Category Archives: Attitude

नरेन्द्र मोदी कैसे सफल हो सकेंगे?

हमने नरेन्द्र मोदी पर बडी आश तो लगाइ है, लेकिन क्या मोदी साहब के पास कोई जादुई छड़ी है की वह उसे घुमायेंगे और सब कुछ ठीक हो जायेगा?

अगर भारत को आगे बढ़ाना है, तो सवा सौ करोड जनता के इस देश के नागरिकों को भी कुछ करना पडेगा |

सरकारी नौकरों के एश-ओ-आराम तथा politicians के बेसुमार धन-दौलत-जाहोजलाली का उदाहरण देखकर हम में से कई लोगों को भी काम न कर के पैसा कमाने की लालच लगी है | भारत के कुछ लोगों की सोच भी सरकारी हो गई है | दूसरी ओर आजकल हार्डवर्क के बदले “स्मार्ट वर्क” का ट्रेन्ड चला है | सब जगह कम से कम महेनत कर के “येनकेन प्रकारेण” ज्यादा से ज्यादा लाभ कमाने की रेस लगी है | यह खतरनाक आदत बदलनी होगी |

आठ घंटों के ओफिस समय में आधा घंटा देर से आना, फिर आधा घंटा चाय-पानी और इधर-उधर टाइम-पास करना | १ घंटे का लंच-टाइम लेना और बिच में दो-तीन टी-ब्रेक लेना | छूटने के समय से आधे घंटे पहले ही इस की तैयारी में लग जाना | बाकी के समय भी ओवरटाइम और छूट्टीयां कितनी मिलेंगी इस की फिक्र में लगे रहना | किसी भी ओफिस में ऐसे सरकारी attitude वाले, सदैव घडी और कैलन्डर  देखकर काम का नाटक करनेवाले character मिलेंगे | ऐसी मानसिकता प्रगति की नहीं, बल्की अधोगति की निशानी है |

कुछ बिझनेसमेनों में भी कस्टमर को cheat करके, उसे उल्लु बनाकर किसी भी तरह उसे अपनी चीज़ चीपकाके “मलाई” खा कर अपनी होशियारी साबित करने की होड लगी है | सरकार के टैक्स जमा नहीं करना, लांच-रिशवत दे कर के, गलत तरिकों से पैसा कमाना, काला धन जमा कर के देश के प्रति अपना रुण अदा नहीं करना यह भी सरकारी attitude से कम नहीं है |

किसी भी देश की प्रगति का आधार अधिकांश वह कितनी प्रोडक्ट या सर्विस उपलब्ध करा सकता है, उस के उपर है | अगर हमें आगे बढना है, तो कम से कम काम कर के ज्यादा से ज्यादा पैसा एंटने का कामचोरी का सरकारी attitude बदलना होगा | काम के प्रति हमारा रवैया बदलना होगा | हमारी आलस दूर करनी होगी | अपने समय का पालन करना होगा | हमारे जीवन में Discipline लाना होगा |

अगर हम ऐसा नहीं कर सकेंगे, तो नरेन्द्र मोदी साहब नाम की जादुई छडी भी कुछ नहीं कर सकेगी |

The award for the inefficiency goes to…

If you wish to see an example of the most ineffective way to communicate, just listen to the railway announcement at any railway station in India. Almost nothing will make sense. The equipment will be faulty. Volume – wrong. Speaker’s attitude – horrible.

The universality of the most idiotic and confusing manner in which they speak at almost every station in India gives rise to an assumption that they all are trained in the worst way a commnication job can be done.

Continue reading The award for the inefficiency goes to…

Even a strong brand can’t survive employees inefficiency

MTNL and BSNL are some of the strongest Indian telecom brands, due to their inherent advantage, existing huge customer base and the brand equity.

But, in spite of having a headstart in the country’s telecom revolution, these best brands are losing out big time. The companies are not making profit.  Here is why. I read here that for MTNL, employee cost as a percentage of revenue stands at 103 per cent. That is, its salary bill is higher than its turnover…!

