It is very common nowadays to see talented people getting out of work or losing a job and having very few options as far as work and business is concerned. Even people in early & late forties are becoming part of this phenomenon which was earlier restricted to people in their fifties. Why are educated and “qualified” people seeing difficult days like these? Is it that they were bad in their work ? The answer is NO. What does one do to avoid this situation, where so called educated & qualified people are in over supply and techno savvy younger people are taking over jobs of the older people at lesser salaries ?

As one matures in his work in any organization, and goes up the hierarchy, his contribution shifts into delegating , directing and guiding younger people in their work. His work becomes less of a “hands on” execution of a task, but more of extracting work from other skilled persons. He soon assumes leadership and a team building role to achieve results rather than involving himself in the finer details.

At this higher level, your confidence, leadership skills, communication skills, other soft skills, motivational abilities, and general team building abilities count a lot. Not all managers are leaders, but leaders could become great managers. To move beyond a particular level in any organization you do need a wide range of skills and not just be an expert in your area of work.

These skills also matter a lot while interacting with clients, and while handling client facing roles. Your top management is certainly keeping a close look into all your abilities.

The higher level positions thus need an excellent personality and good soft skills.
As and when you grow up in stature in a Company, you move from being a skilled specialist into a skilled supervisor, and then a leader, a motivator & a guide. In short you have started mentoring people. If you do not go through these phases gradually , you perhaps are not really a senior management person.
Do look at the following age related progress expected from your side if you are to really succeed well in your career on a long term. It is also assumed that you know your core work well , such as Engineering, Supply Chain, Sales, Accounts, Finance, etc.

Age 23- 25 Trainee ( Learner )

Age 26-30 Asst. Manager / Manager ( Hard working, ground level operative , delivering results)

Age 30-40 A mature “senior manager / head of a department” with 5 to 20 people reporting to you. You play a detailed business role, supervising a team to deliver results. You do a part of the work, and oversee others doing the same for overall results. You build networks. You are improving very fast in your soft skills as well, and also on the way to become a better personality.

Age 40-45 Leader, motivator, team builder. You start having an overall control of the operations. You direct managers and future leaders . You have developed excellent presentation skills, meeting co-ordination skills by this time, and you have good soft skills at this stage. You have excellent networking skills by this time. Sr. GM / VP level designations.

Age 50-58 Leader, Motivator, Team Builder, Advisor, Guide / All aspects of mentoring …here you start being an important pillar of the company. Here you guide the senior managers . The positions that you normally are in :President/ COO/ CEO .

In this modern and competitive world, perhaps many people will be out of the Rat Race or will not be “in sync” with the requirements/ or will not really progress well in their career beginning their 40’s. This is not due to not having technical / professional skills, but because falling short of leadership , personality & soft skills. Even those with very good technical / professional skills may get stuck in their careers at this stage and find that they are not progressing.
For this survival , the senior managers/ top management personnel must have developed in them- by the time they are 40 , several essential aspects of a great personality, have excellent soft skills and more importantly great leadership skills. You have to accept that whatever specific technical work you can do, perhaps a much younger person can do it (do better as well ) – at a much lesser cost. Hence you need to contribute in a much different way with your work experience. which much younger people just cannot. At the higher level of management you need to be business oriented, people oriented, client oriented, have excellent contacts – business & social, have excellent networking skills and have great directional skills. You should not be doing too much work much yourself – ( you are not expected to do that ) and you need not be a specialist of more than one areas, but you need to get the work done from others as there are a lot many things to accomplish in a short time. This is the time you are “Creating Managers” in your organization from a long term perspective of your Company. In short, you must be a great personality yourself by this time, a leader and a motivator first. When you get elevated to top level management positions, ask yourself if you have these qualities.

When you lose a job , keep in mind you will get a better one with your personality and leadership abilities rather than one particular skill- because just that skill will be with many younger people, working at half your cost. Also while moving from one career to another or from one type of job to another- you will need to be a good leader with good personality traits and soft skills. It’s a very competitive world that we are living in. While technology can be a game changer, it can close down some businesses and wipe out many roles and positions, also competition can destroy your company. BUT nothing can affect your ability to make a come back or find another job if you have wide ranging qualities. It’s not so easy to be a specialist till you are 58, but it is possible to be a leader, a team builder, a great supervisor and a great motivator guiding other managers and specialists.

Written by
Dinesh Bandiwadekar
Director Persona Academy


My son is IIT IIM……I don’t care about others

The questions that worry young students and parents alike in India are:

1.What is a deadly combination of educational qualifications for a great corporate job ?
2.How my son will draw a salary as a management trainee which can be more than what I got at retirement?
3. How much wealth can be accumulated by me and my next generation ?
4. How many Second and Third homes can I invest in?
5. Where will land prices appreciate the most?

