Tag Archives: Cars

Changing Times

Way back in the late 80s, when we came to live in this neighbourhood in Vikaspuri in West Delhi, there used to be rows of green patches of trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers outside each house at ground level. Only one or two houses like ours had an additional floor.

With increasing affluence and expanding families, however, additional floors with internal parking spaces for accommodation of private vehicles were added to these houses. The green patches soon turned into concretized spaces occupied by more cars. You may wonder how these public spaces got concretized. Well, in its zeal to lay down new water pipelines, the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), a Government agency, accomplished this objective after indiscriminately clearing up all the greenery. Very much like a juggernaut. The same agency distributes free tree saplings these days. But where is the space to plant them?

Those of us who love greenery are now compelled to indulge in our passion by growing trees, flowers, vegetables, and Tulsi plants in flower pots on our balconies and terraces.

If you look again at the pic on the top clicked from my balcony with flowers and a karela (bitter gourd) jutting out, you will notice how the rows of plants stoically watch the rows of cars below them ocupying the spaces that once upon a happy time were theirs…

But things are changing again. Parking facilities and roads are insufficient. Come November 2019 and odd-even rule will be in full force. Owning a vehicle is, in fact, a big hassle these days and moving around in a Metro train or an Ola or Uber cab makes better sense.

Well, who knows, what the future holds. We can only hope that the green patches return where they were earlier without subjecting the Indian automobile industry to the kind of extreme stress that it is reeling under at present.

Or perhaps, the concrete road will remain and people will keep buying cars; but there will be a hydroponic farm on every terrace…☺️

The Great Indian Jugaad

If you can’t afford a BMW car, you can always use a DMW!

For those of you unfamiliar with the meaning of the word, ‘Jugaad,’ it means an innovative use of existing resources in a creative manner, as you can see here in this pic clicked at a bus/auto stand…



Cars & Flowers

My last 13 years’ work experience has been in the automobile industry only with different car dealerships. That’s a pretty long time, isn’t it?

During this period, I got the chance to work with various brands, viz, Ford, Honda, Skoda, BMW, Audi, and Porsche.

Today, as I look back, I feel that although each brand is trying hard to fight competition by trying to stand out in the crowd, BMW is the only one that has managed to achieve this aim through its strong association with an object that reflects the same qualities that it represents, luxury, refinement, elegance, dignity, and beauty: a jar of white orchids.

Whether you visit a dealership or you go to a BMW office, you will always find these jars strategically placed at all the external touch points.

Here is a pic that I clicked last week…

A beauty indeed! I love it because everytime I look at it, I feel a strange kind of calmness and spiritual joy descending on my soul…The same transformation probabably happens to customers too. That’s important when you are constantly dealing with irate customers. It helps when everyone is cool and relaxed.

My Humble Beginning…In Harpreet Ford…

A few days ago, while cleaning out my almirah, I came across this old pic. It’s about 15 years old, I think, clicked around the beginning of the 21st century. It made me feel very nostalgic.


If you look closely, you will find me right in the center, just next to Mr. Soundar Rajan (Service Manager), the only one wearing a tie. Almost the entire team of Harpreet Ford, Vasant Kunj branch, is here. This includes Customer Relations (Asha Shrivastav, Shobha Pathak, Sumit Kapoor, me as Manager – Customer Relations), Parts Department (Mr. Dubey & Subhash), Front Office Manager (Mr. Ashok Verma), Accounts (Mehtab and Sati Mam), IT (Manoj), Floor In-charge (Akhtar), Bodyshop Advisor, Service Advisors (Arvind, Sadiq), Pantry Person (Santosh), EDP Assistant (Pradeep), and Technicians.

It was through Harpreet Ford that I  got the chance to join the fast growing Automobile Industry. I attribute  whatever I am today to this organization.

My special thanks go to Rajan Sir (Mr. Soundar Rajan). I think the whole team will always remain indebted to him for all the knowledge and inspiration he gave us even after we had all moved on. He strongly believed that the best way to lead is through personal example. That’s why we all remember him for what he always stood up for, honesty, perseverance, hard work, courtesy, and most important, proper grooming because customer interaction is all about making the best first impressions.

I still recall some of his favorite lines that he often repeated during meetings.

  1. “Be punctual. Come on time, work hard as per processes and systems, and go on time.” Being a family man himself, he disliked making people work beyond normal working hours. This was what made him so popular.
  2. “A dealership can succeed only if its 3 ps are proper: people, process, and place (infrastructure). No dealer is perfect in reality and some of these Ps are always deficient. That is what our struggle is all about.”
  3. “An organization will be successful only if right people are placed at right places at the right time.”

In around 2008, this workshop caught massive fire. Thank God, no one was hurt. It was subsequently shifted to Okhla, where it stands now.

It was through Rajan Sir’s recommendation that I got a second chance to work in his team. This time, it was with the BMW cars Dealer Bird Automotive in Gurgaon; he was General Manager – After Sales and I was Senior Manager – Customer Relations. My stint in Bird turned out to be a great learning experience and it also helped me get a strong foothold in the Premium Segment of the Automobile Industry.

Although we work in different organizations at present, I still think of Rajan Sir when I face tough challenges at work related to team management and achievement of organizational goals and objectives. I ask myself how he would have handled them if he had to face them. I still  recall how he used to get the whole team together for frequent meetings and motivate us to achieve great results. We were always a winning team. His overall bearing always exuded a tremendous amount of self-confidence and he always spoke with a strong conviction in his beliefs. These are the qualities that I tried to imbibe during my interaction with him and I attribute my achievements till date to this.

A close family member once told me that a good manager can’t always be a good human being. But from whatever I know of his personal life as a family man, Rajan Sir is, I think, an exception to this rule. Not only is he an excellent manager, he is also a great human being. In retrospect, I feel now that being a good human being is the most important thing because everything else, success, joy, fame, money, follows from this premise.

Wherever you all are, dear Friends and ex-colleagues, Sumit, Asha, Shobha, and Rajan Sir, I wish you all the very best in life!