Saturday, January 24, 2009

The New Age 'Shop Floor'...

One of the most dreaded places on earth is a place called 'Shop Floor'. Mechanical engineers would agree in totality. During my transition from an engineering setup to an IT company and then to telecom has made me think "Are we witnessing the emergence of a new shop floor???"

Well, typically a shop floor would be defined as:

Workers + Machines + Supervisors = Production

Over the years, the young Indian graduating out of any school has seen a drastic change in this equation. It has now become:

(Workers=Machines) + Bosses/Supervisors = Deliverables

At the core level, there has not been any significant change. It is still the same old story. Reach office at nine (Or whatever flexible time you feel like coming). Do the same work you did yesterday (or day before or the day before day before..) and leave office once you are done. There have certainly been some minor changes here and there:

  • Shifts have been replaced by 'Flexi timings'.. Though you still work nine hours a day.
  • 'Machines' are more jazzed up. They are sleek and dont occupy as much space. No oiling required but frequent restarts required (thanks to 'Windows').. But, there is one thing that has not changed - They are still black and don't listen to what you say...
  • The worker is replaced by a smart (i am not sure if that is the right word) B-School grad who earns much better than the worker by doing nothing.
  • No more overtime. Thats because you dont even contribute for what you are paid for... is contribution inversely proportional to salary drawn or is it vice versa?? or is it a straight line passing through the origin where contribution is on the X-Axis and compensation is on Y-Axis. (Now, this is called an engineer's language..)

The discussion would go on and on and on... But, the point is :

If you are one of those who look forward to Mondays (Provided that Monday is not a weekly off) then you are certainly NOT working on the 'Shop Floor'.. This is the question each one of us needs to ask ourselves - "Are we working on the 'Shop Floor'???"

Is this new emerging 'Shop floor' going to be as dreaded as the older one?? Only time can answer...

NOTE: There is no intention to spoil the beauty of a manufacturing setup, it is just being used as a metaphor...

Friday, January 16, 2009

No GAME @ FAME !!!!

I am just back from the preview show of 'Chandni Chowk to China' @ Fame, Ghatkopar. Here is what i have gone through in the last three hours or so;

1. Book a ticket for Rs 190 (Was it too costly for this movie???) for the preview show.
2. I take my seat, totally unaware of the emotional turmoil that is to follow.
3. There are these employees (or waiters) of Fame who keep roaming around with sandwiches and pop corns. It gives you a feel of being at Juhu chowpatty or at any of the busiest markets in the city. Not too sure if that is the 'experience' people pay for at Fame (or any other multiplex). All those who have passed out from a B-School would be able to link to the 'Starbucks' case study when you hear this.
4. The movie begins and i enjoy ONLY those RARE moments of Akshay Kumar's charisma and glimpses of Deepika in the movie. Now comes a twist in the story.
5. I go to get a hot coffee for myself. Nobody at the coffee shop. i ask the corn shop employee sitting next about the whereabouts of the coffee fellow. He takes my order and tells me coffee would be delivered at my seat.
6. Coffee arrives. I pay Rs 100 and the waiter tells me he would come back with the change.
7. The wait for the waiter continues till the end of the movie.
8. I go to the coffee shop after the movie. Ask for the balance. I am told i gave him a Rs 50 note. I am not sure if this is an intentional tactic or not.. Whatever it may be, it certainly is not a great thing to do to your customers. It is not about the money but about how an already disastrous experience is being stretched even more.

Is this what we pay for @ Multiplexes?? I dont think so...

The customer is certainly NOT the king always and neither is Akshay Kumar... (Remember Singggh is kinggg!!!)

I am not going to talk anymore about the movie.. Watch it to find out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

From Masakalli to Corporate Strategy

The teaser of Delhi 6 is lovely. Saw it on one of the television channels. Probably rehman is the only music director in India who dares to experiment. This one, i must say, is starkingly different.

The song Masakalli, which features in the teaser, is a treasure to listen. Also, the visualisation of the song by Rakeyyysh Omprakashhh Mehra (Still dont know if i got the name right) is too good. I am not sure how the movie (and other songs) are going to turn out to be. But, this one certainly has struck the chords with the audience.

All these are a result of Bollywood directors/music composers starting to innovate in all aspects of film making.

Well, that reminds me of the article by CK Prahlad in Economic times today. He talks about how innovation would drive growth in emerging economies and that dominant logic (Implicit logic followed by conventional thinkers) is on its way out. He talks about how innovation would flow from emerging economies to developed nations.

There are some more good articles from so called Strategy Gurus. There is a lot of Strategic gyaan (or Gas as you may call) in the edition. Dedicated to those who dwell on strategy..

Have a read...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It happens only with females !!!

Before your mind starts wondering if this one is a blog on human anatomy, let me clear the air. This certainly is not one of those, but you may certainly classify it under human psychology.

