Saturday, February 28, 2009
Mahadev Bache, who himself was migrant and came looking for a job identified the need and thought of this mismatch in demand and supply as a good opportunity. He was born leader, as in the 19th century itself he was able to foresee opportunity in the food servicing business and was also able to mobilize people to work with him. He recruited youth from his village but since his idea was so new at that point of time that only youth with insufficient agricultural income came forward. He started the operations in 1890 with a clear aim of providing fresh home cooked food at reasonable rates and most importantly according to the taste preference of customers. With an army of 20 dabbawalas and monthly charges of 2/- per month per customer he targeted majorly Textile mill workers as his prospective customers. Mahadev Bache was great institutional builder and always led from the back to make dabbawalas self reliant and bring out their entrepreneurial skills.
It became charitable trust in 1956 and current employee strength is around 5000 dabbawalas. Earnings per member are around 5000-6000/- per month and around 2, 00,000 Tiffin’s gets handled on daily basis with utmost punctuality. Cost of service is very reasonable at Rs. 300/- per month per customer. Whatever be the external condition customer will surely receive his/her Tiffin. The efficiency is so high that they got six sigma award as error rate is only 1 in 16 million transactions. All of them belonged to the same community ‘Maratha’ and came from few 7-8 villages near Pune. Most of them are having agricultural as their primary occupation. Although these people were not having any training in supply chain management but still their commitment and zeal made sure Mumbai dabbawala kept on increasing its customer base and won hearts of his loyal customers.
Talking about the organization structure and working style as we know that for better communication between top management and employees the institution must not have tall vertical hierarchy. So Mumbai dabbawalas follow the flat structure with only 3 layers for better communication between top management and dabbawalas. The first layer is top management, second is governing body and third is dabbawalas itself. Instead of following top down approach they follow the bottom up approach.
Although attrition rate is almost nil but still if some dabbawala leaves the organization for some or the other reason than he always finds his replacement so that work does not get disrupted. It is not a written rule but they are following it for generations as they feel that they have some responsibility towards organization. As it is quite understandable that members will play an active role in institution building if benefits which they derive far exceed the costs. So here dabbawalas were getting a decent salary of around Rs. 5000 – 6000/- per month, bonus every year and organization was investing part of surplus in building fixed assets like schools and temples in their villages.
This entire framework depends on teamwork, cooperation and meticulous timing as even if a single dabbawala takes a leave without informing in advance than it may jeopardize the operations for the whole day. Organization promotes both healthy competition as well as cooperation among members. They have 2-3 dabbawala groups in each operation area like Dadri or Church gate and Tiffin collection is group wise but transportation is shared with other groups. Competition is only up to collection of Tiffin’s and none of the group indulges into the cross cutting of the customers.
As for any collective action to succeed there must be some binding agents and here each Dabbawala is share holder of the organization just like the Amul cooperative model and it acts as a motivation for the dabbawalas to perform efficiently for the long term growth of the organization. By making them shareholders, organization has not witnessed even a single strike in 100 years. Also since they belong to same community and are from known villages so they directly or indirectly know each other and follow the same customs and traditions.
Success of any institution lies in the fact that it must provide win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. Hence dabbawalas have kept the delivery rates so nominal (about Rs. 300 per month) that one simply wouldn't bargain any further. It provides very competitive rates to the House wives who prepare fresh food for them every morning and also offer plethora of benefits to the dabbawalas. The various awards (Six sigma, Guinness book etc) and invitations (IIM A, CII etc) which dabbawalas have received over the years is a testimony to their hard work and commitment to serve the community. Coming to an end it would be apt to quote the wordings of Management guru C K Prahalad which he said regarding Mumbai dabbawalas “It is a model of managerial and organizational simplicity".
First of all what is Airlines business, to put it in simple terms Airlines business is just a glorified version of bus operation for transporting peoples from point A to point B. And advantage of airlines over any other mode of transportation is that it saves the most precious thing i.e. time and this time can be used in any other productive work.
The objective of the low cost carrier is to provide safe, reliable and short duration air travel at the lowest possible fares. And as said by C K Pharlad, the management guru, the cheaper you can make something, the more people can afford it. Air Deccan started its operations in 2003 and in just 4 years of its operations it garnered around 22% of domestic passenger market share which I think is quite commendable performance and it clearly shows that future of low cost airlines is very bright.
For better understanding I will divide my article in 4 parts
1. How low cost airlines manage to offer cheap tickets
2. Potential of low cost airlines
3. Problems faced by Low cost airlines
4. Future of Low cost airlines considering Indian scenario
Coming to first point i.e. how low cost airlines manage to offer cheap tickets
1. Low cost airlines have less turnaround time. Turnaround time is the time taken to get the plane ready for next flight.
