Friday, September 19, 2008


I reached Madras, now Chennai, early morning of 8th February 1970. Next day I had to join IOC as Sales Officer (Under Training). This was my first visit to Chennai. After having lived in Bombay, now Mumbai, Chennai seemed a quiet place.

I just had Rs.150 and 20 days ahead for getting paid by the organization, I was yet to join. Bombay had hardened me, as I had to lead a very frugal life. It was a struggle for me all throughout my 5 years in Bombay.

I had very few things that I possessed—three trousers, four shirts, a pair of shoes and two ties—in a steel trunk. Of the 150/ that I had, I paid Rs.50/- for a room in a small lodge as advance for a month.

Twenty of us joined on 9th Feb.1970. We reported to Sri T.B.Jayaraman, assistant manager training. He was a very talkative person, but not a good listener. The common perception is that a training manager should be a talker. He was true to this perception. About 6 or seven of the trainees were staying in a small hotel in flower bazaar off poonamalli high road. I went along with them, saw the place, liked it and decided to shift. Rental was Rs.100 for a month. The place was not far from the TVS, and our office was right opposite TVS. Minimum fare of taxi was 60 paise and for our distance it was Re.1.50 or thereabout. Three of us used to share.

Some among the group used to laugh at my steel trunk. They looked and behaved they were from financially very well to do families. Some of them were. There were three discharged emergency commissioned officers. I told them they would have laughed at gandhiji too. That put them in their place. Those were the days gandhiji was still “alive”.
Do we need a cultural revolution to bring back Gandhiji? “Even if Gautham Budha knocks on your door, are you going to receive him or just make a laughing stock of him?”
We fail to recognize Buddha many a time in our lives. We expect him to be exactly like the statues of him we see.
Coming from Bombay, chennai looked a better-organized city. It was more like an enlarged town. Life was at a much slower pace. A meal in Dasaprakash was Rs.3/-. Buhari’s was a popular non-veg, restaurant. Half tandoori chicken with roti cost just Rs.5/. We went there regularly. The biggest shopping center was Ratan bazaar, though there were cluster of shops around Anna statue, Gemini circle and Mylapur. There was no flyover at Gemini circle. There was hardly anything beyond Vijay Vahini.

Our training included retail, consumer sales and product knowledge. B.A.Rao, V.T.Ramdas were considered retail experts and they were our faculty. Dua was consumer expert and arunachalam and Gopalan were tech. service experts, they were ex merchant navy personnel. For retail the bible was manual of Esso. We were taught retail factors. Months later we got to see the manual through a different source. It was revealing how the faculty never disclosed their sources of knowledge.

We were sent to different Distrct Offices (now Divisional Offices) in batches. Rajinder Kapoor and I were sent to Bangalore for field training in Retail. Kapoor is no more. He died in a road accident sometime in early nineties. He was a cousin of film actor Jitendra. We reported to Mr Urs, who was notorious for his ill treatment of officers. But it was his conviction that that was the way to deliver goods. Raoof and Narayan Rao were field officers in the city. One was handling retail development and the other existing retail network. Field training was for a month. Mr. Urs was hard of hearing and used to doze off often, even in meetings. He rebuked someone, no matter whom, the moment he woke up. A strategy? I found only officer who got away being frank was K.V.George. Bangalore was called a garden city. It deserved it! Even those days concepts were accepted, just as today, with IOC’s interpretation. Nursery became a part of allied selling. The effect was such that you could not recognize an RO from a distance. Nrupatunga service station was a glaring example. In a review meet George said in his typical mallu accent “ Sir, a barber’s shop should like a barber’s shop”. Raoof was always a clever one. When he knew it was his turn next, he would seriously keep looking at his watch with worry on his face. After a few minutes of his drama, he would say, “ Sir, I have an appointment with home minister at 4 and if I don’t start now I wont make it”. He used to succeed. May be Urs knew the excuse or may be he took him seriously.

