Showing posts with label BuSiNeSs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BuSiNeSs. Show all posts

Friday, 7 April 2017

Amul Cartoons: Blog #296

Amul Cartoons

Who doesn’t love Amul Cartoons and the polka dotted- blue haired girl? In 2017, this adorable girl is turning 50! All of us agree that the creativity behind these cartoons is beyond excellence. To keep a cartoon alive with the creativity and more importantly, the nation’s love for it intact is nothing short of  brilliance.

These cartoons; for most of us, is a brisk walk through childhood. For many from the yesteryears, these pictures will be a memoir of their youth.  For those who identify themselves as X and Y, it can be an enriching lesson in history.

The creators of this cartoon are much revered Sylvester da Cunha & Eustace Fernandez.  The enviably gifted, artistic minds who keep it alive and thriving are Rahul daCunhaManish Jhaveri and Jayant Rane.

I was doing some research around these cartoons. Apart from the obvious creative abundance, what surprised me was the fact that how we haven’t changed much as a society and as a country. Most of the popular cartoons were about corruption, sexism and communal tensions. They were true 50 years before and they continue to be so.

The cartoons must be lauded for the candour and bravery about them. There have been, are and will be - brands much larger and popular than Amul. But none of them ever takes a side on public issues. One of the brand consultants once said “Brands are like olden days Hindi film heroes/heroines. They do not see, hear or speak any evil.” Brands are pristine and more diplomatic than the weakest diplomat in the world when it comes to reacting to social issues. But Amul is a pleasant change. They have and continue to express a strong opinion. At the same time, not even an ounce of dignity is lost. It is indeed an art to put across one’s point of view without being brash and that’s something these cartoons have perfected.

Almost mirroring the nation, the cartoons can be divided into 3 popular segments – Movies, Cricket & World Affairs. There are issues other than these 3 which the cartoons have indeed addressed. But these 3 are a recurring theme. Here are some selected cartoons from over the years - a walk down the memory lane. 

World Affairs:



Sunday, 12 March 2017

Why do corporate teams turn evil?: Blog # 291

Why do corporate teams turn evil?

Remember school days? Remember competitions in school? Remember winning and losing? Remember being happy when you won and upset when you lost? Some of us would have turned a bit negative in failure. Some of us would have become negative towards self and rarely towards others too. If you were lucky enough to have had good teachers, the moment you turn negative towards others, they would have given you a whack and told you to get over it and try harder the next time. In corporations, this doesn’t happen.
Corporate, Fight, Work, Office, Career

When someone fails in a corporate, the penalty is high. This is fair enough. It makes competition thrive. Having said that, this culture of intense competition kills the smallest sapling of collaboration. How often have you heard a colleague praise another one? They do praise when the two are in entirely different strata (for example, an entry level employee and a leader). The appreciation for a peer is so hard to hear. Why? If one does that, it might enhance the chances of other person’s growth. Why are they against this growth? The reason is that as you move up, there is such less room for co-existence. The pyramid cannot be more pointed!

Now the absence of collaboration leads to the mindset of “That is not my job!” How often have you heard a manager telling a fresher who suggests an idea for the larger team, “You do your job! Don’t get involved in too many tasks. There are other teams to take care of those things! ”We can all talk about organizational goals. But as long as the high premium on success stays, people will try to achieve only their goals and advance their agendas. They wouldn’t care about the larger picture at all.

Most organizations save their costs in employing lesser staff than required. This shortfall keeps the employees so occupied that they are unable to do anything beyond their daily routine. When they don’t have time to finish off their daily tasks, how will they help others? If they don’t help each other, how will personal relationships flourish? In the absence of personal relationships, what collaboration do we expect to happen? Collaboration is essentially lending a helping hand to each other, isn’t it? If people don’t like each other, they will not help one another.