2. Higher load factor i.e. more passengers fly per flight as compared to full fledged carriers.
3. No food or drink is served inside the plane free of cost.
4. It uses the secondary airports for its operations.
5. It encourages the travelers to book the tickets online.
6. Almost every space is available for advertisement so as to earn revenue.
Now the Potential of low cost airlines
Well as you know the population of India is 1.1 billion but only 12 million i.e. only 1% travel by air every year whereas in the US which has a population of one fourth of that of India more then 3 million people travel by air everyday. Remember its every day, whereas in Indian context it was every year. On an average the daily flights in India is only 400 whereas in the US it is 40,000. Mind blowing…… So in short huge potential.
Now the problems faced by Low cost airlines
1. The biggest problem at the moment is poor airport infrastructure.
2. Price of air turbine fuel is one of the highest in the world. And fuel constitutes 40% of operating cost of LCC.
3. Out of 450 airstrips only 61 are fully functional. Because of this LCC has to compete with the full fledged carriers for using these airports.
4. Almost all the parking bays are with the full fledged carriers
Now the Future of Low cost airlines considering Indian scenario
1. All the Macro Economical Factors Political, Economical, Socio-cultural and Technological are in favor of the growth of low cost airlines.
2. India has a huge middle class population of 300 million and even if 10% of that can afford to travel by low cost airlines then it’s a huge number.
3. With the booming Indian economy more and more companies are establishing their centers in smaller cities like Agra but these are poorly connected and low cost carriers provide better connectivity between smaller cities and major metros at affordable rates.
4. Tourism industry is growing at 8.8% and with rising disposable income more and more people are traveling by aero planes.
5. Government is undertaking Modernization and Privatization of airports.
I believe for the growth of India good air connectivity at affordable rates is must. LCC saves time by reducing travel time and it saves the money by giving cheap tickets.
Just like cheap mobile has brought revolution in communication industry, low cost airlines will bring revolution in the way common man travel in India.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Remember "Jo nahin ho sakta hai, wahi to karna hai". The story Chak de India was simple, characters full of personality, there was humor, defeat, victory and the game of hockey!!!!The movie is around that How the Impossible is made Possible when all the team members start delievering.
LESSONS FROM MOVIE
- If you have the talent, passion and commitment, you can make underdogs win
- Its not good to mix personal and professional lives.
- At times tough decisions has to be taken.
- Team/Organization is always bigger than the individual.
- Taking the Challenges as oppurtunites.
- Dream big as without dream nothing is achieved.
- Strategy is important - know the team members individual strengths and weaknesses.
- We have to identify as Indians first and rise above our affiliations with our states, religions and castes.
- We must embrace discipline to strictly follow every step required for success.
- We have to put the interest of our nation ahead of our personal interests, subordinating our egos and biases.
- Put in tremendous hard work and make short-term sacrifices for long-term glory.
The movie clearly demonstrated how an underdog hockey team can achieve world cup by virtue of inspired leadership and collective action.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I was born and brought up in Delhi and I had never been to village barring 2 short visits to villages as part of Induction fieldwork and PRA. I was excited about going to Rajasthan as I had never visited Rajasthan in the past. As our bus crossed the city of Bikaner and drove towards the village we were catapulted into an entirely different world. Dandkala is a multi caste village with the Rajputs, Jaats and Nai staying in different hamlets. I have always regarded villagers as very intelligent people who needs just little bit of direction and motivation to achieve their dreams. They need facilitator and not sympathizer.
After the initial jolt on discovering no electricity, roads, muddy water and toilets, I think the first thing which crossed my mind was that next 50 days would be challenging. I thanked god for putting me exactly in the same village which I had dreamt of. Life would be going to be tough but full of opportunities to challenge my hidden potential. Before coming to village I had set some objectives for myself:-
1. When I would leave the village after completing my fieldwork it would be a better place to live by virtue of my little but sincere and dedicated efforts.
2. My association with host organization and village would continue even after completing my fieldwork.
The villagers were friendly and helpful, not wary of us. Interestingly, they evidenced very high understanding of caste and class issues, and they exhibited much political consciousness in terms of party politics, mainly for ideological reasons. What they did emphasize on was the skills for managing the environment for making a living. They also elaborated on talks of marriage, children, and their socialization within a community of relationships. The major element of my village stay was day-long listening, observation and interaction with poor families. This involved sharing their life, learning from them, helping them, and encouraging them to voice their ideas of well-being and ill-being. Before this experience I knew nothing about what it is like to be poor and how hidden poverty can be. I have never had an experience like this.