We just followed the field officers, made notes and sent reports to Chennai every week.
When we got back to Region there was a review of what we learnt in the field. Again after a month’s classroom sessions we were sent to Vizag terminal and District Office for a week each and from there to Vijayawada depot for another week. We were three of us in this group—Mehra, Prabhu and me. Tejpal Singh, discharged emergency commissioned officer was ADM. One day he summoned all three of us to his cabin. Way to the washroom was through his cabin. It was a bunglow converted into office and obviously this was a bedroom with an attached bath. We noticed he was not happy with the arrangement what with people coming in frequently for a pee. He asked us what was the expansion of FJ and OA. Before hand he told us we should raise our hand if we knew the answer and then he would decide who should reply. Accordingly we raised our hands.
He picked me. I told him they stood for Financial Justification and Operating Analysis. Fine he said. Then he asked Prabhu what was the third column in OA. We all looked at each other we did not think it was necessary to commit to memory the entire format. He took offence and told us we were not fit to be field officers. He said in the Army such details were required and they were absolutely necessary. After a long lecture on discipline, he ordered us to commit every line to memory. On the final day of the review in Ch. M. Rao’s cabin he wanted to know whether we did what he wanted. Mr. Rao there after started reviewing Tejpal and throughout he was at the receiving end. That spared us the review.

Those days the Depot was in Vijayawada town. I was there for a week. Depot Manager was Mr. Natarajan and with him reporting to him was, I think, Subramaniam, who was Operations Officer. I was on the TLF bay all through the week.

Mr. Savoor, BOM, wanted to review all of us because he, perhaps wanted to know how much we had grasped about Operations. We got an impression that everyone in his department was scared of him. Perhaps it did not occur to him that he had shut all the windows of suggestions, advice and information. Next to him in line of authority was Mr. Hiremath, who seemed uneasy in the presence of BOM. Review was over and all of us came out happy. Next day Mr. Jayaraman summoned me and handed over a letter in a sealed envelope. It was extending my training period for a few more months because Mr. Savur was not happy with my review. Till I opened and read the letter, Mr. Jayaraman did not know what the letter contained. I thought it was a mere coincidence that the only other recipient of a similar letter was Riyasat Ali Mirza. But later experiences with savur proved my thinking wrong. I will talk about my later experiences a little later. Mr. Jayaraman fought for us and the letter was withdrawn.

There were a lot of groups in IOC—ex- Shell, Esso and Caltex officers never saw eye to eye. Then there were officers who came from Railways and AG’s office. Then there were Iyers and Non-Iyers among the non-Iyers there were several groups. Majority of officers and staff were Iyers. The non-Iyers referred to IOC as Iyer Oil Corporation. Groupism was so much that even among Iyers, of Madras origin did not think much of Palghat and Trichur Iyers. I believe it is so even to this day.

There was a big event of inauguration of lube blending plant. All the trainees were there, wearing badges and waiting near the entrance. Our chairman, managing director and general manager along with branch manager were also waiting for chief minister and central minister of petroleum and natural gas to arrive. Those days we had only one chairman as we have now, but he was a kind of titular head. Real power was vested with managing director. After him in the line of hierarchy, we had just one general manager assisted by a single deputy general manager. The branch managers who were in “E” grade performed the functions of today’s executive directors. The lube plant was not under the branch manager. While branch manager was in ‘E’ grade, plant manager was in ‘F’. Karunanidhi, CM, Madras arrived and everyone was busy receiving him.

We saw a white dhoti and kurta clad gentleman quietly walking in from the other gate. We recognized him. He was Triguna sen, minister of petroleum. Our chairman, and managing director rushed to receive him. The security at the main gate did not recognize him and he got down from his car and entered through the other gate. Those were the days. The ministers did not need security. The ministers did not throw tantrums. At least not this one!

Jayaraman was promoted and transferred to Madurai as District Manager. So we had a new assistant manager training, Mr. A.N. Sinha. Sinha was friendly apart from being a good trainer. He carried himself well. His communication skills were very good.

