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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Of Turnarounds

Air India badly needs a turnaround, but it cannot get one unless it decides to turnaround. Yet the signals that regularly emanate from this "deep in the shit" organization tell a different story. A solid internal reluctance to turnaround despite regular proclamations of the intent by all those successive gentlemen who aspired for and sat on the hot yet cushy seat.

Cushy it is, for it provides an ample opportunity for wining dining and loot by all those who manage this and other "deep in the shit" organizations. The cushy lifestyle that they offer to the top guys ensures that the concern for the organization, especially the welfare of its men takes a back seat. What Air-India needs right now is a "people's guy" as its CEO, not someone from the services who generally has only his own comfort and status in focus, almost always. Yes, it is true that the various services of the nation, including the elite ones produce officers who live for self and die for self with no concern whatsoever for the welfare of the organization, nation or the people despite falling in the category of "public servants", not rulers of the nation that they start imagining they are, sadly from the day one.

My stint as the main honcho of the Delhi division, the largest division of the mighty railway system of the country has reinforced my belief in the goodness and the immense utility of men at large. It has also reinforced my belief that the primary problem of the nation is neither the politicos, nor the unions; it is the bureaucracy that with passage of time has emerged as a self sustaining machinery. The "Officer" class has to take the main blame for the pitiable condition the nation and organizations like the railways and Air India find themselves in.

What was earlier thought of as an impossibility in the division is now regarded as child's play by many. The staff is solidly behind all our initiatives and the unions with their positive support ensure a smooth run for all the developmental measures that have changed the face of the division in a period of just two years. And contrary to popular belief, the politicos never intervened. Yet, the staff continues to be the favorite whipping boy for many belonging to the officer clan, who in my opinion would fail to make it to the cut-off list in any developed nation.

Unless we appreciate and then take steps to realize the tremendous latent potential that men have within them, organizations like the railways and Air India shall continue biting the dust and the unions and the politicos shall continue taking the flak.


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