As a fast growing nation where the wealthier are getting more wealthy and the poorer getting more poor, we have to really expedite a cultural change to call ourselves progressive, educated and intelligent. Why? Read on,,,,,,

A massive change in thinking about others and about our inward happiness is a must. We glorify our highly educated and talented professionals so much that the rest who are underprivileged and unfortunate- are a distinct secondary citizens. Our idea of an intelligent professional is one who is successful in accumulating all for himself. Nowhere does our school and college education teach us values of compassion, love and consideration for the real needy and poor. Nowhere do they teach us manners that you must have when you are in public , or when are you driving in India or elsewhere and how to behave in offices in India and overseas with others. Nowhere do they teach you human values and how to be a great boss or a great individual in society. Neither anyone teaches you compassion and nor ever anyone tells you to donate something to the poor . .If anyone attempted to do that for you , then they are outdated old fashioned.

For us, competence in education is everything. We proudly rattle off our qualifications. Little do we know that despite our so called best brains and learning skills , we are a highly and grossly a community that is selfish, uncaring, non compassionate and highly ignorant of what the developed countries call as real education, and development.

So where does education and learning start? Real learning starts when you are very young and when your parents and school teachers influence your behavior and not just your academics. The real learning starts when someone teaches you to help others and be compassionate with those having problems.. No problem if you accumulate wealth but did you even give 5 percent of your wealth to the needy?. May be you were never told to do it …neither in school nor by your parents .We are taught to respect our elders but we were never taught to assist the disabled and poor. We were taught to board a crowded bus or a train but not taught to give way to others even if they are weaker than you This deficiency in our thinking gets reflected in our work later in life when even as engineers and bureaucrats we do not even think of insist on basic ramps and toilets for the disabled and wheelchair bound. . It’s all due to our grooming and training right from school days and our childhood.

The real education is not whether you are a very successful IIT IIM graduate or similar or a great doctor or engineer or lawyer or a finance professional. The real education is whether you are a human being who thinks for others. This is where developed countries beat us hands down. We are nowhere. We are a damn selfish set of people in a possessive economy. Just taking pride in our GDP growth is no sign of progress. Progress is what we can do for the poor and those in trouble. We are just nowhere in this aspect.
As a result of our inconsiderate behavior towards others we find highly qualified bosses and even average people who do not know how to behave with deputies and colleagues. We have corrupt and dishonest people who just think about themselves and make money illegally and even teachers in schools who write off and insult children with severe learning disabilities. In the developed nations like USA these things are never tolerated. It is not necessarily the law… It is their culture and upbringing that changes everything. This is the real sign of being professional and highly competent. Not being IIT-IIM and likewise . Time to redefine success to succeed as a nation. How many of our highly paid professional help society in any way or contribute even a small fraction of their wealth ?

One should see the facilities for the disabled in an educated economy . The law for implementing these things comes in much later…. …first comes the thinking and grooming to think about the others. We need not do so much as done is the developed west… but atleast a ramp and toilets for the disabled to start with. That will show we are changing.


I, me and “Mein Mein hoon”

In one of my meetings in the USA a few years ago, as a true Indian salesman I rattled off my company’s achievements and for sometime did not even notice the appreciation expressed on every point by my potential American client. I was meeting him for the first time and was keen on impressing him in the short time that I thought I will get. For every point I made I got a response like “hey that’s great”, “that’s wonderful”, “wow”, “it’s interesting ” and so on. In between my potential client told me some nice things about his company and relevant to the points I made. I waited for him to finish and then I finished the balance points I had to tell.

Little did I know that I had lost half the battle. I had not expressed any appreciation nor shown my willingness to listen to his point of view.

Several visits to the USA on business taught me a lot of the American psyche which is not necessarily to do only with business. There is a big difference between how an American thinks and how an Indian from India does. The interaction Indians have is to win anything they enter in and actually they lose a lot in the process. We think we are special. We think our brain is superior and our math and science and general computational skills are out of the world. We feel we are exceptionally great in many things.

The reality is that we are not trained to think that there are more important things in life to worry and think about. Bhai… “Hum..hum hai”….”Mein Mein hoon”….we have been brought up that way from childhood….. Our schools produce “talent” is what we think is 99 percent marks! When we enter a developed nation like the USA ,that is nothing…. They have achieved a lot more with a lot less of this “intelligence” stuff. Their achievements are far bigger. And we are yet to realise that actually we have to build a great change in our systems very soon, “to succeed”.