My next field training was in Kerala. My destination was Kottayam. I went via Trivandrum. I wanted to see the famous Kovalam beach. It was raining in Trivandrum. I took a taxi and went to Kovalam. It was raining continuously. I found it to be very beautiful place what with clear water and wet rocks and rain-washed cocoanut trees. It was so absorbing I forgot I was drenched. Trivandrum was a beautiful sleepy town. Green and beautiful!

For one month I was in Kottayam, reporting to Venkatraman, who was field officer. I used to be with him wherever he went and made notes for my weekly reporting to Madras. It was very difficult passing time from 5 pm onwards. I was all-alone without knowing the language of the place.

One Saturday evening I started for Thekadi, a hill station and a wild life sanctuary. My plan was to stay in Aranya Niwas, a government guesthouse situated inside the sanctuary. When I reached the place it was dark and no room was vacant in the guesthouse. The village beside the sanctuary was a kilometer away, it was dark and the path was hardly visible. I felt scared. There was no way except to walk the distance and find a place to sleep. I did find a place, very shabby and uncomfortable. I was tired. I slept. I woke up at 4 in the morning, washed and went to Aranya niwas to take the launch for a tour of Periyar Lake. It was a beautiful lake surrounded by thick, green forest. The animals normally come to the shore to quench their thirst. In my one-hour ride I could see just a couple of boars. If you are lucky you see hoards of elephants. I was happy with just a couple of boars. I was told; a day prior to the visit of VIPs, salt is spread in the forest. The elephants eat the salt and come to the shores to quench their thirst. Unfortunately, the day I went there were no VIPs. But I enjoyed being in the midst of Periyar Lake.

I visited almost all places where our retail outlets and SKO agencies were situated. Traveling in Kerala was very enjoyable. Green paddy fields, cocoanut trees, water all around and girls in their ‘randu mundu’! I visited Chenganacherry and Tellichery, in one of these places a great social reformer from Nair community was born. Kerala was, once, extreme in caste system, they practiced not just un-touchability but also un-seeability. Remember Vaikom movement? There was another custom, which was very peculiar to Kerala. Namboodaris, the high caste Brahmins permitted only their first son to marry. May be there was an economic angle to this. They did not want family property to be fragmented. So far so good! But the custom, which came to be known as ‘sambandham’ followed. In this custom the non-married sons were permitted to have ‘relation ship’ with Nair girls and beget children. The children so born did not get the father’s name. They were given maternal uncle’s family title. The Namboodari men visited the girl’s house only during the nights. They did not eat food prepared by nair family. This led to another custom. Madras Iyers were employed as cooks for namboodari men. These Iyers have now settled in Palghat and Trichur districts. Today most of them run coffee shops and ‘messes’. After the abolition of the sambandham system, these people were disliked. They were a community driven to the wall, for no fault of theirs. They merely went there for economic purposes. Like the Jews they turned out to be highly intelligent community. There was a time when most of them found place in Indian Administrative and Foreign services.

All Cherians and Kurians, Christians from Kerala claim their ancestry to namboodaris. It is possible that many of non-married sons of namboodaris converted to Christianity. After all it is human instinct to raise a family.

It is mind boggling that Christianity, Islam, Judaism and later communism, all foreign, were not just tolerated but accepted, while their own people, lower caste were treated so badly. A Christian or a Jew or a Muslim could run a teashop but not an un-touchable. On the one hand very liberal and catholic, on the other extremely intolerant! Of course these are now things of the past. But this intolerance surfaces once in a while, mostly in rural urban ares it is subtle and sophisticated. The once runner up are today exploiters.

The picture below was taken in Hotel Geetha on2.6.1970. It was a farewel party for Mr Jayaraman.

click to enlarge.


APSO was just formed. Body language of DGM suggested I was not welcome. Later I came to know he wanted one of his clan in my place. I continued to receive non-person treatment. He was far from competent to set up a new office. I had met him several times at Chennai before this posting. He visited Lube Plant for meetings on blending schedules. All the meetings were held in my cabin. There I found him very meticulously tabulating the Lube indents of various locations, which his assistants had to do as a feedback for the meetings.

