Jun
29
Posted on 29-06-2014
Filed Under (ART) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Franz, the Dutch concierge in an Amsterdam hotel says he always loves to be outside the main door because Holland is a place to see all the world’s beautiful women. He pontificated that the Netherlands is the only country where within walking distance one can mingle with sex, art and torture paraphernalia. This was a totally new angle for me.

I’ve frequented Holland umpteen times since the end of my teenage years, to muse on Van Gogh or Rembrandt’s hypnotic paintings and of course for work. But Franz’s ideology of enjoying sex-art-torture within walking distance never entered my sphere of reference. Perhaps he’s right. Nowhere in the world would you find near-nude young women gyrate, pout, flirt, pose to expose their sexual prowess so openly for customers and gaping tourists. Walk a bit, you’ll find gay rainbow flags streaming across the streets. Take a few more steps, then Rijksmuseum has the most treasured "The Night Watch" painted by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642 at the height of the Dutch Golden Age. Just behind it is Vincent Willem van Gogh’s somber hued 1885 painting “The Potato Eaters” and dazzling “Sunflowers” painted in 1888. Stroll ahead and the ghastly Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments displays how extremely cruel people can be.

Amidst wonderful old Dutch architecture with beautiful canals is Amsterdam’s world-famous ‘De Wallen’ red light district. Rows of red cubicle-like retail shop windows have scantily clad legal sex workers selling their curvaceous body as wares. In the network of alleys, sex workers rent the hundreds of tiny one-room cabins to practice their trade. Among the famous adult entertainment is a bar and club named after the banana fruit. Here drinks are free but you pay if the girls perform parlour tricks, pole dances, table dances or lap dances. To distinguish the red light district from normal living houses, a pink neon light is always there outside the window. This light sign makes it clear to relevant customers not to disturb others in the neighborhood. Why Franz said the world’s most beautiful women are in his city is because 33% of the sex workers come from countries outside of the European Union. They come because the Government considers their profession to be legal. According to the European Conference on Trafficking in Women, the number of trafficked women from Central and Eastern European Countries in the Netherlands has tripled since 1990.

Amsterdam is also the place for homosexuals worldwide. A profusion of rainbow flags make evident the city’s four distinctive gay districts. Amsterdam’s Gay Pride celebration has street parties, club events and exhibitions where over 350,000 participants and visitors come every year. These thousands of people line the Prinsengracht and Amstel River on the first Saturday of August to watch the world’s only Gay Pride parade on water. Most people would never get to see hundreds of extravagantly costumed homosexuals like this. In bright, eccentric, revealing clothes and accessories using feathers, furs, flashy dust and bling, they make a beautiful procession in colourfully decorated canal boats. Even gay politicians, policemen and others in public professions sail along.

It’s incredible how people in Medieval times enjoyed human torture, obviously with passion otherwise how could they have created such instruments like an interrogation chair full of spikes where the punished was placed naked and pressed? Or a heretic’s fork, the iron cage or a press for the head which are manifested in the museum today? These devices comprised a total humiliation of a prisoner’s self esteem. More than punishment, such barbarism was not professional justice but a weird game that torturers played. Even the public participated, beheadings were conducted in public too.

Then as you walk on you are on torture’s doorstep. Crimes ranging from rape to murder to heresy were punished by torture in the Middle Ages. The Medieval Torture Instruments Museum has a unique collection, recreated by pictures and drawings that graphically demonstrate the dark ages. Torture was legitimate for over 3000 years to punish crimes like adultery, incest and high treason. Social status determined the kind of torture you got. Where a free man was let off with a lashing or imprisonment, a slave was executed for the same offence. Romans used torture on all enemies of the State. Later, Christian emperors of Rome decreed that to insult a priest was punishable by cutting off the criminal’s hands and feet. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV approved the application of torture when the Inquisition questioned heretics. The Roman Catholic church officially prohibited tortures only in 1816.

Alongside the red light and gay community, Rembrandt and Van Gogh, even torture instruments, sleep at night when museums closed. Lively night ambience of this liberal society may not have started only in 20th or 21st century. There has to be some link to past civilization. In the Rijksmuseum which reopened last year after a massive 10-year rebuild, when you watch Rembrandt’s dramatic yet light brush stroke and craftsmanship that portrays the subtle emotion of women, you get a hint that this society sees women’s nudity in different angles too. There’s huge contrast in Van Gogh’s depth of “The Potato Eaters” with chromatic usage of blue to focus on the poor Dutch people of that time, and the opposite, luxurious treatment in the work of Rembrandt who comes from an affluent family.