This is where large corporations can learn a lot from startups. Startups are small, nimble and are in a position to maneuver easily. Every large company is made up of small teams. If there is a will, they too are capable of behaving like startups. Now, do all startups embrace the above-mentioned characteristics? Absolutely not! There are startups with founders whose egos are more inflated than their firms’ valuation. This trickles down the organization and people are at each other’s throats. But there are some smaller organizations who spend their time and energy on making their teams better, in terms of inter/intra- team relationships and dynamics as much as they focus on business. It is this aspect that larger organizations should emulate. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Notice Period?Be Nice to them! : Blog #289

Notice Period?Be Nice to them!

              Notice period is a tricky time in all of our careers. It becomes even more difficult when managers try to be at their insensitive best. If anyone from your team is on notice period, be nice to them. I have seen some managers making the foolish decision of being nasty to their employees during those times.

 To begin with, it is nice to be nice. If that isn’t reason enough, they are going to be your company’s brand ambassadors to the world. They have a lot of credibility having worked in your firm and being fresh out in the market. An employee going out with a bad experience is the worst branding that your firm can have. If you are not concerned much about your firm and if you think that the larger organizational performance has nothing to do with your growth, my condolences. You may stop reading this blog right here.
Notice Period, Work, Career, Office, Job
Now, how much of a difference can one person make in an organization? By now, those who have a thinking mind would know that each person is important in a company’s organizational structure. Be it a company with 100 people or with a few lakhs. One person can bring about a huge change in an organization. That person need not even be at a leadership level to impact a change. Having said that, much greater is the impact a person can cause in a team. If one of your team members is leaving, you will need to find a good replacement. If you give a tough time to an employee of yours, they will not go out silently. Thanks to social media channels, it doesn’t require much of an effort for a job seeker to find out who one’s reporting manager is going to be. All it takes is one ping to the disgruntled team member to find out what managerial style a person has. The moment a candidate gets a negative feedback about a manager, he/she will pull back. Every good candidate these days will have multiples offers on hand. Right there, you lose out on a good candidate.

Is this a one-way street? Absolutely not. The outgoing employee is also expected to be graceful in the exit. One must not forget that the organization and the team would have contributed a great deal to one’s growth. One should ensure that transition is smooth and the team is well equipped with the knowledge needed to induct the next new recruit. More often than not, the managers ensure that this knowledge transfer happens effectively. It is the treating-the-employee-well part that is often taken lightly.

Organizations often take great care in welcoming new employees. However, minimal effort goes in to ensuring that an employee who has stayed with an organization and contributed to its growth for quite a number of years goes out with a smiling face. At best, the teams organize a call, cuts a cake and everyone speaks like the person is dead. It is more of a eulogy than an appreciation session. How about dropping the person home?  How about giving the person a collage of hand written notes and a plaque of appreciation? How about a chance for him/her to bring the family to office on the last day? These are tiny gestures which will go a long way.   

Arun Babu

Friday, 6 January 2017

Is HR just a nice-to-have function? : Blog # 285

Is HR just a nice-to-have function? 

Everyone loves to bash up people who work in HR. Part of the problem lies with people who work in HR and the rest is with the organizations. Often, HR is where organizations tend to cut cost. HR professionals are mostly paid less which will mean most organizations don’t get the best talent. Add to this, the attempt to cut cost since HR is an ‘enabler’ function. When an organization tries to implement a ratio of 1 HR professional for every 500 employees, what kind of productivity can be expected from that person? Yes, there are many people in the HR department who do not respond to emails, do not pick up calls and do not provide a solution for most issues. But there are such people in other functions as well. Isn’t it a bit unfair to paint everyone with the same brush?
HR, Human Resources, HRM, Human Resources Management

Now, addressing the title of this blog. Smaller organizations look at HR as a function to celebrate birthdays, ensure attendance and pay salary. That exactly is the reason why such organizations remain just that – small. When I say small, I don’t mean the number of employees. Here it is indicative of the vision of the organization.

People are at the heart of every organization. This is not just another fancy statement. This is the truth. As one works more and gains more years of experience, this truth becomes clearer. As important the processes are, it is the people who drive them and take organizations to greater heights. People need to be nurtured. Not everyone can engage with people. It requires patience, a flair for conversation and the ability to empathize. All these require people who are trained in these areas.