He enjoyed the position of Divisional head so much that he was almost not willing to be a state head. Personally I thought he should have remained in Gr.B. Educational qualification alone does not make a man suitable for a higher position. Anyway he was enjoying the attention that went with the post.

As the APSO was just formed there was considerable work in my department. All the files from region were brought which had to be sorted out. Transport contracts were finalized by region but work orders were to be issued by us. EMD refunds were to be effected, SD of previous contracts were to be effected, as the existing barge contract period was coming to an end, fresh contract had to be initiated in addition to the day to day monitoring of working of depots and terminal and replies to various queries from operations managers of DOs, monitoring stock loss. In addition preparing presentation material for frequent review meets. My DH and I were the only officers with a grade six officer for clerical work. My DH had little experience of operations and was on tour 2 to 3 days a week. When in town, if the state head was on tour he would just leave the office whenever he pleased.

I continued to receive non-person treatment. There were three departmental heads, who were highly sectarian and got along with one another greatly. Of the three, two availed VR and the third resigned. Whenever night duty was required to be done in connection with price change the trio suggested my name, which was readily agreed to by DGM, knowing fully well my health condition. I had suffered MI and was on medication.

DGM was fond of safari suits. He always wore un-ironed clothes and his jacket lengthwise just touched his waist where he wore his trousers. There was a woman officer who called it a blouse.

There were frequent review meets—by regional heads almost once in two months and by director marketing. All the meetings were held in 5 star hotels. And our DGM insisted all officers attend. Entire day of the review meet all officers remained in hotel.
We all enjoyed delicious lunch and teatime snacks. No one normally knew when the reviewing dignitary would arrive. Sometimes it used to be late in the afternoon. Reviews were more of leg pulling nature. All officers were witness to discomfiture of our state head. Our DGM invited leg pulling. On one occasion when regional head was analyzing the presentation of state sales head, he repeatedly questioned the officer to clarify certain points and to this a very irritated dignitary reprimanded him saying such questioning should have been done as a part of his duty, and that he was showing his lack of knowledge of what was going on in his state which he was heading.

On another occasion when he failed to give satisfactory explanation to Director marketing on certain queries, director marketing asked him to start packing for transfer, as he was unfit to be a state head.

He was unceremoniously removed and in his place AKS was installed. He was similarly, unceremoniously shifted from Patna because of his ill treatment of officers. He had spent a few years in the army serving as an emergency commissioned officer. Even though he was discharge from the army years ago, he continued to behave as an army man. He never tolerated any argument let alone dissent.

The trio I mentioned above again managed to put me on night duty for monitoring price revision. I had to be in the office from 1100 am on a Saturday till 8 am next day. Of the 21 hrs 18 hrs were in waiting for price revision messages to come from region. I fell sick and had to be on leave next couple of days. Within less than a month of this experience, one evening my dept head told me I had to stay that night for another revision. I told him my health did not permit to stay back particularly after having worked the whole day in the office. When he insisted I told him even if it meat a charge sheet I would not continue. By then AKS had left office. He managed to keep someone else that night and told me I could go home. Because there was some error in monitoring AKS summoned my head to his cabin. He quoted me verbatim. I was summoned. He repeated what was reported to him by PVR. I accepted what I had said. I told him I was fit to work during the office hrs but not fit to continue working beyond till early hrs. He told me to give in writing. I refused. He issued a letter and I gave a fitting reply. For months he refused to talk to me. When such things happen I feel I am not the loser. It is the organization, which is deprived of a thinking individual’s contribution.