After watching Amsterdam’s social culture, when you go back to the Dutch presence in India from 1605 to 1825, you wonder how the Dutch saw India in those centuries. Dutch India was never politically significant nor was its trade large, although the Dutch East India Company had settlements and trading posts in what was Dutch Ceylon, Dutch Coromandel, Dutch Malabar, Dutch Bengal and Dutch Suratte. Their inhuman aspect was importing Indian slaves to the Spice Islands and Cape Colony where they exercised authoritarian power.

Does the distance walked along Amsterdam city centre show human society’s most engrossing pastime to be sex, art and torture? The Dutch being among the most liberal have intertwined desire and hate, tying that up with discipline, all within a walking distance.

To download above article in PDF Sex, art, torture

Financial Express link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-sex-art-and-torture/99/

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Jun
22
Posted on 22-06-2014
Filed Under (TRENDS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Brazil, Pele and football comprised the thrilling peaks of my childhood in football crazy Bengal. Gods were evoked in religious ceremonies for Pele to score World Cup goals. Pele played in 4 World Cup tournaments, thrice brought home the Cup for Brazil and became the greatest footballer of all time. Crowding around a news paper we’d noisily egg Pele and Brazil on. Even today, Bengalis behave like the Brazilian team belongs to us.

Catapulting myself to France in 1973, my excitement overflowed because for the first time in my life I would be watching the World Cup on TV in 1974. In Paris, outside my basement room in Cité Universitaire’s Greek House hostel was a black & white TV set in the common room. Watching TV was new and luxurious for me, the World Cup was a bonanza. I didn’t know French yet, would I understand? My intimidation dissolved when as I found myself backslapping Greek students, imitating their swear words Ai gamisou! Malakas! Disappointment: Pele was not playing. Discovery: Franz Beckenbauer carried away the 1974 trophy for Germany.

Colorful football: Digital technology has converted football entertainment from B&W TV images to a plethora of color. USA first introduced colour TV in 1950, France and Germany in 1967. In France the first channel TF1 remained B&W till 1975, so most people watched B&W TV until 1983. World Cup on B&W TV had no real charm like today’s colour. B&W prevented us recognizing the players’ exact jersey colours or different colour flags and ethnic paraphernalia that spectators brought. However, the B&W TV generation will always “own” Pele. Now high definition color TV allows us to watch the match like Pashas, from the comfort of the bed. We scrutinize every detail as football players work hard physically in 90 tension-filled, minutes of full-throttle activity.

We knew football referees as serious, black-outfitted controllers, but World Cup 2014 referees are like colourfully dressed kindergarten students. They carry headphone gadgets, blow whistles, twirl flags, whip up red and yellow cards that don’t look like punishment cards. FIFA may need to change the color of punishment cards because amongst other colors, their seriousness is diminished. The referee sprays an aerosolized foamy substance that provides temporary visual aid on the green grass. He looks to be decorating for Christmas, but actually he’s demarcating for play after a foul, ensuring 9.1 meters mandatory separation during a free kick is kept. From a distance today’s virtual football generation can see the white foam so no player can cheat.

Actually the World Cup has become a creative canvas. Football boots were always black, today they are colourful. Players’ boot kicks look like powerful brush strokes on canvas. Even the ball has become multi-coloured, imitating society’s multi-coloured people and cultures. Player hairstyles, carved with design and colour, their body accessories are trend spots that millions are following. The stretcher carrying wounded players away from the field is orange.

The amazing entry of serious color in football is making me flash back to my entry to the corporate management stage. I’d initially dress soberly in dark suits, a white shirt. One day a woman CEO in Paris remarked that my colorful business proposition does not match my corporate dress. Where was my creative distinction, how were they to instantly know I bring disruptive, leap-frogging solutions? Her words struck me hard. From the artist’s canvas I’d gone into the management arena to bring creativity for my clients’ growth. So the corporate look was actually quite fake for me.

