Friday, September 10, 2010

Jihad against ‘Jugad’ and ‘Chalta Hain’

'Emotional Empathy' and 'Pecuniary Gain' are two potent forces to get the work done and achieve something in India. But it's not necessary to use these forces in absolute manner. Very often, a ' promise or assurance ' is good enough to get the work kick-started. Mutual expectations are never spelt out in the beginning nor work accomplishment schedule. All that is agreed is a overwhelming desire to help each other in the spirit of friendship or 'dostana 'As things stutter, as they often do after initial euphoria, both parties deviate from their assurances but maintain sketchy friendship enough to throw respective names for future transactions with prospective clients. With this scenario pervading all over, it has opened new careers that few management graduates may have envisaged. Breed of consultants, PR managers, Fixers galore and shine as the desperation sets in to match deadlines of projected activities.
I am experiencing the above scenario as we battle one of our ambitious projects in India. My friend Subba Iyer in his blog talks about two words ' Jugad' and ' Chalta Hain'. First one, pertains to an ability to work out a workable solution within a stipulated time frame , by employing methods that may or may not fall in acceptable norms and the solution often not be tenable in long term but would look good cosmetically, superficially or in short term. Second one ' Chalta Hain’. It is an attitude to accept and approve the final solution that ' Jugad' has come out with. He talks about some people who feel that ' Jugad' is an art and an ability to come with novel solution from resource constraint. I feel these two words have strengths to demolish the character of a company by attacking two of her basic foundations of existence - Quality and Durability. Be it a product, process or people - 'Jugad' and 'Chalta Hain' corrodes, disintegrates and demolishes everything within and around the company.
I am scrupulously shunning the practice of these two words within our organization. It does require a change of mindset and when it involves hundreds of human beings with disparate background, culture, it appears an indomitable task.

Homi Sethna - one of the pioneer of Atomic Power of India passed away. Times of India article in his obituary says ' Those who worked with Sethna recall that he was a taskmaster, an extreme disciplinarian and a stickler for cleanliness who could be extremely brusque at times ' I had read the similar traits about Dhirubhai Ambani , narrated by his project manager.

If I need to get rid of ' Jugad' and ' Chalta Hain', I must espouse these traits of Late Homi Sethana and this means transforming my inner core. Another challenge to conquer!

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