The training in India from childhood is a lot different right from beginning than that given in the USA. Ours is missing out on so many things practically, not necessarily academically or theortically. We are not trained to listen patiently to others, big or small , older or younger. We are not trained to appreciate the points others are making. We are not trained to say “hi /hello”, ” how you are doing”, “good bye”, “have a good day” and “drive home or reach safely”. Our culture says respect elders but practically what that means is when a boss enters the office, the juniors have to say ” hello sir” or “good morning sir ” and not the other way. Why can’t the boss say “Hi Ramesh” or “Hi Deepa” before they wish him? . In fact the story in many Indian offices is that many a times the boss does not even greet his deputy back. The peon is supposed to salute the boss but the boss need not even smile back at him !

Actually all this stems out of our upbringing. We have never changed our upbringing. We think our old culture and grooming is great, based on our mythology and history. No it is not always that way…. Let us change. Let us greet, appreciate, respect everyone… not just your superiors or elders or clients . Let us gradually retrain ourselves…..many small things happen to be actually big issues elsewhere and could lose you goodwill, lose face and lose even business if we do not retrain.

Do you rush in to a lift before others or get in even before those inside come out? Do you jump a queue even accidentally? Do you walk into an office and not say hi to the receptionist? Do you have adequate driving manners and road courtesies ?

The American education system and parental training trains you a lot about this. It’s all about respecting others- big or small, elder or younger. We have to take their good points and incorporate in our training in school. Our schools emphasise to learn more and win…. Other school systems train you to live well and let others also win. They achieve many things even before winning. We lose so many things while winning or trying to win.

I had an important meeting going on in the USA when my client got a call on his pager from the Fire department and left the meeting immediately after apologising for his sudden exit. He was a volunteer in the FIRE department of the local county. He was on call that day as a trained free paramedic to save heart attack patients. His training and upbringing …. Someone’s life is more important than making money.

Another client I met had left engineering to move into farming. My Indian colleague questioned him immediately … “Is there more money in that?” His answer: “don’t know…. but it’s more enjoyable.”

We need to retrain our children into how they look at life. We should stop being achievement oriented and being possessive. All these have resulted in huge problems in our society. We have also created monstrous corruption in this process. Our “I” is more important than “we”. Actually in the process “we” are nowhere as a nation despite creating wealth and gathering fancy degrees. We are still not able to have proper support, education and life skills and help to the blind, physically handicapped, mentally retarded, students with learning difficulties and others. We don’t even have a ramp for the wheelchair bound for entering public spaces. Why is this all..? Because “I” or “Mein” is more important than “we”. As long as “I” am O. K., all is O.K., unfortunately.

A huge amount goes into charity in developed countries like the USA . So many small and large businesses contribute to the community in different ways and whatever way they can afford. People contribute personally to many causes in terms of time and money. Where do we Indians stand here? We contribute a lot to temples ! That money lies unutilised. Why is this happening ? Because the money contributed to God was actually done for seeking God’s blessings for ” me and my family”….. once again “I” or ” Mein” has come in here …..just thinking only about oneself. All this originates actually from our upbringing and training to think about himself or herself first , right from childhood.

A lot of effort needs to go into our educational system to make our children think that life is far bigger than what is there for “me”, “I” and “Mein”. This actually will enrich their lives and make them really happier and more successful in the real sense, even successful internationally and become a real winner .

Dinesh Bandiwadekar

USA mobile 321 337 5878

Have we made a monster out of the English language in India ?

Time and again, I get requests from young college students and working professionals to help me improve their chances of getting through personal interviews, written tests, group discussions and a few related things for entering management colleges or even getting technical jobs. These candidates feel that they are stuck somewhere in their endeavor to progress in their careers and also at times in their lives. Some of them feel that they have hit a wall, and further progress is impossible unless they bring in a change in their “personalities” ! Ok , whatever that means- when I drill down into this problem, I realize that most of the people are asking me to improve their communication abilities in English !

This problem has now “outgrown” to such an extent that in India we have started defining personality development as “English speaking“ ! To me Personality & Personality development is far, far beyond just speaking good English. It means a number of things really beyond the limitations of any language. But our craze for English has even changed our thinking !