I walked into a crazy garment store called Alainaxel in Paris Rive Gauche Boulevard St Germain-des-Près. My black suit startled the salesman but the shop of colourful men’s merchandize was thrilling for me. From 1980 I totally changed my dress style to off-patterned ties, colourful socks, shoes, even underwear. I’d frequent specialty stores in UK and Europe. Colourful jackets were impossible to find so fit-to-order, Indian jacquard silk jackets completed my look. Now I was truthful to colour in my dress, mind and work. The corporate corridors at first received me in shock. Many distinguished creative persons were homosexual in Western society so those who didn’t know me even labeled me a fag!

Colour is embedded in the digital age, but not India’s tech industry brands that look like pharmaceutical branding. When I created Wipro’s vibrant rainbow flower, employees criticized saying it reminded them of the gay flag in San Francisco’s Castro Street. Chairman Azim Premji heard everyone, then said with a smile at an official function, "You may not like it, but you will never forget it." Wipro is among the first IT companies to have a bold colourful identity aligned to the digi-tech industry.

Digital technology has brought huge, engrossing proximity to football spectators, while reducing effort and increasing comfort for judgment in the playground. For players, physical struggle has increased. Digi-tech’s become a miserable digital trap to catch their slightest defect which is replayed, analysed and judged by millions worldwide, before facing FIFA decision consequences. Players could not even enjoy the Holland-Spain match where transvestites were revealing big silicon breasts from the stadium in Brazil.

Incredibly colourful World Cup football proves that color has universal attraction. Actually B&W images are quite unnatural, everything’s colorful in the planet. This color revolution, from stadium to field, makes it clear that tomorrow’s tilt is towards colour that gives us energy, peppers our imagination and fantasy. Digi-tech with colour is changing human behavior, taking it to a socially connected platform that didn’t exist earlier. Color has diametrically changed football from being military style to cheeky style.

My colour spirit and colourful clothes have remained consistent since 1980. Now vibrantly hued World Cup football players are entertaining us artistically and energetically. Society is ridding itself of boring monotony, there’s colour now in activities like sports, education, love and affection, business, music and drama among others. Vive la couleur de la vie! (long live colour of life!)

To download above article in PDF Colouring football

Financial Express link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-colouring-football/99/

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Jun
15
Posted on 15-06-2014
Filed Under (BUSINESS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Planning the day’s activities is quite unlike structuring the need of each of your working hours. The difference is between allocating time, and constructively absorbing objectives to efficiently channelize resources for arriving at the solution.

In most enterprises a plethora of information is gathered through digital technology, and outlandish ideas emerge. Competitors have access to the same data collected from the same sources, so its uniqueness is limited. How can you bring focus when they are bombarded with layer after cloudy layer of generic information? The magnitude of data can overshadow or subvert the objective of catering to market needs. We may believe that exhaustive data will take us forward, but it actually deters our ability to effectively filter inputs. And we lose sight of the specific target.

The mind can work efficiently if our needs are structured and parked step by step in the traffic jam in our mindspace. When a need is mentally structured in different steps, pertinent information can be stored in each virtual step for retrieval at the right time. This applies at the individual level too. Unless we prioritize the bull’s eye, we only see plenty of bulls, not the eye.

Structuring the need when prospecting for business: Suppose you are on a mission to scout for a business opportunity in a foreign country. If you take the fast, easy route of collecting data on the country and your area of business, you could be considered a business tourist. Alternatively, you can choose to see the market differently. You can ask questions like what people in different socio-cultural contexts eat for breakfast here; what’s the social relationship between men and women in general; what comprises the zones of stress, or of being carefree.

The start of FIFA World Cup 2014 in Sao Paulo reminded me of my visit to another football obsessed country, Argentina, a few years ago. On TV nowadays, along with the World Cup matches, all channels are featuring stories on how various poor sections of Brazilians are missing out on the Games. As the tickets are extremely expensive for them, only the country’s rich and foreign fans are enjoying the live football. In the city clean-up operation on the eve of the games, even 22,000 food stall owners on Sao Paulo’s streets lost their trade. Only 600 vendors have been licensed to sell wares in front of the brand new, massive and beautiful football stadia hosting the games. Perhaps the Brazilian government did not take enough precaution to structure the need of catering to the sentiments and economic requirements of the local population. The result is controversies, protests and riots they are having to manage along with ensuring smooth flow of this prestigious international event.