HR is relevant in good times and bad times. In good times of an organization, HR should be used to gauge how things can be made better. Efforts should be made to understand what investments need to be made in its people for their longevity in the organization and the long fruitful life of organization itself. In bad times, HR is needed to uplift morale of various teams. Interventions need to be made to ensure that excesses are avoided and people are made aware of the situation. These are times to tighten the belt and reinstate work productivity to bring back the organization to its glory.

Does HR have real cost impact on the organizations? It does. The most visible impact is through recruitment. It is one of those functions which is almost invisible when all is going well. Everything changes the moment there is a wrong hire. A wrong hire can unsettle the entire team and thus create a dent in the organization itself. On the other hand, a really good hire can have a very positive impact on the organization as well. Another role is that of a Business partner HR. If the BP HR is not playing an active role and if the team manager is someone from whom Lucifer takes notes, it can have disastrous consequences for the organization. People can and they will quit. This needs hiring which involves cost and training which needs cost and time. Similar is the case with other HR functions as well.

I read somewhere that people are disgruntled with HR mostly because they look for a friend in the HR person. An HR person is not expected to be a friend to employees. He/She is expected to be fair – both to the employee and to the organization. Interests of both the parties need to be kept in mind while taking a decision. It is tough and HR needs good people. It isn’t a nice-to-have function, but a must-have one!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

He who lost Babylon: Blog # 283

He who lost Babylon

He was busy at his office. Having returned from abroad armed with a master’s degree, he was asked to oversee two of the smaller companies of the business empire that his family owned. He knew that the companies were not going anywhere in spite of his best efforts. It was on a cold evening that he received a phone call asking him to helm the entire business group. He wondered as to why he was chosen.

Corporate, work, Corporate house, Corporate war, Boardroom battleTo be the Chairman of a world renowned business group was not a small responsibility. It weighed down on him considerably. He found it difficult to convince veterans during board meetings. He felt that he was not being taken seriously. He tried his best to reason with the seasoned leaders. They refused to budge. One fine day, he changed the rules of the game. He slowly started bypassing them. They were not told about important decisions. They were made to feel irrelevant. Those who couldn’t understand the language of subtlety was told in loud and clear terms to leave. He knew there would be backlash and he was ready for it.

Years went by. He strived hard. He managed to turn around some businesses. He made some smart investments. He was leading the business empire in to the future. Soon he realized how newspapers and public relations worked.  Newspapers wanted Ads to stay afloat. When he could control about half the revenue of the entire private enterprise of a nation, he knew how to rein in the newsprint. He also realized that people care more about stories than numbers. He created a very smart story around his business empire. They told the story of ethics, corporate social responsibility and governance around the business group. They told similar stories for all the group companies. They told them repeatedly. Soon it was as if no one could question the credibility of his business house.

            He had friends in all the right places – ministries, newsrooms, corporate circles and everyone that mattered. The government felicitated him with the highest civilian honors. His business empire grew by leaps and bounds. Along the way, he made some bad decisions. For fear of upsetting him, not even one newspaper criticized him. His corporate circle heaped praises on him for the failed endeavors too. Many knew that the group was bleeding money. Everyone kept quiet.

            It was time for him to retire. He found a replacement, quiet and conscientious – more importantly not charismatic and hence less threatening. He expected the new chairman to toe the line. The newbie did just that in the beginning. And then, the winter set in the board room and the relationship. He tried all the tricks in the trade. But nothing helped. The newbie conquered the boardroom like an old king captured Babylon. That would mean his legacy would be threatened. His foibles would be revealed. He asked the newbie to step down. The newbie reminded him of his younger days; how he had pushed aside the veterans thereby implying that now he was the veteran who needs to be removed.

            He had to make a decision. It is either his legacy or his business group’s that was at stake. He knew the group would eventually recover from the bad press. But it was upon him to guard his legacy. He underestimated the clout of newbie. He expected everyone to sing his praises. Alas! That was not to be.

