Friday, September 25, 2009

Don’t underestimate small customer

One of my earlier employers shared his story with us.

This incident happened in 1975.

My employer, that time, was struggling to set up his career after his education. Being from middleclass family, he was trying different options including to work with some company to gain the experience. After working with one company he left the job and decided to start his own business. Being an engineer, he decided to start the trading in electronic circuit breakers.

He opened one bank account with big national bank in city with depositing Rs. 200/-. Incidentally, one fine morning his friend came to meet him and requested some money on loan for business purpose.

He gave the cheque of Rs. 2,000/- to the friend and requested him to deposit it only after 10 days as the amount is account was only Rs. 200/-. However the friend deposited the cheque before. He must be in dire need of money and must be forgotten to ask before depositing. The cheque got bounced because of insufficient funds.

Next day, he got a call from bank asking him to visit the bank and meet the bank manager. When he visited the bank, the clerk sitting on a counter started to scold him. “You people, do not have knowledge to operate bank account. If you do not have money in account, why you gave the cheque?” etc. etc. After big lecture by clerk, he was called by bank manager and he also gave the big lecture on credibility, trust, money management etc. Employer told that his friend did not asked before depositing the cheque and requested to consider the case.

I think during 1975, the bank managers must have enough time to discuss such issues with customers. Now a day, they just send back the bounced cheque. Anyway, after these two lectures, my employer got back at home. He felt so embarrassed that he could not speak with anybody. He though a lot and decided to close the account.

Next day, he went to bank and met the bank manager; he told bank manager, “Bank and customer relations are based on trust and if bank has lost this trust, I don’t see the point to continue with your bank and hence I would like to close the bank account.”

Bank manager gave careless look and asked him to give the application.

Next day, he went in another bank and opened the bank account with Rs. 150/-.

Today the same account has the transaction of almost Rs. 600 crores annually.

So Morale:

1. One may not be responsible for some mistakes.
2. Do not underestimate any customer.

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at in association with

Monday, September 21, 2009

Follow what you preach (at least during crisis)

Everybody was scared when this so-called recession (and behind that some companies) started to decide the fate of their employees.

Everybody was advising on cost control, cost cutting. Though few organizations were telling that the lay off would be the last option, they were also firing the employees.

In such scenario the role of senior management is very important and the right communication is required.

In one company, such communication meeting was organized. Everybody was eager to know the views of the management. One of the directors, typical bureaucratic, was the key person to deliver the message. He, as usual, preached on cost cutting measures, travel restrictions, discipline etc etc.

All the employees and managers were asked not to use taxis for travel, come on time in the office, not to drink tea at the cost of company, not to use light and air conditioners. (It was switched off upto 12.00 noon!) etc. etc. He also threatened that the salary cuts would be enforced in coming days.

However the same person was using company car with driver and traveling by air for short distance, staying in the hotel as per his eligibility and spending his time in travel for preaching on cost cutting.

Employees, however, were very sarcastic and started to discuss that top management has not sacrifice their any benefit including performance bonus and how they could preach on cost cutting. The impact was very negative and created the dissatisfaction among the employees.

As a result, few employees left the job, few employees started to pretend to work.

The business was at stake. Management had to take the decision to stop few operations.

Employees always follow the role model and it is the responsibility of top management to be a role model to the employees. We have also to take a call on cost cutting. Just stopping paper napkins in toilet and asking employees not to take tea at company will not save the money.

So morale

1. Top management should be the role model

2. The strategic cost control is the key.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Want To

"Want to!",

I remember the night in Igatpuri, near Nashik when our son, Atharva, was just two & Half years old. We were staying in Mahindra Colony and it was his bedtime. When I looked at the living room floor, I knew we had a problem. Toys, mainly cars were all over the place. "Sonu," as we call him, I said, "you need to pick up all those toys before you go to bed." "Pappa," he said, "I'm too tired to pick up my toys." My immediate inclination was to force him to clean up the room. Instead, I went into the bedroom, laid down, and said, "Sonu, come here. Let?s play Gugusha, Magusha." He climbed up on my knees and I said, "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall." And he fell. He laughed and said, "Let's do it again." Well, after the third "fall," I said, "Okay, but first go pick up those toys." Without thinking, he ran into the living room and in ninety seconds he finished a job that could have taken half an hour. Then he jumped back on my knees and repeated, "Pappa, lets do it again." "'sonu, I thought you were too tired to pick up those toys." He answered, "I was, pappa, but I just wanted to do this!"

We can finish any job when we have the "Want to!"

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at in association with

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