Today also, when the world-class telecom companies are beating MTNL/BSNL on their home turf with their efficient service and quality and still making money and building formidable brands,  these government behemoths are bleeding since many years.

Why?

MTNL/BSNL have a huge redundant and unproductive employee base which is eating them out. Here are some examples of the wastage of manpower at these companies.

If you complain to MTNL (Mumbai) one of the following things are likely to happen :

1) The number for registering the complaint will keep ringing. In this time of being attentive to customers 24×7, the ‘official timings’ of MTNL Customer Selfcare department as displayed on MTNL Website are 10 to 17.30 (7.5 hours), when the world-average is at least 8 hours per day. In spite of the official 7.5 hours of duty timings,  MTNL babus are still living in the age of 11 to 5, which includes at least 1 hour lunch break in between… Such an archaic working practices can kill the organization and they are doing it…

2) If you are lucky, after some follow-ups if your complaint is attended, you will see at least 2 or 3 persons from MTNL coming to your place for attending the same. There are always 2-3 hangers-on for every customer visit. And most of the time, the problem is not resolved even after the procession visiting the site.

If India has to progress, inefficiency of its government and its PSUs has to be worked upon. Till then, India will have to struggle to grow ‘in spite of’ the government, not ‘because of’

Airtel, if your front-end is good, the back-end will be much better

The people in our company who interact with the customers can make or break a lot of things concerning our brand and organizational image. Whatever could be our strategy, planning and projections, if the people at the front desk mismanage customer experience, it all crumbles.

So, the way your receptionist treats your visitors, the tone with which the telephone operator greets a caller on phone, the manner in which your watchman behaves when a visitor comes in, the treatment that your counter sales person gives to a customer, the manner in which the waiter handles a guest at a restaurant – these are all the critical points where a lot of problems, disappointments, grievances and heart-burns to the customers occur. Most of the customers’ problems arise when they are treated badly by the front desk or the customer service people or call centre. If this starting point of trouble is taken care of, a lot of back-end work can be avoided.

This is more crucial for a service organization. I had a recent experience where a timely, sensible action could have saved a lot of headache and hardwork from back-end team at Airtel.

As is the case with many irresponsible and tired front-end people sitting on the customer-facing desks of many powerful service brands,  the employees at Airtel Relationship Centre (ARC) at Malad-West once more mishandled one name-transfer request from us. Their carelessness cost us 10 days of a disconnected phone, which could have been done in 48-hours, as promised by them.

Finally, Mahesh Narkar, a senior at Andheri office of Airtel handling transfers and customer verifications, took charge of the case and moved the things swiftly. If Airtel is a good brand, (which, as a customer I firmly believe it is), it is because of the people with strong initiative and customer focus like Mahesh Narkar.

But, Airtel can be much better, if the callousness at ARCs is reined in. A lot of unnecessary work for people like Mahesh will be saved only if the front-desk people take care of handling customers well.  A stitch in time can save a lot many in future…!

How to execute? These ADMI students can teach us.

Well, ADMI stands for Alkesh Dinesh Modi Institute for Financial And Management Studies. I attended an MTHR Global event hosted by ADMI at its beautiful auditorium within its vast facility inside Mumbai University campus on Saturday, 27th August, 2011.

On that day, whole Mumbai woke up to a rain-drenched daybreak due to incessant rain since previous night. The morning was no better. After a brief respite, the very heavy downpour had restarted. All the planning for the whole event was facing a possibility of complete failure, because of the heavy rain. But the event went very well, despite all the natural odds faced. It was all due to the great work by the management students of ADMI. Their work on that day was in true sense exemplary. Following are some of the very obvious things which made this challenging success possible.

Plan… Plan… Plan… : As one entered the venue, it became clear that the entire event was meticulously planned.

  • Right at the road leading to the campus, ADMI student volunteers were standing to guide the participants, expecting the question marks on the faces of the visitors looking for the directions and guiding very promptly. Signboards at all turns helped one reach fastest.
  • All the volunteers were given clear roles and responsibilities and the whole schedule of the day and arrangements were well-planned.
  • In fact, the event was planned and executed just like an event management company might have done it (after charging a few lakhs of rupees, of course), but these young people did it themselves, with meagre resources.