            He and his group, both stood tainted. And he became a fallen hero.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Darkness, the new wisdom! : Blog # 230

Darkness, the new wisdom!

I am so in love with the new Coco Cola Middle East Ad. I so admire the creativity behind that thought. How can one break so many stereotypes in such a tiny video?

What surprised me was the idea that the crux of the Ad is dead against whatever little I have heard about advertisement. Most of the advertising lessons teach you to ensure maximum visibility for the product. It also advises maximum repetition of the product features of course without being too-in-the-face. Yes, there are advertising methodologies which advocates weaving a story around the product with minimal screen time for the product itself. Again, such methods are mostly used for high end, up market products. Coco Cola is not a high end product. It is a much loved, beverage. Also, at least I am yet to read a book which advocates an advertising strategy that says one can steal away the product’s identity itself! That is exactly what this Ad does and still manages to make us fall in love with the idea and thereby the product!

However educated, well traveled and well read one is, stereotypes kick in at lighting speeds and judgement are passed in our minds in the split of a second. I think subscribing to stereotypes is our mind just being lazy. The memory and thus the mind have learned a pattern of behavior to expect from the way a person is dressed, is speaking and the affiliations they convey through their conversation. It is easier to slot a person in to a reference which our mind already knows. What many of us try to do is work against those judgement to try and see the person beneath the label/slot we have already given them. The label used to be about nationalities earlier and these days, sadly it has increasingly become about religion too.

I would want to look a bit deeper in to the Ad. In my mind, there are two definitions to the darkness which engulfs the 6 people in the beginning. One is that the darkness in the Ad depicts the extent to which humanity has become restrained by the walls it has created around itself.  The walls of assumptions we make just by the way a person looks, the faith one follows, the language he/she speaks or whether or not the person walks with his legs or with a wheel chair. We must look through these walls of darkness. Only then will we be able to find the soul of a person and thus humanity at large.

The second definition is that the absence of light in the Ad depicts wisdom. It is against the conventional perception of darkness. That darkness covers and thus enlightens the myopic eyes of mankind blinded by region, religion and appearance. This wisdom helps people see mankind in a new light or should I say a new darkness?

Keywords : Coca Cola, Coca Cola Middle east, Coke Advertisement, Coke Middle east

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

What Should Maggi do? : Blog # 222

What Should Maggi do?

        Most of us Indians are good at telling others what they should do – be it with their  education, career or life at large. We believe in being generous in that sense. And we really do not care if the other person is listening or not. The point is that we should express ourselves ;). On that thought, let us tell Maggi what they should do?

            To begin with, if they really believe that there is no health hazard with regard to their product, the top executives of Nestle can have a press meet at each of the state capitals where in they have a plate of Maggi. The journalists who are attending the press meets can bring packets of Maggi available in the department stores. This way, we ensure that the packets are not rigged (intentionally made safe by the company). Also, it is a good enough sample size for a country of our size and scale. In Bombay, Madhuri Dixit may also participate for the luncheon .This way, all the controversy about whether or not actors be held responsible for the products they endorse can be put to sleep.

            Let me tell you, I love Maggi. I have had it for years together; be it after school or during an internship away from home or during the first job. Maggi has always been a trusted aid to rein in my insatiable appetite. But with all these news around, I have turned a bit skeptical. The social media hearsay isn’t helping either. What I would suggest is to change the packaging. May be a new colour other than yellow for the packet will help. If it is possible, try and change the colour of the product too. This way, I can be sure that whatever I am putting in my mouth is produced after the said fiasco and is safe to consume.

            Many of us believe in Karma. If you have committed some wrong doing somewhere or even if you haven’t, good Karma always helps. All you need to do is to tell us that you are going to do spread some goodness around to get over this bad phase. This may be by sponsoring a day’s meal for the kids in orphanages across the country or by sponsoring education for a handful of children. That decision we leave it to you J

p.s. Maggi, we still love you. Do some good, spread some cheer and come back home 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

When to Leave your job? : Blog # 205

 When to Leave your job?