A client from France had sent me to Buenos Aires to strategize, with the local team, on an everyday essential snacking product called criollitas. Considered Argentina’s staple accompaniment, this was invented by a Bostonian called Melville Bagley 170 years ago. Observing football fanaticism everywhere, I one day dragged my client to see the much awaited Bocca vs River Plate match. To absorb the football ground climate among spectator, I obliged my companions to go outside the stadium at half time to absorb what was happening there. This was my real learning of Argentina than any other research I did for my client. The football fervor on the streets, among young and old alike, was indeed amazing. Hard pressed to find a link of the old FMCG brand I was working on with the new generation, I turned to understand how to structure the need of these football enthusiasts, mostly living in slums, to what the brand had to propose to them. Analyzing the socio-psycho and historical context of this specific subject gave us insights into its meaning and inherent uniqueness. Peppered with health and energy, the snacking product which was losing the market share from this experience we have revitalized the product taste by focusing on its platform “link of generation” that met the needs of its consumers. The brand has since performed exceedingly well in the market.

Need of the hour in India’s retail industry: India’s organized retail sector, estimated at $500 billion, contributes about 15% of the country’s GDP. There’s a wait-and-watch situation as the FDI in multi-brand retailing policy will change. Currently after 20 years, organized retailers of hypermarkets and supermarket have only 4% of the business is located in costly metros and urban and most make no profit. It’s obvious the retails have not structured their need, nor aligned with the retail requirement of 4 musts, catchment excellence, outstanding sourcing according to locality requirement, creating merchandize theatrics to increase shopper footfall and increase the number of bills and bill size; in sum, what I buy and how I sell. Repeat purchase is the most important factor in the retail industry. To get that you have to mentally live with consumers, seek them out to find your success and look at in every shopper touch point, how you structure your delivery to respond to shoppers need.

Outsourcing a service: Structuring the need of outsourcing a service depends on the quality of human intelligence in the sourcing function in any enterprise. A company may need to outsource certain services to reduce responsibility of directly managing extra manpower in their organization. But mere focus on cost reduction will not encourage your outsourcing partners to upgrade. You have to structure your need to responsibly engage with them to meet the quality that your customer wants (QCW). If they are not educated they won’t understand the value of your need and your customers’ need, so they deliver you a transactional job because they have not been called for alignment of your organization culture. You can then extract diligent and knowledge based service. If you consider your outsourcing partner to be a mere supplier, you can never upgrade your own value chain.

Actually I got this idea of structuring the need from my long association with Jacques Vincent. As COO and Vice Chairman of Danone, he used to set up meetings with me every 2 months and make me recount diverse societal factors freewheeling into multiple directions while keeping his business in mind. It’s amazing that if I’ve spoken of 10 things, within 3-5 years he’d implement at least 8 points. Once on a plane journey from Paris to Mumbai I asked about how he deploys his business learning. He said he never interferes during my narration but takes notes. Yes I often watched him create a graphic my discussion points in his notebook. When I queried what that was, he simply replied “je structurer la demande” meaning “I structure my need.” It’s funny how I would give him insights but he trained me on how to structure the need.

To download above article in PDF Structuring your need

Financial Express link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-structuring-your-need/99/

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Jun
08
Posted on 08-06-2014
Filed Under (POLITICS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

An 86-year-old Englishman sitting adjacent to me on our flight to London last week, turned to me and said, “You are lucky you can travel with me today.” Seeing the perplexed expression on my face he hurriedly elaborated, “In my younger days when I was living in Calcutta, you could never have done this, I would never have had occasion to meet you.”

Conversing with Paul Winslow on that flight opened up a whole new angle of our colonial past. “I’m not a racist, but racism was ingrained as a natural element in the colonizer’s mind,” he openly declared, “It’s our colonial baggage.” He wistfully spoke about Calcutta then; the city was more British and a familiar home to him, much more than any city in England has been for him since. “Through the second World War years we were safe here. I could never believe we will not permanently stay in India.” He was 19 when they left Kolkata in 1947.

Paul’s father was working in a British multinational bank established in Kolkata, India’s most active port due to the prolific British Empire trade the East India Company carried out. He was a covenanted employee, meaning an Englishmen of a certain class who would come from England on contract to occupy a senior position and who was provided accommodation in a British community. Such colonies all over India hired hundreds of Indian servants to keep the parks and lawns free from weeds. These clubs had amenities for playing polo, tennis, golf and other games, Anglo-Indians and Indians were certainly not allowed in, and English women were barred from entering the bar and smoking room.