As villagers were not having the private toilets so all villagers including women go out for ablutions in the open fields. Within one week of my stay I made up my mind that my host family will have proper toilet under any circumstances. I motivated our host family to construct toilet and with financial assurance from my side the toilet got constructed within next week. I provided all the technical expertise needed for constructing a toilet. It was really satisfying moment for both of us.
I can never forget the hospitality which I received from villagers and especially from my host family. Although the family was under huge debt but still they took care of both of us like their own children. They do not eat rice and vegetables because of high price but they cooked delicious Pulav and prepared vegetables everyday to make sure that we get proper food. Their love for us can’t be described. I still remember how our host got worried when we told them that we wanted to go in the Rajput Hamlet for a transect walk.
Electricity was one issue which touched my heart as despite being an electrified village in government records there was no electricity in the village. So engaging the community in writing application (for village electrification) and motivating them to talk to local MLA Mr. Devi Singh Bhati were the most exciting experiences. The effort put in by the villagers gave immediate returns and within 12 days of submitting application the electricity meters got installed in all those families who had submitted the file earlier. This collective action reinforced my belief that villagers need just a facilitator.
An intensely religious people, each home was having a room or at least an alcove where they fold their hands and say their prayers before calendar images of their gods. To seek benevolence from their gods, for in this hostile landscape, it is easy to be superstitious, and they pray to Shiva, to protect them from the demons of the elements, and scrounge of mankind.
My theme paper ‘Embroidery Marketing’ helped me a lot to understand the dynamics of marketing in the rural area. It was an eye opener to see FabIndia product being produced here. I had never imagined that such expensive and high quality kurtas can be produced in a village.
Looking back I feel that constructing toilet in our host family and working for village electrification were one of the memorable activities we undertook in the village. Planting trees (55 saplings) and creating awareness about vasectomy in the village were some of the other experiences which I would never forget. All the way I was conscious of one feeling that how destiny took you to places and how my experiences were different from that my other “mainstream” friends would ever have. These experiences have now become vivid memories which I am sure will continue to remain my guiding light all along life, at all times.
The experiences I underwent throughout this period, no matter how subtle they were have enriched me as a person and would remain with me for rest of my life. I learnt how an entity called village exists as an aggregate of castes and communities. Development, certainly, is a long road, but in a sector where most paths wash out long before reaching anywhere, it is a road well worth extending and maintaining. Overall, I had a kaleidoscope of all sorts of experiences during my stay. Thanks to IRMA for giving me such a great experience.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Collector of well wishes
I am a person who believes in collecting well wishes since money can purchase anything but not true wishes.
Tell us something which is not written in the resume?
I am not afraid to say “I don’t know”. If any subject matter is alien to me then I am more then happy to say I have no idea about this.
I don’t believe in charity.
I always take the criticism in a constructive way. (Communication skills)
I love swimming.
I am Amit Goel. I am from Delhi and I did my schooling from Central School Delhi Cantt. Then I moved to bhiwani for my Computer engineering from Technological institute of textile and Sciences in year 2005 and since then working in HCL Tech Noida as software engineer.
As a person, I am adaptive and inquisitive by nature and have good listening skills.
I am especially interested in community service, research and investment in real estate sector and reading business news is my passion.
What do you mean by community service?
In my perspective, Community service is helping others so that they can realize there dreams.
What all community work you have done?
I had collected funds for Helpage India, I am a regular Blood donor and I really cherish my golden days of college where I interacted with rural and semi urban society on regular basis. I used to give cloths and stationery to their children. That experience gave me my long term goal.
After I came back to Delhi in 2005 we gave our plot which we have in a village called Mohan garden in Delhi to an local resident who runs a small open school in the evening specifically for children’s of laborers working in that area . We visit the place on regular basis and interact with the kids to motivate them and tell them that you are as good as anybody.
What do want to convey by research and investment in real estate? IRMA
I invest in real estate after proper analysis and I believe house is one of the most basic needs for everybody but rural people don’t have proper house and it has been my long cherished dream to improve their living condition by providing reasonably priced houses to them. Moreover Real estate affects 250 other industries directly or indirectly. So if real estate sector does well then it generates lot of employment in other sectors as well.
Tell one thing which you liked in HCL?
Employee first policy
How HCL has helped you in these 3 years?
HCL has increased my vision and made me professionally matured, I understand how big organizations work, how work is allocated, how issues are escalated. HCL taught me importance of time management and how to balance your personal and professional life. I have become a good team player now. All these reasons made sure that I stick with a single company till now and this is very unusual from IT industry point of view where people change companies very frequently.