        I wonder if appraisal meetings became a charade recently or if it has always been the case. Quite often, the outcome is pre-decided. It is just a matter of convincing the reportee that he/she should agree to a rating or salary lesser than what they deserve. Managers adopt different methods to achieve this. One common attempt is to show the employee’s performance in poor light. If you as a reportee are convinced that you have put in the best efforts, then the manager will not be successful in this attempt. Another approach is to undermine the importance of money. I, for one have never bought this argument. One tangible factor about work is the money you get and it should matter! But I do not blame the managers. It has more to do with the organization.

            How much should one get attached to the organization that you work for? Many a time, we get too close for comfort to the firm we work for. There are a group of people who are ruthlessly detached too. So which is the right way or is there a middle path to this too?

            Consider this situation. You give your best to your work, many a time at the cost of your personal life. You expect a reward in return. It can be a hike in salary, a promotion or both. During the discussion, you find out that due to various ‘economic & business’ considerations, the firm ( not your manager, but the firm) is not in a position to reward you. In such a situation, what do you do? I would say it is time you returned your ID card and start looking for a new one.

            We must understand that a firm is a heartless entity. The decisions made are only with the intent of furthering its growth which is measured in terms of monetary aspects. There might be exceptions, but far and few. This is the reason why you can have a good relationship with your manager but not with the firm that you work for.

            One should always bear in mind this aspect. A promotion or a salary hike for an employee doesn't have much impact on the organization. But it does have a serious impact on the individual’s career. One should be astute enough to realize the point in time when the relationship stops being symbiotic. Once you reach that point, go ahead and change your status from ‘single’ to ‘looking out’ on LinkedIn!

Keywords : Work, Performance appraisal, Funny, Work Life balance, Job, Career

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A Kart emptied? : Blog # 194

A Kart emptied?

        The first time I heard about the ‘Big Billion’ day was when I opened the newspaper and saw Snap deal’s advertisement in Times of India. Yes you read it right. The reason why I saw Snap deal’s Ad first was because it was on the inner front page. Flip Kart’s Ad was on the left side. I guess getting the wrong side of the first page of the paper in itself was an indication of the things to come.

            What could have become a poster day for Indian e-tailing’s booming growth turned out to be a lack luster event marred with technical glitches and stock outs. The same thing happened way back in 2006 when Big bazaar did a live version of this kind of a sale. The next day, they announced that they were keeping the sale open for 3 more days which was quite an astute saving grace.

Flipkart said a sorry and I think they mean it. They could have followed up the sorry with some too sweet-to-refuse offers in the following days. But I think they might have thought that such an offer would again result in the servers getting overloaded and/or a stock out situation. The reason why I think Flipkart meant it when they said sorry is because they really do not need to make money through such shortcuts. If you have been following the news, any layman would understand that they are flush with cash. Add to this, a startup (yes, they still are quite young an organization in that sense which was started only in 2007) would never want to lose their reputation especially when the founders are from a premier institute (the idea is they wouldn’t resort to such simpleton measures if at all they were trying to dupe us all).

What is interesting is that the episode spoke volumes about us as a society. We were just waiting for something to go wrong and pounce up on them and say “I told ya!” Twitter was flush with messages and taunts against Flipkart. What we forgot was how much we were in love with this brand until the day before. We couldn’t stop singing praises of how good their supply chain is! How fast and efficient they are with their delivery process! How wonderful a business model! It is quite worry some to see that very few of us thought of looking at it as a mistake. Of course, it could have been avoided. But they are a team which doesn’t have a sea of experience to learn from. If at all they had people who are experienced in the business, e-tailing is relatively new. This was the first time something like this was attempted on such a large scale. It might have been attempted in other countries. But we all know how unique India as a country is and how diverse customers from different state are with regard to preferences and choices. And lastly, let us not forget, we are a customer base of about 1/6th of the entire mankind!

If not for anything else, being the world’s most vibrant democracy have taught us to gain forgiveness as a virtue. What else would explain some of our political laeaders coming to power time and again in spite of their not-so-saintly pasts? So let us give the Bansals one more chance, shall we? J

Arun Babu

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The IT Factor! : Blog # 161

The IT Factor!

