- Problem 1:
The problem in India is that everyone wants to be a manager. We have 10 managers to manage a team of 4 technical people. Even technical people who love what they do are forced to think that they “will” have to do MBA and become manager. I am stressing ‘will’ because they don’t look at it as a choice but are compelled to do MBA. People believe that by doing MBA they will have a better career growth (read more salary). But after doing MBA and becoming a manager, they will manage the same group of people having the same technical skills that was present in them before.
For example, when I interview young candidates in their mid twenties and ask them their 5 year or 10 year plan, everyone says that they want to become a Project Manager. Doesn’t matter if they really have the aptitude for that or whether they even know what is involved in being a project manager. Not a single software developer in this age group has told me that they would love to do software coding at the age of 35-40.
If everyone will become a manager, then who will implement, design and innovate?
We have people working in HR who do not know what kind of skill sets is required in the company to get the job done. There are HR managers and recruiters who hire technical people for the company but they have no clue what goes on to make that work order. The same group of people also are involved in performance appraisals!
For a HR manager, if you have 2 year experience in Java, you are equivalent to all the other people in the world who have 2 years experience in Java. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you have done in those two years. This makes IT software consultancy a commodity rather than a team of experts working to solve a someone’s problem. Please note that I am not doubting whether the person is good at the role of HR. Surely that person might be good in human relations.
Similarly, someone working in the Sales department of an IT consultancy firm might not have written a single piece of code his/her entire life. This person might be a great sales guy and having a penchant for attracting people, but you also need to have the domain knowledge to understand the customer’s needs.
I think the solution for both these problems is that technical people should be part of HR, Sales, Finance and handle teams in these areas. For this, they should do MBA to learn the finer concepts in that role. The first thing to do is to understand your aptitude, and then accordingly choose the MBA stream that can further enhance your aptitude. Your aptitude could be that you are good at interacting with people, or you are good with numbers or you are simply good in engineering. After doing MBA, you can put your technical skills and aptitude to good use and make a difference in the organisation. But please do not do MBA just to enhance your package.
If we do not address these 2 problems, we are in danger of making a Manager itself as a commodity (third problem).We will have too many HR managers, too many Sales Managers and too many Project Managers who have no differentiating factor among themselves.
Operating a Business doesn’t come with a manual
– Rishi Agarwal
This blog is dedicated to the hospitality shown by the Bank Of India.
As I have started my new venture with two friends of mine, we thought of going to banks and enquiring about the process and details for opening a Current Account.We went to IDBI, ICICI and till then the representatives of these banks answered most of our queries and cleared our doubts ( as there is lot of paperwork involved in opening an account ) . Plus , as usual, these banks were quiet eager to take a new customer.
Then we went to Bank Of India. Before I write down today’s experience , let me mention about my past experiences with this Bank : I had a Savings A/c with this bank. Twice I went to them for a DD and both times I had to wait for 2 hrs to get it done. And the previous time I had visited the bank to remove money, ( I was still in college ) they started asking me questions as though I looked like a conman to them. Well, I dont blame them,with so much fraud happening , and people being prejudiced, they had their reasons.
Anyways, today I went there hoping things have changed. I went inside, asked a person about where to enquire for opening a Current A/c. She directed me to a lady sitting in a corner. My friend and I went to that lady, and this is what happened :
Me : Hello,Me and my friends have just started a firm. We want to open a Current A/c.
( Lady looks at us with a suspicious glare, and tells us to wait. Not to mention, she didnt offer us to sit. After 5 minutes… )
Lady : What proof do you have to open a Current A/c. ( Again, with a very cross look , as if examining us or interrogating us in a court trial . I think she believed we were strolling outside, and came inside this bank just to pass away our time )
Me : The Agreement made between us friends, for the firm.
Lady : And address proof ? ( No, we dont have that as we are running our business from M G Road footpath !!!! )
Me : That will be procured.
Lady ( Not looking satisfied ) : Where is your office ?
Me : Vishrantwadi. ( Its a remote area , kind of a suburb )
Lady : So why dont you go to so many banks in Yerwada ? ( Yerwada houses lot of banks, mostly Co-op Banks. Its a very shady kind of place where it is quite risky to open a Current A/c )
Lady : Plus, the minimum balance in this bank is very high.
Me : How much ?
Lady : It is Rs. 25,000 .
( She was waiting for a look of depression or shock on our face at these words )
Me : Thats ok.
Lady : But how will you operate from Vishrantwadi? You will have to come here everyday.
Me ( ignoring her ) : And what about Outstation cheques/At Par cheque facility ?
Lady : That is available, but no OD ( over draft) will be given initially.
Me : For how long ? For how many months ?
Lady : Atleast 6 months, or longer than that.
Me ( wanting to close the discussion ) : Ok, but the minimum balance is 25K ?
Lady ( sternly ) : Yeah .
( I soon realized it is useless getting more details from her , and we walked out from there )
I had many terrible experiences before – with SBI, BoI , but that was all because of huge queue, inability of staff to handle operations, inefficient working of the Bank’s infrastructure. But this experience was the worst. Its because the Bank ( represented by the Lady ) was not keen to get a new customer. We were not keen to open an account in BoI. We went there for details. If the details would have suited us, we would have gone ahead with opening the a/c. But they actually wanted to avoid us opening a account in their bank.Nothing can be worse than this. I have never seen a vendor/establishment/institution trying to push away probable customers.
Maybe it was the Lady’s prejudice that led us to this experience. But that is not how businesses are run. Maybe if we had interacted with some other employee, the experience would have been different. But that doesnt matter.In a corporation/institution, each and every employee – right from the receptionist to the Manager – represent their organization and the values that the organization stands for. People associate the organization with the employees they interact with. Each and every employee should be trained and should act accordingly.
We went to HDFC after that, where the lady at the help desk was very friendly. She first asked us what is our Business into, and what type of transactions are we looking for. She then explained all the details that were required. I am actually considering going for HDFC , even though they are not providing many Outstation Cheque facilities which are being provided by other banks for the same Minimum Average Quaterly Balance.
Organizations need to build a relationship with their customers. There needs to be a sense of trust between the vendor and customer. It is very important , atleast in this fast-pace world to offer more than just services. Providing services alone is not enough.