There was a big hype on millennium change over, several posters were displayed and a number of communications were sent to all locations requiring individual attention of the location in charge and also his presence in the work place at midnight to report smooth change over. Everything was done as seriously as Mr. Kalam would do before launching of a satellite. AKS reached office before midnight to personally monitor and talk to each location head. Mr. Rmanamurthy, who was Sr.DM at cuddapah, saw through the change over at midnight and went home and AKS called Cuddapah a little after he left. AKS was convinced Mr. Murthy did not attend office. His ego was hurt. No explanation could satisfy him. On the request of Murthy, who I knew to be a conscientious officer, I went to AKS to apprise him of what had happened. I was told categorically that he was not prepared to except any explanation. Whatever good opinion he had of Murthy was washed out as he found him to be irresponsible.

AKS was very meticulous about organizing any functions. It was republic day and after unfurling of the national tri-colour refreshments were arranged. Snacks were laid out, tea and coffee was ready for serving. After the sancks some one asked for water, which was not there. That was the only item escaped the attention of Somshekhara, who was AM(Admn.). AKS reprimanded him right there and not satisfied with that asked him to see him in his cabin. Next day I heard Mr. Somshekhara was missing. He did not go to his house and his family alerted he did not reach home even after midnight. Search parties were sent and after a long search he was found sitting alone near a temple on the banks of Husain sagar. Mr. Sen was always unreasonable if he did not have his way. Mr. Somshekhar took leave for the next two months and thereafter availed VR.

A review was scheduled at Chennai of operations heads of states on 10.03.2000. PVR asked MTS and me to prepare presentation for the review. We prepared the material and got it transformed into power point and submitted the printouts. He made certain corrections and asked Chandrashekhar to incorporate the changes that he had made into the power point presentation. It was late in the evening. He took the floppy and got the briefing on all those points in the presentation.

Even before he came back I got the feed back from my friends in Chennai that ED, Mr.Basu was highly critical of his lack of knowledge and expressed his displeasure. The HO formats for presentation did not include locations with stock gains. However PVR was asked to explain the erosion of gains in Vizag during the year vis-à-vis previous year. Had he known he would have explained! PVR returned and told us that the presentation was not up to the mark and that ED was not happy. He also said ED wanted to know who was assisting him in his work. When he mentioned my name ED told him that he had worked with me and rated me very high. That evening AKS received call from GM (MO) to say that PVR had miserably failed in his presentation. PVR was summoned. He returned after an hour to tell MTS and me that AKS wanted to see us. Knowing PVR well I guessed what was to come. In the evening after office hrs PVR led us to AKS’s cabin. Even before we sat down he started hurling accusations against MTS and me that we had let State office down. He said PVR trusted us and took the presentation material without going through it. MTS kept mum because he was obliged to AKS for having him transferred to Hyderabad. I protested and wanted to explain to him the truth. He was furious and shivering with rage. I told him that he has to hear my side of the story before coming to any conclusion. He refused to hear what I had to say because he had already delivered judgment. Whenever there was dissent between two officers, he always believed the senior of the two. I told him very firmly that I had the right to be heard. I also told him that power point gives only the basis on which the presenting officer has to elaborate and convince and might be PVR failed there. I also told him that without involvement and basic knowledge presenting officer couldn’t successfully present. At this both PVR and AKS got wild and asked me to go. Before going out I told AKS that shouting and refusing to listen to arguments did not suit the chair he was occupying. I also told him that the next day was conference of depot managers and that I would make the same presentation and convince him on all the points. To make myself heard I did speak the above sentences loudly and went out of his cabin. What surprised me was that MTS who talks so much otherwise did not speak a word.

Next day I made the presentation and also explained the erosion of gain in Vizag during the year 99-2000. In 98-99 terminal received most of the parcels by tankers whereas in 99-2000 it was through the pipeline from the next door HPCL. In fact HO earlier were asking for investigation for the enormous gains in 98-99. AKS looked pleased and gave me an impression that he realized his judgment on the previous day was wrong.
Next day I was in my car to start for the office, when AKS came out of the lift and while going to his car saw me. I refused to look at him. He came up to my car and tapped the window glass. When I lowered the glass he smiled and said” are you still angry”.