        The impact that the field of Information Technology has on our lives is unparalleled. It hasn’t left untouched any field of our society.  It has an impact on all our strata of existence ranging from societal to economical.

            Statistics show that about 30 Lakhs is the number of people who are employed in the field of IT in India. Apart from the obvious positive impact that it has on employment, if not for IT, our education space wouldn’t have emerged as much. Which other industry could have absorbed as many engineers? Engineering in itself wouldn’t have found so many applicants.

            IT has had a huge role to play in the emerging middle class and its purchasing power too. For a nation which boasts of a majority of youth population, a large chunk of it is employed in this industry. If there is a reason why the global brands jostle for some space in the great bazaar that is India, it has much to do with this employed class. As much an enabler industry it is, the kind of disposable income it provides its mostly young employees gifts a windfall to other industries too.

          There might not be many work places which take as good care of its employees as does an IT firm. Far and few industries have such infrastructure and amenities. How many industries can boast of a work environment that is free of pollution – be it of noise or air or water? Almost every other industry demands 6 days of a week from its employees. Most of them cannot afford to provide facilities which will take care of its employees’ areas of interest outside of work.

           The social impact that this industry has is also tremendous. No more do people have to live in god forsaken places because of the presence of industries is so far away from the civilization. IT firms’ offices are mostly within city limits. This means a person can choose to make a living and at the same time live close to his friends and family.This is one among those very few industries which do not put up an Ad saying “Female candidates need not apply!”.The kind of opportunities that this industry provides is unequivocally equal. The industry has also benefited immensely from a large talent pool that would have otherwise gone untapped.

              Not very long ago, the cities of India which could provide employment used to be mostly in the Central states and upwards. This was beginning to exert a considerable pressure on the urban infrastructure. Enter IT and comes a reverse migration of sorts to the southern cities and their emergence. Also, IT has limited the brain drain that used to happen to an extent. People prefer staying put in India although we still look for small stints abroad. Again, which other industry would have provided stints abroad for such a large population is such a small time?

 In the last two decades of our great Nation’s existence and emergence as a force to be reckoned with on the global arena, IT is undoubtedly the it factorJ.

                                                                                                Arun Babu

Monday, 18 November 2013

Keep it cool : Blog # 152

Keep it cool

In today’s day and age, being cool is important for the existence of anything. An entity will survive the test of time if it is perceived to be ‘cool’. What exactly is ’cool’? I think at the core of it, it is about acceptance. There are various aspects which make an entity cool.

cool,attitude,acceptance,i am so coolLook at Coffee for instance. I do not think there is any other beverage around which is perceived to be as cool as coffee and I am not talking about its temperature ;). Here, the coolness is lent by its association with other accepted entities. From film stars to life coaches to students, everyone endorses coffee. That is the reason why you see many coffee stores around. I love tea but it is not a beverage which is perceived to be cool. If it were, there would have been as many branded tea shops as there are coffee shops!

Now let us look at various professions. There are certain professions which people want to get in to – Architect, Author, Painter, Actor et al. All these are cool by definition. This is the reason why they are aspirational and hence much sought after.

What about Nationalities? There are nations which are considered to be cool. For instance, being a Latin American. Being someone from a non- descript south Asian island might not be so. Being someone from a remote middle -eastern country which still relies on stone age rules can be the exact opposite of being cool.

About various products – something known for quality is cool. This is exactly why Brands are so popular and well received. People associate it with goodness.

Uniqueness is quite cool. So is Novelty which explains the mobile phones’ sales hitting roof top. Imitation is totally uncool. This is why people do not want to lay their hands on Chinese goods.  

For all our pseudo unmaterialistic views, a cheap entity is not perceived to be cool. Look at Nano. It wasn’t perceived as cool by anyone. In spite of all its merits, it was looked down up on by people. It was too cheap for a car.

Hindi movies have come to be perceived as cool. Because of this, more number of youngsters visits cinema halls which in turn drive the film industry’s revenue and thus its survival. The day regional cinemas manages to achieve this, they will also thrive.