Team work works : The entire team of students worked as a single unit. There was continuous interaction and communication among them, as the day progressed and newer challenges kept coming. They solved all challenges by being together and working in unison. There was no boss here, but I think it did not matter, the event was the boss and they respected and responded to its demands…!

Pour your heart into it : Whatever they did they did wholeheartedly. Their complete involvement was inspiring.

  • Every guest was respectfully escorted with umbrellas in the heavy rain.
  • All the needs of the guests were attended to promptly with smile, respect and grace.
  • When the guests entered the walk ways which had become slippery due to rain, these boys and girls politely alerted the guests to take care. I was alerted at least 10 times during the day, by different people, every time, just in time to prevent me from falling…! So were other guests.

Enthusiasm is infectious : Despite the inclement weather and the innumerable and unexpected challenges thrown by it, these boys and girls performed with alacrity. Their enthusiasm was rubbing off positively on each other. This enthusiasm kept them up and running throughout that rough day.

Empowerment gives powerful results : The young students did not have many resources at their disposal, but they operated perfectly in spite of those constraints or limitations. One of the reason for their excellent output was the powers and freedom given to them. They did not have to go to anybody or ask anybody while fulfilling various needs and requests of the guests, some of them may be unexpected, but came because of the rain. They took instant decisions and did whatever was possible to do. The credit for this perfect empowerment must go to their director and the placement officer, who were representing the institute administration at this event.

Take on a crisis as a challenge : Any planning could have gone haywire on that day, due to the very difficult rain conditions. The guests could not reach in time, the speakers were stuck due to rain, the food to be served was two blocks away, and the rain was pouring like cats and dogs. These ADMIs took that all in their strides and did whatever was needed. They converted this crisis into a challenge and overcame it.

It made me thinking : Money may be able to buy many things. But, can it bring in such remarkable enthusiasm? I think, it is difficult to buy. And the organization which has such ADMIs inside it, can overcome any challenge, natural or otherwise. I thank the students of ADMI for showing us the way to perfect execution no-matter-what….!

How do your people feel when you are away from office?

In a company one day, an employee repeatedly called reception from his intercom at his desk. After 6-7 calls, the reception got irritated and told him “I have already told you SIX times he is not coming to office today. Why are you calling again and again asking whether boss has come to office or not?”

The person said, “I am sorry to bother you, but it sounds so pleasant to hear that the boss is not coming to office today. Sun ke bahot achchha lagta hai… Baar baar sun ne ko man karta hai…!!!”

Is this what your people feel when you are away from work? Are they relieved when you are absent? Is it a day of celebration for them when you do not go to office?

If answer to any of the above questions is “Yes”, something is seriously wrong with your leadership. There is a disconnect between you and your people. In such a situation, they working wholeheartedly towards common goals is less likely. Your presence is causing a sense of fear or resentment among them. Under the dark shadow of such negative feelings, how can they work cheerfully and wholeheartedly?

People must feel inspired when you are around. They must feel motivated when they find you among them. This is possible when they are happy in your presence and they are not afraid, when they do not dread your presence. In fact, your presence gives them tremendous morale boost and they feel empowered, encouraged and free when you are around.

People were afraid of Hitler. But they did not like or love him. They hated him. Due to his power, they obeyed his orders, although unwillingly, but they were always yearning to get away from him. People hate Hitlers.

Hitler-like, arrogant, rascal, idiot Hari Sadu always gets it back as soon as people hear from somebody like Naukri.com. They joyfully leave as soon as they get a chance elsewhere. It may be fashionable to like to be called a Hitler, but Hitler did not build a lasting organization. By his arrogance and high-handedness, he destroyed whatever was there.

Other than holding their salary, do something positive such that people miss you when you do not go to office. Then, along with hands, their hearts also will join to help you achieve your dreams.

What your office cleanliness speaks about your business?

At first, it may sound funny or may appear insignificant, but the level of cleanliness in work place reflects a lot of important things about the organization.