PVR could not take this. When I reached office, Madhavi handed me a letter from PVR asking for my explanation and giving show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against me. Obviously when AKS refused to oblige him he wrote this letter in consultation with his close friend Santan Krishnan, who was ops head in region. When my reply did not reach him on the cut off date, he gave a reminder. I replied point by point and also attacked him on his weaknesses. The curtain was drawn.

To dispel the doubts of the skeptics, I have with me copies of presentation slides with corrections in PVR's hand writing and letters exchanged between PVR, and me, which can be checked.

When our office was in Gurumurthy lane, servo towers was just two km away, so I used to go home for lunch everyday. This became a big talking point. Some raised their eyebrows and said “he goes home for lunch in his car, his is the most expensive lunch” while some others talked about my not returning within half an hour and yet going home on time at the end of the day. Those who talked this way were latecomers to office, who never reached before 10 am. They went out for lunch to nearby eateries and took nearly an hr to come back. They were the people who mattered and their verdict prevailed. One day PVR told me that it was DGM’s instruction that I should not go home for lunch but I could go out to any eatery nearby if I did not wish to carry my food. There after I started bringing my lunch. After my daughter went to States, my wife was not keeping well—she was on sedatives. My going home for lunch was to just to keep her happy. PVR never ever said any time any thing on his own behalf even if it were his own. He was like the gantry supervisor who would tell the workers, “ do this because the terminal manager wants it, other wise I am with you”.

I have always been against sitting late in the office. After the day’s work efficiency declines and one tends to make mistakes. People thought my argument was just to avoid sitting late. Apart from decline of efficiency one has many roles to play in life. Now that Ramamurthy of Infosis has written on this subject some thinking is given to the subject. I consider myself far ahead of my time. Many times the ideas that I give are rejected and even laughed at. But the same ideas get implemented after 5 to 6 years. For instance when the State Offices were formed I suggested that the depots should report to SOM instead of to DOs. I was rather ridiculed for such a suggestion. The then DGM and SOM said reporting of Depots to DMs was in the best interest of sales. This was implemented after 4 years. I am sure even now the best interests are served.

AKS was a different man away from work field. He was an extrovert and out-going. Picnics organized during his period remain memorable. He was meticulous in arrangements. He was lively and mixed with everyone.

Servo towers was transformed—with gardening, facilities for children. Every occasion was celebrated in style—deepawali, dassera, republic and independent days. There was life in servo towers in his days.

He had a weakness for shaking hands with particularly women officers and members of staff. With some he held on to the hand. Age was on his side.

He was an excellent host. Any party with him was lively. He enjoyed cracking jokes and listening to others’ as well.

I was shifted to LPG. SSDG succeeded AKS. And BVK joined as LPG head. This turned out to be the best period of my tenure in APSO. In fact I rate it as one of the best periods in my career and the best periods can be counted on the fingers of a single hand.

Mr. Dasgupta was efficient, hardworking and dedicated. He was polite but impersonal. For him it was work and nothing beyond. I could not, however much I tried, understand why he resigned. He did get his promotions on time. The reason he gave in his farewell speech was that he did not find personal time as the job demanded all his time. As a state head he did not have to visit each and every distributor and dealer. He toured even on Saturdays.

With his departure the grace and dignity that he brought to the chair diminished. He endeared himself to almost everyone.

With the change of state head, style of functioning changed.

SMC meetings, which I happened to attend in the absence of BVK, I found nothing much was discussed. Merely dates were changed for action points and a couple of new points added.

I attended my last SMC meeting on 28.10.2002 at 1330 hrs. Without any discussion GM announced that the SMC was over and the minutes of SMC held on 8.10.2002 would be the minutes of this SMC. Someone suggested at least few changes in target dates to make it more authentic.

Time is a major input on par with raw materials, human resource and finance. Efficiency is capability translated into action within time frame. Efficiency cannot be measured independent of time. We in Indian Oil have brilliant, well-informed, highly qualified and very capable human resource. But time has always been a casualty. This is noticeable in every meeting and SMC is no exception. You will appreciate what I am saying if you go through the minutes of SMC meetings.