The senior expatriates were given large bungalows with expansive gardens in cantonments for those who came to join military service. Civil Lines were for important government officers and others who occupied positions critical to British domination of the country. Individual British families were served by Indian domestic help over whom they always maintained a social distance and superior attitude as was normal and customary then. So in his social interactions, Paul never did deal with brown-skinned people because Indians were barred from places he would frequent such as social clubs. Even during his travels he’d use the compartments reserved for Anglo-Saxons only, so his exposure to the real India was minimal. He spoke about it all to me in a very candid way, not to provoke me in any way, just to explain how he lived.

A ticket to revisit India after 67 years was a birthday gift his son gave Paul. He was shocked to experience the non-British Kolkata so full of so many people he could never have imagined before. Clubs he’d swung many a tennis stroke in were no longer an Englishman’s preserve, but totally changed. His fond memories became farfetched, only physical British structures like Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Monument and the High Court were glaringly reminiscent. The beautiful Hoogly riverbank he’d enjoyed walking along with his Scottish mother was unrecognizable. The city had become like the English cities he avoids nowadays because they are so full of immigrants. Even in his little village in the historic county of Yorkshire with Celtic traditions, “People are talking Russian on the streets, Portugese in the pubs, the plumber you summon speaks Polish, farmhands look to be of Asian or African origin, and shops are selling foreign foods like black bread, samosas, pickled cucumbers or vodka,” he said. Then twirling his white, Dali-like moustache, he continued, “Mind you I’m not racist, but when you are culturally disturbed it seems like racism. I have a hard time identifying multi-cultural London as being part of my own country.”

Immigration seems to have become a concern for local inhabitants like Paul who speak in terms of losing national identity. The European Union free movement laws are allowing East European migrants to legally flood into the UK. They comprise over 700,000 today, even as further immigration from European Union countries continues unabated. Because the welfare system is so generous, Britain is becoming the most overcrowded nation in Europe. It is estimated that by 2015, Britain’s population density will be twice that of Germany, and four times that of France.

In addition about 3 million Asians comprise almost 5% of the population, half of whom are Indians, others from Pakistan, Bangladesh and from African countries too. “I find Indians are softer and more disciplined in India than in England,” Paul said, playfully adding, “Of course it’s possible that because roads and things are so terrifically undisciplined in India that it all goes unnoticed!” When local residents feel like aliens in their own homes, ethnic minorities will face different challenges as cultures will always clash, believed Paul. The British Ministry of Internal Affairs has a historically high record of over half a million unaddressed cases related to immigrants. It seems it will take at least 37 years to process them. Studies show that white skinned people have a better chance of employment. Unemployment rates among black Africans is 27%, Bangladeshis 24%, Indians only 12% as most of them hold University degrees, while only 8% of the white population is unemployed.

“When my grandchildren have birthday parties I feel amazed and lost seeing all the coloured faces of their friends,” he said. “Earlier people would come to England to learn English culture and way of living. Now we have to adjust and be sensitive to the ways of the immigrants and learn from them in our own land.” When I rebutted that we in India had to learn the English culture and language which was not our own, he quickly replied, “But you had no choice! Don’t forget we were the rulers!” Then with a twinkle in his eye he smiled, “But India will always thank us for that pressure we gave you of learning English. You are global citizens now, your country’s newspapers write impeccable English!” .

To download above article in PDF Colonial baggage

Financial Express link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-colonial-baggage/99/

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Jun
01
Posted on 01-06-2014
Filed Under (BUSINESS) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Every milkman mixes water in the pure milk the good cow gives. This anecdotal example sets the ambiguous doubt-confidence paradox we live under. Confident about the milk’s source and quality, we habitually doubt the milkman’s integrity. As we cannot do without this intermediary function, we accept the inescapable delivery of tainted milk. There’s a French proverb, “On fait des affaires dans la confiance, pas dans la méfiance” meaning business is done in confidence, not in doubt. In India, these diametrically opposed contradictions are married in our minds.

Social context: Historically, from being subjects under a variety of Hindu dynasties, followed by the Sultan-Mughal Raj to British Raj to License Raj and now the liberalized economy, many fractions have ripped open our social fibre. One can say doubts have captured more space in our minds than confidence has. Is it our cultural heritage in India that we love the divergent mixture of salt, sugar and pepper (as I wrote earlier http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-salt-sugar-pepper-politics/99/) like no other culture relishes it? Or is tackling ambiguity a skill we picked up for survival, up to and including colonial times, when we had to always face and effectively handle the incongruous, divergent social and political elements that were at odds with one another?

