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When my mother came home today she was visibly angry. While having our dinner she told us about the six officers in her office who will be going on a long leave during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. All at the same time. All for the same duration. Now Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day long festival in which many people travel back home to their villages to celebrate these auspicious days with their families. But when an office is left without any officer it can lead to some major problems which even Ganeshji wont be able to solve. 🙂 And this isn’t a one off thing either. It seems this is the case for every major festival (Diwali, Navratri, Christmas, New Year, etc.) As these people have pending leaves no one can disapprove their leave application. While my mother grumbled about the unfairness of it all I feel this has more to do with mismanagement at the highest levels than mere negligence or carefree attitudes in the employees.

The corporates & PSUs in India follow a strange management pattern. India is divided into regions. A person who stays in region A is never given a posting in the same reason. He will always be posted in some other region. What benefit can one get from this? In my opinion it stresses out the employee mentally (away from family, friends, home) as well as physically (imagine a man cooking for himself, keeping the house clean…unheard off really!). This stress will naturally frustrate him. How can a tired & frustrated person benefit the organization he is working for?  And if this person is nearing his 40’s, 50’s does he/ she really have the energy needed to run a house as well as an office? And then is it any surprise that come festivals & weekends these guys run home without bothering about their work, careers & offices?

Every region has its own typical way of behaviour. This is very prominent in India where there are hundreds of languages spoken. Each region has its own way of doing things. Uniformity is a difficult thing to maintain in India owing to its huge area & cultural diversity. Hence when a person from an urban area like Mumbai is transferred to a place in Bihar which is quite under developed as opposed to Mumbai, how is that person supposed to survive there? While he was used to continuous electricity & water supply in Mumbai, in Bihar he will have the added hardships of load shedding & water shortage. On the other hand when the guy from Bihar comes to Mumbai he will be so over whelmed by what he sees that his distractions will be more. Is it so wrong if a guy who is born & brought up in a metro expects to work there too? What sort of equality can you get by bringing down someone? Why not try to improve the villages & small towns rather than do this meaningless circus?

The fault isn’t just with the corporate world & their weird ideas of equality. It lies also in the entrance tests conducted by the esteemed MBA colleges in India. After passing a written test candidates are expected to take part in a group discussion (GD). While the name sounds very classy this is nothing more than 10 people shouting themselves hoarse to be heard over each other. A topic is given which is to be discussed by the group & they are supposed to arrive at a conclusion. The whole exercise turns into a major fish market within a few minutes. From this fish market the learned principals & deans of major colleges choose the ones who shout loudest & lies the best in the name of diplomacy . This is how a future management graduate is short listed to be interviewed. My boss had once told me that only the crying baby gets the milk. 🙂 Though I agree with it, it makes me wonder how long will our selection process be so crass? And then is it any wonder such graduates later on go & head major banks & corporates & come up with strange transfer policies which are nothing more than inconvenient & unnecessarily cruel?

The very world of management in India is mismanaged to a large extent based on bookish ideas which maybe relevant to other countries but are impractical in India.

Below is a link to a letter by Narayan Murthy (supposedly) to Infosys employees.No matter who has written the letter but it pinpoints to the one single problem which affects the working culture in many organizations: ATTITUDE!