Arun Babu.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The month that was - November 2012: Blog # 65

The month that was - November 2012

*A monthly column on Business & Rest

                The month of November witnessed two leadership changes of prime importance in the world – US chose Barack Obama for a second term and Xi Jinping (President) and Li Keqiang (Premier) chose China for the next decade.

            Meanwhile, we as a country went back in time, at least a couple of decades when two girls were arrested for innocuous comments on the backdrop of Maharashtrian leader, Bal Thackeray’s death. But thankfully, action was taken against the police officers and amendments are being suggested on the InfoTech act.

A national daily aptly reported Ajmal Amir Kasab’s hanging as “A puppet’s life ends on a string”!

In a rarity, the Government seems to be resolute about ‘Cash transfer’ project which transfers cash in lieu of subsidized food, fertilizer and fuel for BPL families. Also the much delayed PSU disinvestment has been kicked off with Hindustan copper stake sell off.

Although the King of Good times, Vijay Mallya sold a controlling stake in United Spirits Ltd to the Global Spirit major Diageo there appears no respite for the employees of his stalling airline. At the same time, Middle East airline, Etihad has expressed interest in Jet airways and Spice jet is being courted by Qatar airways.         

The ugly face of corruption in the higher echelons came to the fore when Bharti Walmart initiated an enquiry in to the bribery involving their top notch executives.

The Impasse being cleared over the FDI bill brought cheer in the secondary market. The fact that Goldman Sachs projected an optimistic outlook (from ‘market-weight’ to ‘overweight’) helped too.

The diversified conglomerate, Mahindra & Mahindra has made an ambitious bid for stake in the iconic British car maker, Aston Martin.

The multiplex chain, PVR has bought out a 69% stake in Cinemax for Rs. 395Crores.

In yet another international acquisition by an Indian group, Sahara bought Newyork plaza and Dream Newyork hotels for Rs.4400Cr amidst Indian hotel group’s failed bid for Orient Express hotels Ltd.

Azim Premji headed Wipro demerged itself in to IT and Non –IT entities as part of their strategic management plan.

Magzter, an application developed by Indians has featured as the top grosser of Apple ipads app across Asia.

            In a market of gloom and uncertainty, IKEA’s investment proposals being cleared and Unilever CEO , Paul Polman’s opening an R&D centre in B’lore are indeed welcome respite.
                                                                                                                                                                Arun Babu.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

To Err is human...: Blog # 57

To Err is human : Blog on Rajat Gupta

The only respite in the hour long morning commute to office is the reams of world news that I buy for Rs.3/-. In the recent past, many world leaders fell from grace - Dominique strauss kahn , Lance Armstrong and more recently, the epitome of Indian leadership and business acumen, Mr.Rajat Gupta.

Why do wise men of the world act insanely naive at times? Is it a momentary lapse or the inevitability of a nadir following a pinnacle!

Having scaled the heights they did, I would say writing them off for one misdeed is brutal.   I am not justifying their present with their glorious past. All I am saying is that there are lessons to be learned. I am not sure if this holds true for the two people I mentioned earlier, bur for Mr.Rajat Gupta, it definitely does.

Mr.Gupta lost his parents as a teenager. What bigger turmoil can a person face in one’s lifetime! From there, he reached Harvard. That shows the person’s will and grit.

In spite of his occupying the poll positions in the board rooms of the largest and most respected firms in the world, he ensured his family remained his priority –not only the immediate family, but the extended one as well.         

The philanthropic activities he was involved in and the magnitude of funds he mobilised is astounding.

His brilliance transcended many a field so much so that at one point, he was an adviser to the United Nations.

Indian School of Business forms a small part of the elaborate testimonial of his contribution towards his mother land.

Above all, his humility and warmth is something people from all walks of life remembered in spite of all his high flying achievements.

Mr. Gupta’s ordeal also stands a staunch reminder of how careful one need to be about the company one keeps.
                                                                                                Arun Babu