One question has haunted me for a long time. And it surfaced again today during one of the discussions with a female colleague at work...
Have you ever wondered why females have so many quarrels/ego clashes while their better halves (Read 'Men') have hardly any.. (Probably, women may not agree to the fact of men being 'Better halves'). defines EGO as follows:
–noun, plural e⋅gos.
1.the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

It also states an example to prove the case under discussion:
"Her ego becomes more unbearable each day. "Looks like the dictionary guys have enough empirical evidence to have 'Her' rather than 'His' in this example.

But then, what differentiates the misunderstandings amongst men and those amongst women are the following facts (I would like to call them facts rather than myths..)

1. Women never forget. Men never remember. That makes the problem much more simpler. Women don't forget even the tiniest of fights and carry them all throughout their lives.
2. Women are insecure; they are always on the lookout for security. Though women may not agree to this fact but i certainly feel that there is always an underlying sense of insecurity in every woman.
3. When a woman passes by, men look at her top to bottom to analyse her whereas females scan through every inch of her.. All this just to find out if the lady in front is better looking than her or has better accessories. Remember "Hiii... Lovely earrings... Where did u get them from" or "hey.. your sandals are a good match to your dress" and others alike...

But when i try to convince myself with a psychological and a scientific explanation to the question, i am not too comfortable with these arguments stated above...

Just as we say, most of the things in life are not Black n white but rather in gray, this one too may be one of them..

To put it in other words -> You can't answer something -> Blame it on gray.

All the views/facts mentioned above are my interpretations based on whatever little interaction i have had with the 'Other' sex. Feel free to comment if you don't agree with any of those so called 'facts'. By the way, you can even comment otherwise.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Afghan girl

Came across this masterpiece about life in afghanistan. It talks about how afghanistan has faced invasions over the past 25 years which have caused millions to become refugees in their own homeland..

"It is the ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan. Invasion. Resistance. Invasion. Will it ever end? "

The article tries to answer this question...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

'Babus' Zindabad - A Live Story (Part II)

I am back after being foot-balled from one 'Babu' to another. All these visits seem so normal these days. Probably, i am getting used to all this. But getting used to this is like accepting defeat at the hands of these corrupt 'Babus'.

But then, i start thinking about a solution and i go blank. There must be something that can be done to improve the situation and provide relief to the class of people called 'entrepreneurs'. There is an urgent need for a change in attitude amongst these 'Babus'. A renewed sense of accountability and responsibility is what is required. That doesnt seem to be coming.

Looks like these 'Babus' draw heavy inspiration from the sensational song 'Babuji zara dheere chalo' featuring Yana gupta.

I would love to see that day when a budding entrepreneur doesn't even think of regulatory hassles while thinking of any business plan. I am hopeful it would come. The earlier the better..


'Babus' Zindabad - A live story (Part I)

Before you start thinking whether i am referring to Telegu surname 'Babu' or anything else which sounds similar, let me clear the air..

I am sitting at one of the government offices as i am writing this piece (Luckily had the laptop with me)... One of those endless waits at government offices for getting a licence for a commercial establishment. These long 'lunch breaks' (or chai breaks) and so called 'field visits' make me wonder when is it that we are going to come out of this illusion.

These 'Babus' (As they are fondly called.. Though not often fond of ordinary citizens) live in their own world of isolation. Just like there are exceptions everywhere, here too there are a few (actually quite a few). They are people called 'Agents' who have exclusive access to the lives of these almost alien individuals working for the people.

Looks like the lunch break is over.. Ill complete this one in the Chai break. (I am dead sure i am going to wait till then)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The fort Called 'PEB' (Part II)

So, five of us (Amol, Sachin, Pravin, Milind and Me) start the trek towards PEB.. Pravin, the researcher, had brought some printouts which were the only source of information for us. None of us had been to the place before and that made it all the more interesting.. (He is the one busy looking at printouts even while he was photographed)

With directions from Pravin's printouts we embark on a journey that proved to be one of the best treks we have ever had.. Here is how it looked when we started:

Here are some more of them on the way:

There is an advantage of lagging behind in treks, you get captured in a lot of photographs. Going by this logic, Milind benefitted the most just like in this one:

There are some beautiful rock patches on the way to top. Though they are not all that risky, they are certainly a delight for trekkers. Here is an example: (And milind gets captured again...)

Me and Pravin at one of the climbs..

After about three and a half hours of intense trekking we reach the top just to be surrounded with images like this one:

There is a temple of Lord Shiva and also a math (Read in Hindi/Marathi) of Swami Samarth at the top.

We then finished our breakfast at what you might term as lightning speed and proceeded towards our final frontier. The fort is in shambles and you have to explore quite a bit to reach the topmost point (though there might be nothing worth seeing available there). Amol at the stairs leading to the final climb.

After roaming around for some time at the top, it was time for the descent. We were certainly exhausted after all the incidents in the past 12 hours or so. But we decided to get back immediately. The rock patches which seemed simple while climbing up were seeming to be really risky ones. But then, that is the fun of trekking.

Helping each other maneuver one of those 'risky' rock patches on the way down:

At last, we are through... and what a trek it was. A wonderful one which was enjoyed by each one of us thoroughly.. Though not advisable for beginners. Not because of the risky nature of the trek, but because of the exertion involved.