CSM made a presentation on state performance on retail. In one of the slides he projected income for IOC from other sources. In this category were rentals from ATMs of ICICI bank, which have counters in many of our ROs. The income shown was between Rs.6000/- and 10000/-, Rs.10000/- was for ATM at Begampet. My question in the meeting was--whom this ATM benefits? I pointed out that it was only to the advantage of the bank. If the bank has to open an ATM in Begampet, they cannot hope to get any premises of such place utility at Rs.10000/-. Rental value at important places for commercial purposes is given in The Times of India every week. This scheme does not fit the concept of allied selling because it is observed that those who use ATM do not fill gas. A survey done by any professional body will reveal that. A lot of people walk in to the ATM. Others come on vehicles and park them near the ATM and use the facility without taking MS. Apart from the low rental; there is congestion as well. The entire scheme is one sided and definitely not in the interest of IOC. GM was apparently unhappy with the point that I made and told me very curtly " bangi let us not debate on this". I got the impression that there is no commercial consideration in our decisions. Would any businessman ever consider such a proposal?

The concept of vigilance in management is being vigilant be it the management of finance, raw material, human resource, machinery and most important time. If this concept is accepted, vigilance is one important component of a manager. A manager without this component is no manager. If function of a manager were compared to human anatomy, which organ would you think would be vigilance? I leave this question unanswered.

Managers, who strictly observe vigilance in the commonly understood sense of the word, tend to violate the same, which the non-discerning eye does not notice. To give a commonplace example, touring. It is commonplace to see managers touring where touring is not really needed. We have examples of managers visiting each and every distributor, dealer all over the state, which is primarily a function of a field officer. To top it they complain they have no time for their family. This is where the vigilant time management is lacking. No one can manage time; one has to manage oneself within the time frame. Vigilance in time management (misnomer) requires one to audit one's time spent. Making a time chart can do this exercise. One has to keep an account of time spent against the time scheduled. This done for a week or so will give an insight into one's time management. The next step is to budget one's time. Please remember time is as important as finance. We all have seen how a schedule is observed more in breach. Call to mind any programme that you attended. There is always an agenda, earmarking time. To begin with the programme does not begin on time. Every one of us knows all rest. I go back in time to my college days. Sociology was one of my subjects of study and conflict of roles was an important topic. That was the time when a film by name Anuradha, with Balraj Sahni and Leela Naidu in the cast was released. This film dealt with the same subject of conflict of roles. A Doctor engrossed in his medical practice totally forgets his role as a husband. Of course as it happens in films the Doctor realizes his mismanagement of time which resulted in his wife's frustrations. We have several roles to play. A successful man is one who budgets his time for each role and keeps auditing it. Think of a man who rises to the top of the ladder of one role and is on the lowest rung in rest of the roles. That is lop-sided.

We have today quite a few products of management schools. Good. We need them. But all that they are used for is statistics. Statistics is a base for any decision-making. It is not an end in itself. So much of statistical analysis is churned out. Various permutations and combinations are used. Looked at from all available angles. It remains a monument. The products of management schools should be used for achievements and not just for super power point presentations before dignitaries whose visits are quite common. Path is important but the function of the path is to lead to destination.

We Indians are very receptive to new ideas. We accept all modern management principles as long as we are in classrooms. Away from classrooms, in real work situations we do exactly opposite of what we appreciate in classrooms. If at least 10% of what is so laboriously learnt in management schools is put to practice it will make a difference.

In order to accept and practice modern concepts unlearning is the first step. And unlearning has to be at the top as well as the bottom levels of management hierarchy. Faster the top unlearns lesser is the need for lower levels to unlearn.

Mr Vasanth Kumar accepted me as a friend. He trusted me and I did not disappoint him. It was an experience to see him write the CRs. He was absolutely unbiased. I enjoyed working with him. I will always remember my association with Venkat Rao, Janakinath, Shankar Rao. They enlivened the atmosphere whenever we got together over a drink.