब से ज्यादा काम करनेवाला होना चाहिए | मैं अपने बिझनेस सेमिनारों में हमेशा कहता हुं कि अगर हमारे बिझनेस का कोइ एक कर्मचारी भी १२ घंटे काम करता है, तो हमारे खुद के ड्युटी अवर्स १२ से कम नहीं ही होने चाहिए | ड्युटी पर होना मतलब हम अपनी ओफिस में ही बैठे रहें यह जरुरी नहीं है | ओफिस या बाहर कहीं भी हो, लेकिन काम के सिलसिले में ही हम व्यस्त हों यह जरुरी है |

बहोत सारे बिझनेस गुरु अपने लेक्चर्स में कहते हैं कि “हमें हार्ड वर्क नहीं, स्मार्ट वर्क करना चाहिए | टेन्शन लेना नहीं, टेन्शन देना चाहिए |”

यह सब किताबी बकवास है |

सोचो नरेन्द्र मोदी ने खुद इतना काम नहीं किया होता केवल “स्मार्ट वर्क” पर, “टेन्शन देने” पर ध्यान केन्द्रित किया होता, तो उन्हें इतनी सफलता मिल पाती? रीमोट कन्ट्रोल से वारिस में मिली जागीर उडाई जा सकती है, नई जागीर खडी नहीं की जा सकती |

लीडर के कमीटमेन्ट से ज्यादा टीम के  कमीटमेन्ट की आशा रखना अर्थहीन है | अगर लीडर भागेगा, लीडर दिन-रात मेहनत करेगा तो ही टीम को काम करने का उत्साह, प्रेरणा और ताकत मिलेंगे |

नरेन्द्र मोदी ने यह कर के दिखाया है |
अपनी टीम को मोटीवेट करने के हेतु, बिझनेस लीडर के लिए कठोर परिश्रम का कोइ विकल्प नहीं है |

Angrez style management practices must be adapted to Indian cultural sensitivities

Recently, while I was talking to the HR Head of a reputed company, he mentioned one very important point of impact of culture in organizations and management.  He was referring to an incident about a new junior executive joined in his company. The young man had previously worked with an MNC after completing his MBA. This was his second job. As could have been a culture in the MNC firm, as soon as he joined here, he started calling people by their first names. He did not realize this, but people started resenting him. They began to keep away from him. He did not get support from them. Many of the clients with whom he interacted also complained to his senior about his way of talking to them. He could not understand the reason. He approached this HR Head to find out what was wrong. After discussing with the young man, his senior and other colleagues, the HR Head found out the real cause of the problem. The young man’s habit calling people by their first names without the customary suffix or prefix that people were used to (e.g. Mr Ramesh, Rameshji, Ramesh Saab, Rameshbabu, etc.) was disturbing people.  He explained to the young man about the problem and suggested the corrective practice of calling people by the names they are used to being called.

The young man was puzzled. He argued, “But in my old company, this was the practice. We used to call our CEO also by his first name. This gave rise to an atmosphere of openness, you know. It fostered improved teamwork and bonding. Why can’t we have the same culture here?”

The HR Manager could empathize with the young man’s enthusiasm towards adapting newer, western practices. But, he was aware of the lack of social awareness on the part of the young man. He explained “I agree to what you are saying. But, we live in India. In Indian culture, we give a lot of importance to RESPECT. And one of the ways of showing respect is by how we address a person. In western countries, the person may be called only by the first name, but in India, sometimes some prefix or suffix is added like Rameshji, Ramesh Saab, Rameshbhai, Rameshbabu, Ramesh sir etc. This practice is a part of Indian culture of showing respect to seniors or elders.”

The young man was adamant. “But today, we are living in globalized world. We cannot continue this old fashioned practices of previous centuries. To be at par with the world, we must change to First Name Culture in our company. I urge you to implement this cultural change and start First Name Culture. It will improve out company’s image and performance.”

The HR Manager explained, “You may implement such practices with your foreign business partners or associates, but in India, it is not that simple and not advisable, too. You need to understand the language differences before implementing First Name Culture here.” He gave him an example :

For example, in English : Ramesh, how are you?

can be translated in Hindi in 3 ways :

(a) Ramesh, Aap Kaise hain? OR

(b) Ramesh, Tum Kaise Ho? OR

(c) Ramesh, Tu Kaisa Hai?

Now if we start calling everybody by first name, many people may not have the wisdom to use appropriate Hindi translations, when they speak to the same person in Hindi or other Indian language. This adaptation requires a certain degree of wisdom and intellectual capacity on the part of the person involved in the communication. In the absence of that, they may hurt the sentiments of the other person. Also, we may have got exposed to the global practices, but there are outsiders like customers, suppliers, associates and  millions of others in our country who are yet to be aware of many such practices. First Name Culture is just one example. There are many such practices, where mindless imitation is sometimes funny, appropriate or out of place. We may follow such practices while dealing with foreigners, to express our awareness and respect of their cultures, but by suddenly shifting to such superficial practices in our Indian work practices, we may inadvertently hurt sentiments of such people. By trying to call a big company’s senior manager by his first name who can be a big prospective customer for us, we may lose him forever.

The young man’s enthusiasm waned, but he was not convinced. HR Head was clear about the inappropriateness of changing some superficial practices, without understanding the underlying values in the culture.

Culture is the way we, as people, respond to various events. It gets manifested in various symbols, rituals, habits, languages, practices, images etc. The core of the culture is the values that we hold.  Values are the broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others. These represent the ideas that people have about how things “ought to be”. They are among the first things we learn as children, implicitly, not consciously. These values may remain unconscious to those who hold them. they can’t be directly observed by outsiders, but can be inferred from our behavior under various circumstances.

Respect is a very important part of Indian values. By adapting some practices like “First Name Culture”, we may bask in the satisfaction of being modern, but the reality of cultural difference remains and it may lead to some misunderstandings. Thoughtless imitation of western practices without realizing its repercussions may give rise to some undesirable outcomes by offending people’s sentiments and sensitivities. We must ensure that our organization does not jump into such superficial practices. We are Indians and we must be proud of our Indianness.

In my opinion, the tendency to adapt to such practices is nothing but a management wannabe-ism. We must not want to be a wannabe. Still a lot of our own potential is intact, waiting to be explored. Instead of being blind followers, we must be wise and selective. We must not sell our cultural values for some shallow management fads. If we do not exercise discretion, we will be left somewhere in the middle, neither in the West nor in the East.

That belonging to nowhereness will be similar to Shah Rukh Khan’s character in Subhash Ghai’s Pardes, in which towards the end of the film SRK reaches a bus stop somewhere in rural India, rejected by both the Indian as well as American families. On asked by a villager “Kahaan ke ho sahab?” he aptly replies “Kahin ka nahin….!!!”

Following quote of Peter Senge (Management Guru, Author : “Fifth Discipline”) drive the point home, precisely.

My intuition is that India and China will move somewhat together, but in very distinctive ways. But I think the thing that will be really common to both of them will be the fact that they won’t be able to do this without reconnecting to their heritage. They will have to develop a confidence that they can do this as Indians and they can do this as Chinese. They have learnt a lot from the west but they don’t have to copy, they cannot create an Indian or a Chinese version of a Western model. The Western model itself is basically bankrupt. It does not give enough side to the human side of development.

I think I need not say more on this…!