An arranged marriage is full of doubtful factors. The couple that barely knows each other suddenly goes to bed after socially accepted religious rituals. From various research with women on different subjects, I’ve gathered that they experience profound anxiety in spite of their parents confidently assuring them that the two families are highly compatible by culture.  Inside the joint family system, each and every person lives to doubt the other (as you saw in my column http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-family-jhanjat-mess/99/). Even in the contemporary trend of ZAP generation girls and boys sharing total freedom, there’s grave doubt about what will happen if they marry. Doubt is constant about the breaking down of marriages within a year or two, although the couple may previously have lived together for many years. Actually, high divorce rates among working couples is a global phenomenon that arises from economic development. When European wives started working from the new 1970s consuming age, more infidelity happened on both sides, leading to marriage break-ups. With urbanisation, more disposable incomes and better living standards in India, the scope of doubt is increasing.

Even in consumer interactions I’ve heard that consumers buy branded yoghurt fresh every day, like milk. That’s because they doubt the retailer, believing he switches off the power at night so the refrigerated yoghurt that’s best before two weeks, takes a beating. 

Political perspective: The heady sweet-and-salt lassi shake is like the ambiguity of doubt and confidence in Indian politics. Before our 2014 Parliamentary election results, so many people declared they voted saffron for lack of confidence in the dynasty. So the current ruling party has to assuage and raise the confidence level of voters who did not proactively choose them.  The biggest post election doubt is that the opposition learnt no lesson from dynasty party’s overall defeat and has, as yet, limited confidence to select a non-dynasty leader.

On the other hand, saffron will face continuous opposition attack on doubts raised over previous actions and the competence and vision of cabinet members other than the leader people confidently voted in. The masses generally have no expectation from political powers-that-be. So the new government has been marked with the diametrical doubt-confidence ambiguity from 26 May 2014 itself.

Business environment: Indian proprietorship companies are bold enough to act and focus on delivery. But do those MBA schools that teach family business management give any relevant lesson? What’s largely taught is multi-national corporation culture theory emphasizing on processes and operational issues including presentation skills. In Deming’s model of Plan-Do-Check-Act, MNCs want Plan-Check-Act, while Indian proprietors want Do, that’s action with results.

The management style of Indian proprietor-run companies can be quite mystifying to MBA managers. The characteristics and attitudes of promoter companies can differ vastly, such as: (1) Very feudal managing style, (2) Active sharing of responsibility by the owners and professionals, (3) Boardroom leadership by the owner with the company being run by professional senior management, (4) Appointing a few advisors who closely shadow the operational leaders, (5) Interference in the business by the whole family.

So MBA managers often have no clue on how to handle Indian proprietors who demand and reward tangible decisive action and shareholder value delivery. Promoters are generally focused on cash inflows and outflows instead of working on complicated internal rate of return or investment to grow markets. We can learn the excellence of entrepreneurship from them. However, if there’s vulnerability in the proprietor’s confidence level with the senior management, it impacts every employee layer across the company, who merely try to satisfy the proprietor. If the proprietor is averse to taking risks, and frequently changes company priorities in seeking short term gains, the management team can face the danger of being shuffled. Long-term survivors in these companies may not necessarily be in the mainstream but are functional operators who serve some flexible agenda of the promoter.

Sustaining business happens with confidence, never with doubt.  How many things can a contract specify if there’s no moral and mutual assurance of confidence between employees and employers, partners and vendors? There’s need to close this basic gap and document the culture of an enterprise.  Abolishing the handicap of doubt and demonstrating confidence can really take the company far. Using digital technology, the company’s culture and activities, from the strategic to operational levels, can be mapped as gates where doubt is examined and erased to open the culture of confidence.  War Room is great for challenging and redefining the business model but not with doubt, but with confidence.

With the transparency of digital technology, it’s now time to increase the confidence level as high as possible in every aspect in our society. We may all collectively need to work on how kill doubt to move forward for a better future of the country.

To download above article in PDF Doubt and confidence

Financial Express link:http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-the-discomfort-zone-doubt-and-confidence/99/

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