Would you like to join HCL after your MBA?
Sir, with due respect to HCL now I want to explore other sectors as well to expand my knowledge base and to meet my long term goal.
Why MBA or Why MBA in rural management? IRMA
Sir, after getting around 3 years of work experience in corporate world and working on different projects, now I believe time is good to get into the intricacies of business management with a context of rural management. An MBA in rural management will bring me more closer towards my target audience i.e. rural society and I will get the opportunity to understand their problems in much deeper level. I would be able to get into the companies working for their cause which is not possible for me with my current profile. An MBA in rural management will help me in realizing my dream of contributing to the rural society.
IRMA is a premier institute which focuses only on the rural management. In IRMA I will get a management degree with a context of rural society and since IRMA is purely rural management college so I would be able to understand the rural society in much detail. IRMA would be a beginning for me to learn and shape up my dream. Practical exposure would be much more.
Software industry is lucrative industry then why do you want to join IRMA?
Sir, with due respect to IT industry I do agree that it is a lucrative career option if aim of somebody’s life is just to make money only but for me money is not everything I have different approach towards life, I want to follow my heart and over here I would like to quote wordings of JRD Tata who once said that he don’t want his companies to be islands of prosperity in the sea of poverty.
After working in AC rooms for around 3 years in software industry will you are able to able to adjust the demanding job profile of rural manager? IRMA
Sir, I am very adaptive by nature. I adjusted quite well in my college which is in semi urban area.
Give one reason why we should select you? IRMA
For my understanding of rural society and to realize my dream.
Why we should select you or special points?
I feel a good academic background coupled with around 3 years of work experience has increased my business understanding. In depth reading of business magazines backed up with long discussions with my elder brother has increased my management knowledge. People management is my forte and for this HCL Technology gave me BRAVO award also. I have good motivational and execution skills. I understand the importance of backup plans as one never knows when things go wrong. I don’t wait for the opportunity to come my way instead I create them (In my current project I volunteered to unofficially lead the team).
What is success according to you?
According to me success is not what you create for yourself; it is what you leave behind for others.
Give one reason why we don’t select you?
Sir might be you want me to focus on my job as of now and gain more experience.
If we reject you then what would be your next step?
First of all I will respect your decision and then I will introspect what went wrong so that I can improve my grey areas. Moreover I had my backup plans ready if something goes wrong as this year I have to take admission in MBA.
Back up plan: - rural management from XIM B
What is your percentile in CAT?
What all other calls do you have?
Sir, I have calls from
XIMB for rural management
narsee monjee for Banking
SIOM for operation management
SP Jain Dubai for Banking
Briefly outline your strengths?
I am optimistic, adaptive and level headed guy who dreams a lot.
1) I am extremely optimistic person and for me half water of glass is half full and not half empty.
2) I can adjust in type of environment. I adjusted very easily in bhiwani which is a semi urban area.
3) I am a level headed guy who is neither bogged down by failures nor did I get too excited after success.
4) Dreams are great internal motivators.
2) I have good motivational skills and in my current project I motivated the junior team members to enhance their technical knowledge and skills.
3) Reading business magazines had tremendously increased my knowledge base and had given me lot of confidence to interact with different peoples from different walks of life.
4) I have good execution skills. At the age of 23, I single handedly managed the marriage of my elder brother as my father can not take too much of exertion due to illness.
Briefly outline your weaknesses?
1) I am learning to say “NO” to others as sometimes it causes problems for me.
When I went to onsite(Malaysia) one day my friend who had come along with me told me that he is going for an outing and will not come to office and told me that if our manager back in India asks about me then do not tell him about it.
2) I am trying to improve my communication skills and in this I specially thank HCL for providing me opportunities to give lot of presentations and have discussions with client from time to time.
3) I am working on my handwriting as while giving presentations in company sometimes it becomes difficult for the audiences to understand what I had written.
Describe the nature of your work experience, responsibilities and achievements (if any)
I began my professional career as a Software Engineer with HCL Technology, Noida. Over the period of around three years I worked in different projects ranging from Embedded to ERP. I had worked on both sides of software coin i.e. Development as well as testing. I started with development and gradually moved into Testing. In my present project I am working in the capacity of Team Lead and handling a team of 6 people. Apart from being individual contributor I am also responsible for mentoring of junior team members and work scheduling. In my present project I also got the “BRAVO” award for demonstrating excellence at work and got the opportunity to go onsite.
What is leadership according to you and cite any example from your life where you demonstrated it?
