Tag Archives: Showroom

Prayer at Work

Every organization that manages to survive for at least 10 years has, I think, at least one good practice that it can proudly boast of as its ‘Best Practice.’

But how do you define a best practice? I can already imagine you asking this. Well, my idea of a best practice is a positive activity that is so deeply ingrained into an organization’s culture that it seems to happen almost automatically, requiring no supervision or intervention to keep it going.

In my current place of work, for instance, we begin our day at 10 AM by standing together in a common hall for a short prayer session. Lata Mangeshkar’s song ‘E Malik Tere Bande Hum…’ is played on the music system and all we have to do is stand with folded hands and hum along. As soon as the song ends, the music system is switched off and the hall reverberates with everyone saying ‘Om’ thrice, loudly and clearly.

The lyrics of the song have universal appeal as they are devoid of any references to any religion or prophet. This is important as India is a diverse country and organisations cannot afford to indulge in activities that isolate individuals.

I look at this daily prayer session as a best practice because

1. This practice is so wonderfully simple and deceptively easy to follow that it seems to happen daily almost automatically, which is, I think, a great thing, considering the fact that every other process requires a strong driving force. Without that force, everything falls flat and things fall apart.

2. It helps employees in starting work with positive vibes towards each other.

3. It inculcates a sense of humility and unity under all circumstances as everyone, including senior management, participates in it.

My organization is, I think, the only car dealership in Delhi NCR that follows this practice.

I recently read an article in LinkedIn about an organization where people have a short dance session before hitting work. Isn’t that wonderful? A great way of staying fit too.

Do comment, dear readers, and let me know about the best practices followed in your ieganization

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Last Day In Last Office

 

Today, as my eyes rove around in my new office, I smile as I think of my last day in my previous office last week where I served for about 2-1/2 years…

I was in a very tumultuous mood that day. Waves of bitterness and feelings of disappointment kept swamping over me, threatening to drown me into their abyss. I had to take great pains to ensure that that I didn’t utter a single bitter word and my eyes didn’t fill with tears because in corporate circles it’s very important to leave with a good note.  I wanted to walk out on my last day with a smile on my face and my head held high.

I was lucky that day. A colleague had brought Eid sweets for everyone in the office. When he learnt that I was not going to come to office from next day onwards, he gave me extra helpings of the seviyan. I felt really good. The sweetness of the sweets neutralized the bitterness that kept hitting my tongue and gave me a feeling of being sent off with a warm farewell. If I will remember anyone from that office for a very long time, it will be this person who fed me with Eid sweets on my last day…

While I was walking out, I observed that special preparations were going on for an upcoming event in the showroom. The floor near the exit door was being decorated with rangolis of Marigold flowers. I clicked several pics of these rangoli patterns as I walked past them. I told myself that it was God’s way of making me feel like a movie star and making my exit a glamorous one as in films…

Here are some more pics…

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—Jasbir Chatterjee

13 July 2016

A Poet’s Day Out as a Corporate Professional

Here in India, automobile industry is like a constantly changing kaleidoscope. It is evolving very fast and with improving living standards, customers’ expectations are also changing very rapidly.  These days, irrespective of the segment type, it is hard to imagine an authorized car dealer’s front office in Delhi without an AC. In showrooms too, customers now have a better say because of strong competition. In all Honda cars showrooms, the concept of process time chart for all sales processes is constantly drummed into all sales staff, e.g., every complaint must be closed within 48 hours after generation, a new car must be delivered within 90 minutes of customer’s arrival, so on and so forth.

A few years ago, when there were just a handful of players, dealer staff and dealer principals generally had a laid-back attitude and had a habit of sweeping minor issues under the carpet till they became major problems; the scenario has changed completely now. The manufacturers themselves are under great pressure from competing brands. The customers too are more aware in general about their rights and often resort to social networking sites for redressal of their grievances. As they say in automobile parlance, “Delight factors of yesterday have become hygiene factors of today.”

So when your job profile out here in the automobile industry involves dealing with people, you need to be on your toes all the time and you need to keep innovating. You just can’t afford to rest on your laurels.

Last week, when I was nominated by my company for a training program for the front-line staff, I felt excited. It wasn’t really because of the training program itself. Training programs are, in fact, generally very boring  and it takes an exceptionally good trainer to keep everyone interested. In any case, I am now a senior manager and I have already attended and conducted lots of training programs of this kind in the past myself. I was thrilled because after a long time, I was getting a chance to let in some fresh air into my life, a chance to see new places and meet new people, a welcome change from the daily routine.

On the D-day, 5 May 2015, I started from home much earlier than my usual routine, around 7:30 AM as I had to go far. I did not want to reach late and create a bad impression.. I walked to the Uttam Nagar East Metro Station and took the Blue line metro train to Mandi House. The office rush had still not begun yet and I got a seat easily. Good start, I thought. As soon as I sat down, I took out Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things.’ I had read this book way back in 1999 and now when I began reading it again, it felt like I was reading it for the first time.

After reaching Mandi House, I changed over to the Violet Line metro which goes to Badarpur. I finally reached Tughlakabad station. at around 9:15 AM, well in time. I took a rickshaw from there. As we trundled across the dusty road and reached the final crossing, I was struck by the majestic beauty of the different flowers and trees that I came across. They seemed to glow and sparkle under the strong, glaring sunlight of the summer sun. I made a mental note of remembering to take their pics on my way back.  These are given below. You may not find them clear enough. If yes, I can only say in my defense that I caught the photography bug about 2 months ago and I am still learning.

Way to the training Venue

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Flowers & Trees of ICC…

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We had to wait for more than 1 hour since a few of the participants were coming from places as far as Jammu. While we waited, I decided to pass my time doodling on my note pad. I was pleasantly surprised to see what I came up with. I always thought I was very bad at drawing. Here is the pic.

Doodle pic…

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At the beginning itself, our Trainer Dhirendra, DS for short, clarified quite candidly that this training was related to basics and we would most probably find it boring. But he would try his best to make it lively and we also need to participate actively as it would help us in ensuring that our dealership service levels improve in future.

Here are some more pics from the training room…

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Trainer Dhirendra, D.S. for short, at the end of training

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The program ended on time as per schedule.

On my way back, one more thing I found striking was the constantly rotating Mercedes Benz Logo on the T&T Motors showroom. The orange and red of the Gul Mohur flowers seemed to add a special touch of glamour to the showroom. Why hadn’t I noticed all this when I had come to this showroom last year for an interview? I asked myself this question as I gazed admiringly at the rotating star in front of me.  The setting sun seemed to cast a beautiful halo around the showroom. Is it a sign of things to come? I really don’t know. Their competitors Audi & BMW are already forging ahead.  See these pics below.

Merc. Logo on T&T Motors Showroom, Mathura Road..

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Finally, when I was on my way home, I felt good. “Customer Connect” seemed to be worth it. Its most memorable message, I think, was at the end of one of the videos showed to us during the session: Words are like dams. They have huge power. If you use them properly, you would be amazed to see the results.

That’s what we poets do. Play with words…

Well, as the cliche’ goes, all is well that ends well.