A lot of work goes in keeping all parts of an office neat and clean during the busy day. In spite of that, some offices meticulously maintain the cleanliness. There is somebody who is assigned the responsibility to regularly wipe the place clean. This reflects the owner’s attitude of tidiness and cleanliness. The attention given to ensure good upkeep of the office tells about their overall healthy approach towards the business.

I was surprised at a gentleman’s insistence to visit toilet of every office that he visited. He told me that he checks the toilets to check the owners’ attitude. The condition of the toilet told him a lot about the owners and the future of the business. Only if the toilets are well maintained and clean, he will think positively about the business, he said. If the toilets are stinking, so is the business, he opined. Why else the owner would choose to ignore the stink and not do anything about it?

In a city like Mumbai, businesses sometimes do not have a choice to have separate toilets, when they have the premises within a co-operative society or an industrial estate. But still, within that shared facility, some action can be jointly taken by heralding support from other occupants.

In a seminar conducted by Radhakrishnan Pillai about application of Chanakya’s principles in business, he pointed out that Chanakya always strongly recommended good maintenance of the fort of the state, which corresponds to the office in business. One must give extra attention, make special arrangement and investment to ensure that the office is always kept clean.

Employees love to work in a clean work place. Their productivity and enthusiasm surely improve. Visitors also like to visit such places. The image of the organization gets a boost. Overall, a clean work place is a highly essential and profitable proposition for long term growth of the organization.

Check out the dirt, garbage, litter and stink around your work place. Before your employees, vendors, customers get repulsed by it, take steps to get it cleaned up. Make sure that the toilets in the work place do not stink and are maintained clean. Some visitor, very important for your business, may be noticing that, too…!

Remember, finally it is our work place. And as they say, work should be done like worship. A place of worship must be kept clean. Otherwise, the Gods will get angry…!

Here is why HDFC Bank is doing better

Because they serve their customers very well. In contrast to that, the service at Nationalized banks is nothing to be proud of.

Last Monday, I had first hand experience of the indifferent and non-cooperative attitude of Bank Of India, a nationalized bank, and caring and helpful approach of HDFC Bank employees.

We had reached at Vidyanagari Branch (Pune)  of Bank Of India at 2.29 to make fees payment. The shutter was being closed and the person doing that violently told us to go away. On request, he had to say “Time is till 2.30. All have already left for lunch. Go to Swargate branch if you want to make the payment.”

The Swargate branch, two kilometers away, had lunch time from 2.30 to 3.00 pm. When reopened, they refused to accept DD, as they did not know how to process the DD payment of fees. Finally, after a lot of convincing, they relented. But, immediately, the lady at the counter discovered that my DD (issued by HDFC Bank, Malad-East branch) had no signature…! This could be happening in one of the million cases, but then it did happen with us…! She sent me back, rudely saying “Pehle DD pe sign lekar aao… Our bank closes at 4 pm”.

Shocked, I called up Mr Ronak Parekh, my relationship manager at HDFC Bank. He was also shocked to know that the DD had no sign. He assured me that it will be sorted out soon, and told me to go to any nearby HDFC Bank branch saying they will authorize and sign it. I reached HDFC Bank’s Sahkar Nagar branch at 3.35 pm and informed them about the DD without sign. The person told me to wait for 10 minutes till he gets e-mail confirmation from my RM. I told him I did not have that much time. He promptly got up and went to his manager, Mr Sunil Bagade. The manager called up the RM, took his employee number, instructed him to send the email and signed the cheque. I was out in 3 minutes, flat…! I could reach Bank Of India well before the closing time of 4 pm.

It was only due to the prompt service of the branch manager Mr Sunil Bagade, that saved one full day for us. As long as people like him are there, HDFC will keep its customers happy in spite of some human error of unsigned DDs slipping out of the system. Such positive gestures can turn the errors into an opportunity to delight the customers. This is why private banks are scoring over public ones.

We all should try to ensure that all our employees are empowered and motivated enough  to give such caring and prompt service to our customers.