CAREER


Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 05 August 2022
After T (the terminator) left, a new general manager (GM) arrived – David Moore. He was the total antithesis of T—short, thin, thick blond hair, no glasses and a mousy countenance. Rumour had it that the managing director (MD) had selected him because he had hated having a domineering GM who...

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If there is one problem that is common to the whole world, it is that the number of listeners is dwindling. Most of us rush to comment, voice an opinion and criticise. Few have the patience to wait and listen. And this applies particularly to newcomers in corporate organisations.    A...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 22 July 2022
I am sure you have heard of Mr AK. He is famous, or should I say, infamous. He left a huge packet of bad debts with banks in India and absconded to the UK, where he continues to live in his normal billionaire style, while fending off extradition attempts by the government of...

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Many people want to be leaders; very few want to be, and continue to be, followers. But there is a great need to have a few leaders and to have many good followers. There are many books written, and training sessions held, on leadership. A training session on followership is a...

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As I keep reading the reports on K in every newspaper, wondering which political party in India he will now help, I also keep thinking about how luck helps many of us, good luck and, sometimes, bad. It is one of those things.    In the rough and tumble of corporate life, many things...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 24 June 2022
A few months after taking charge of credit for Pakistan, I was told to tour Pakistan in order to get a first-hand feel of the country.   This was in the mid-1990s when relations between India and Pakistan were not quite cordial but not openly hostile either. Being an Indian, I was...

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The ability to be discreet, to build trust in yourself and, through you, in the organisation; to keep your word and, therefore, to build credibility - can make big demands on a manager. Is it possible always, to be honest? Is there sufficient room for grey areas—through which one can...

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As the battered ed-tech platforms enter the physical tuition centre space, knives are out and the traditional coaching institutes have threatened their teachers leaving the institutes.   As schools and colleges reopen, leading ed-tech platforms like Unacademy, BYJU's, Vedantu and the...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 10 June 2022
At the height of the economic crisis in India in the early 1990s, I left the country to join a bank in Dubai. Early on, I found out how the personnel (now called human resources-HR) department works there.   HR departments in banks in the Middle East were headed by nationals,...

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Why is middle management the lost tribe?    Often, when I look at middle management (MM) in the corporate world, I am inclined to describe it as the ‘lost tribe’ of biblical times. They are caught between running with the fox and chasing with the hound. It is a group which is caught...

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Labour unions used to be a major thorn in the side of corporate managers in India, along with the demons of inspector-raj, goonda-raj, and income tax (I-T)-raj.   Having grown up in Kolkata in the 1950s and 1960s, I had seen what unions could do when they grew nasty. My uncle had been...

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Does the game change?   An article of a 1,000 words is too small to explain the significant challenges that one faces in a digital world. That is why my colleague (Brian Almeida) and I wrote a book titled Marketing in a Data/ Digital World (available on Amazon). This was a book...

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I reached office at 8.30 one morning to find my head peon waiting for me at the door. This was most unusual, because he was not on duty until 10.30. Besides, he had a very worried look.   “Bahut gadbad ho gaya, Saab” (a big mess has happened, Sir) he said and told me the...

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About ten years ago, V Subbiah, the presiding head of a well-respected business family in south India, which has been in business for the last 150 years, spoke to the media. He had worked out a transition from 'family managed' to 'professionally managed' administration for all the companies...

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After post-Covid tremors at Unacademy and BYJU's-owned WhiteHat Jr, it is now the turn of another edtech major Vedantu which is laying off nearly 200 employees, as the heat grows on the edtech industry that is struggling to sustain their business model amid the "hybrid normal".   In a...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 29 April 2022
Every bank had several unions, generally one or two major ones. Bank management did not want any battles with the unions. Hence, bank managers had to ‘manage’ the unions and not create any issues.   If you were a manager, every action of yours that even remotely affected the staff...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 23 April 2022
Does one have to be unpleasant, and appear brusque, in order to save time? This is a question we have to ask many times in our personal encounters. Often you are only guilty of being firm - and are guarding that most precious and un-storable resource – TIME!   Some years ago, I was...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 16 April 2022
Ramesh was the senior-most officer in the branch where I was operations manager, 40 years in service and counting.     His childhood ambition was to join the army, but (un)luckily his colour blindness was spotted in the medical examination and he was rejected. His uncle got him a...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 09 April 2022
Courtesy and grace are not only seen through what is said and written, but also in the way the manager carries himself, carries his position, and resists the temptation to flaunt his perquisites— especially in the company of those who have not been as lucky to garner such...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 01 April 2022
Himmat Singh had been a pahalwan (wrestler) in his youth, and even now nobody could beat him at panja (one arm wrestling). His 6 foot plus frame, 42-inch chest and walrus moustache lent credence to his claim to fame as a strongman.   Himmat-ji was the king of the nether world, in more...

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