Wednesday, November 12, 2008

INDIANOIL- SR had super efficient ED

It was in the year 1996. Southern Region had an ED, who was considered excellent managerial material. How else would he become ED at the age of 45 years, in an organisation, which shouted from the roof top that their promotions were absolutely merit based? Only by being just the top material! There were groups in the organisation, infact there have always been of brahmins and non-brahmins. The brahmins, among them the Iyers were in awe of him. There never has been an ED of his stature, they would say. On the other hand, the other group was on the extreme opposite of that view. They called the Regional office building an ‘agraharam’. An agraharam is a locality around a temple whose residents are only brahmins. There were many such places in southern India where people outside the fourfold soceity were apart from being untouchable, were also unseeable. Remember Waikom? This is not the subject of my writing. So I get back to what I began to write about. This gentleman was fair (complexon) but sounded slightly affiminate when he spoke.

His greatest virtue was love for his mother. There is nothing wrong in that. All scriptures advise that. But it was different. It was bordering on mother fixation. He refused a posting with promotion out of Chennai because his mother did not want to move out of Chennnai. In many cases this organisation woud transfer such an officer without promotion, but in this case the conscience of the organisation came in the way. They retained him, only to promote him the following year without sending him out. After all he was indispensable!

As Ed his achievements were remarkable. On the advice of his numerologist his office on the 9th floor would not only keep him away from evil, but also bring him fortune. There were 8 floors in the building. But brilliant as he was he changed them to levels, with first level being ground floor. Lo behold! He was on the 9th level.

His managerial skills were demonstrated in his tour programmes. On the day of his scheduled departure at least 3 flights were booked to a single location with a gap of one or two hours. This was a brilliant example of time management. He was not sure whether he would be free from a meeting or from the files and he did not or could not afford to miss the most important work, which awaited his attention at the place where he was scheduled to go.

On many occasions he avoided overnight stay. He would come back late evening flight and go back again early morning, thus keeping both official and filial commitments at the same time. Many argued he was doing the right thing. Afterall he was saving hotel charges for the organisation. Flight charges yes, but he travelled Indian Airlines, which meant money was with the Government.

He always advocated loyalty to the organisation. But then he quit to join another organisation. Quitting was technically right, but was it ethical. Afterall, ‘jo jeeta wahi Sikandar’!

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