In my perspective leadership is the ability to lead and inspire others to walk that one extra mile to achieve goals. A true leader is one who allows other leaders to emerge. Leader has clear vision and he communicates this vision to other team members.
In my current project I lead the team of 6-7 people un-officially as the officially lead left the project just after 1 month of its starting and no other senior team member was willing take up the lead position as project was very demanding so I volunteered to lead the team but officially name of some senior team member was given to client as my experience level was less. It turned out to be great learning experience for me and I managed both juniors as well as seniors in my team apart from doing my own work as well. I motivated the juniors to enhance their product understanding. With seniors I never projected myself as Team lead and used to take their guidance.
What are your hobbies?
1) Reading Business Magazines like Business world
2) Arranging interviews for the fresher’s in various companies with the help of my like minded friends working in different companies.
3) Actively involved in Research and figuring out investment options in real estate sector
4) I like listening to old Hindi songs.
5) I like gardening also.
What are your short term goals? IRMA
My short term goal is to build base for my long term goal so after completing my MBA I want to get into the Microfinance industry like SKS Microfinance. Reason for this is that in the long run I want to establish real estate company for rural society and by working with Microfinance company I would be able to understand the intricacies involved in giving loans to rural people and might be I would be able to convince the Microfinance company to give money to rural people for purchasing houses built by me.
What are your long term goals? IRMA
I want to build a real estate company catering to rural and semi urban people by providing reasonably priced housing options. I believe proper home is one of the basic needs of rural society and since they do not have proper house so they always keep thinking about it and if they will get decent house then they will think other good things like education of there child etc……..
How you intend to do this and how it will benefit rural people?
I did one small calculation, for rural people 200 square feet is a decent house and price of construction is around 200 square feet so total 40 thousand rupees in the construction and since most of the rural people have the land so no need to purchase land. I will provide loan to rural people for arranging 40 thousand rupees just like grameen bank……..or I will tie up with SKS microfinance to provide loan and I will construct house.
What is development according to you?
Development has different meaning in different context. In software development we write the code………but in social development we talk about upliftment of rural society
What can computers do for farmers?
Best example for this is ITC e-chaupal. With computer they got latest news about price of their crop. They got information about best quality seeds. Computer can help them in weather forecasting.
What would be my first step to develop rural people....if I were the PM of India?
I would give special emphasis on construction of roads in every nook and corner of India. I believe most of the problems of rural areas will be solved via extensive road network.
I will strengthen the manufacturing industry in the rural area as continuous source of employment is need of the hour. In relation to agriculture I will try to minimize the dependence on monsoon.
Why Real Estate only other sectors are also good, don’t you think so?
Sir, with due respect to all the sectors I feel my personnel understanding of this sector is much more as compared to other sectors. Over the years I had closely followed the real estate sector as I invest in real estate sector.
What is difference between India and Malaysia?
In Malaysia, the problem of corruption is very less as compared to India and politicians in Malaysia are much educated and progressive in their views. Disparity levels between rich and poor are not too high. But private sector is much stronger in India signifying that Indians are much more hardworking as compared to Malaysians and Indian private sector like Reliance Tatas Bajaj has thrived instead of no conducive policies from government initially.
DID you appear in CAT? IRMA
Sir, I would be lying if I say NO but God made my choice very easy as I did not performed well in CAT and indirectly god was saying listen to your heart and do what you like the most. IRMA should be by choice and not by default.
What were your childhood dreams?
In my childhood I wanted to become either policeman or join Army for different reasons
Reason for becoming Policeman:
When I was growing up Kiran bedi was making lot of good news by virtue of work for Tihar inmates. She got Raman Magasay award also. All this inspired to join Police.
Reason for Joining Army:
Since my mother is in Defense and I spent around 20 years of my life in Delhi Cantt so it was natural inclination towards armed forces. After 12th I even attended SSB interview but destiny had something else stored for me.
Why there is a gap of 1 year after 12th?
After 12th I wanted to get into the DCE and I got mechanical engg but I wanted to do the computer engg.
Would you like to ask any question from us? IRMA
No Sir, Seniors over here had already cleared all my doubts.
If you are to made Prime minister of India for one day then what would you do?
If given the chance to run our country for one day then I would like to implement the 2 party system as in my perspective our democracy is fundamentally strong but multi party system is coming in the way of taking bold decisions. It is really very difficult to run a coalition government. Latest problem was nuclear deal which got scrapped because of opposition of left.
I would give special emphasis on construction of roads in every nook and corner of India. I believe most of the problems of rural areas will be solved via extensive road network.