However, we seem to have resigned to the fact that someone speaking good English is someone of the managerial calibre, and a more capable person. That is certainly because the kind of importance that we have given to English and have put it on a High Pedestal. Corporates are conducting GD’s & PIs only in English and they eliminate the weaker English speakers at the GD stage itself. Management institutes are doing the same. My question- why have we to link competence with capabilities in English ? In the many countries I traveled in Middle East and Europe- all developed and more prosperous than India- all the selections and interviews are done in the national language of the country- say Arabic , French, Italian , etc. Do Chinese rate their own students and employees on basis of their English skills ? All these countries could well do it in English as well, but they have their own priorities . I am not saying that we need to conduct GDs and interviews in Hindi or a local language, but our outlook towards the amount of importance that we give to English has to change. Don’t you agree that after selecting a person after conducting an interview in English, we always communicate with him or her in Hindi or a local language in the office ? So why make such a big issue about English in the first place?

The importance of English in India is restricted to a small section of our business and social operations and endeavors. Business of billions of rupees is transacted in Hindi and local languages. MBAs selected on basis of their English prowess in most cases end up discussing business with distributors, dealers, stake holders and customers in Hindi ! It is within the metros that English has a say. When you go to a small town or even smaller cities like Indore, Jaipur, Raipur, Kakinada, Kottayam, Patna or Bhubhaneshwar, you may risk losing business if you insist in talking in English ! Even in the multi billion dollar middle east / Gulf market, if you speak a high level of English, it is likely that the Arabs could get frustrated dealing with you and you could lose some big orders ! We are recognised the world over because of our maths , science ,and technical skills – so let us be proud of the same . Why are we paranoid about English?

The passages that we normally encounter in CAT or any MBA entrance exams in reading comprehension are such that ever the best of English speakers and MA’s in English cannot get the answers right. The words in English vocabulary testing that we normally encounter in such entrance exams are such that most of them are never used even in business dealings, forget day to day life.

So why are we giving so much importance to English the way we are currently doing, to shortlist candidates or eliminate them from jobs, MBA entrance exams etc? . As you travel in the Indian hinterland we see a lesser and lesser usage of English. Rural markets which are huge, are being addressed in Hindi and local language advertising. Do you think our stock exchanges, our commodity markets , our trade in various products – goes on in English ? Even then we want our MBA marketing graduates to excel in English ! When you get down to the basics of business, English is really not in sight. It is just a small fraction of our educated elite speak in English .When just a fraction of our 125 crore population speaks proper English, and which is the source of intelligent and talented people, why then do we want to create an obstacle of a language that can actually impediment the growth and success of these people ? …just because in offices we want to make presentations and reviews in English?

Also, why don’t we make it compulsory to speak, Spanish, German, French and Italian, if we want internationalization and excel in business ? It is high time, we looked at our own languages from a business perspective and unshackle the highly overrated “English speaking” ability/ skills expected of our young people. This way we open up the doors for highly talented students from the Hindi and vernacular mediums. The best of doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists and writer in India have studied in the vernacular medium. Had they been subjected to English language proficiency tests, they probably could have been eliminated from their field of study. Thankfully, they were not and they made it big. Their course content was far beyond the limitations of ANY language. I think we are making a big fuss about English- that is being done where in courses there isn’t really a very high level of intellectual content required like MBA/MMS etc.- and these courses need more of style & “gas” than the grey matter and real fundamental understanding of any complex phenomenon. Sorry about this comment. Why don’t you select a heart surgeon for an MS or a ENT course basis his English, but why you can risk to apply that parameter for a someone going to study Marketing for selling face whitening creams? It is the depth of knowledge requirement- if you have to study something elementary and yet make a 2 year course out of it and want to charge Rs 7 lakhs as fees, then you need to have such embellishments . You need to sort out the creamy layer to pay your fees, and market research shows those who can afford it are basically those who went to English speaking / English medium schools . Well, it’s business after all.

Can’t business be taught in Hindi or any other language? For centuries we have been doing business in our local languages. The few stalwart business communities even today do not speak ‘good English” ! Did the Marwari community do business because for years just because they did an MBA or was good in English ? So today why we are creating an obstacle for our young people? Talented vernacular students have been forced to take a back seat because of this new issue and average students speaking good English have been made into “smart guys” with so called “good personalities”. The matter is serious and the governments should take appropriate steps on this. Don’t forget that we Indians speak normally upto 3 languages fluently and understand 1 or 2 more. Why do we underestimate our own potential and check ourselves for a language that was not our own? Why are we blindly following the requirements of US/ UK/ Australian and other universities? If they had reading comprehension of high level English passages , why are we just copying that ? Why don’t we have our own standards and languages for testing candidates? Why don’t we check out English, Hindi and Marathi/Gujarati/ Tamil etc. as well?

The repercussion of the “English Speaking” phenomenon has serious implications. Vernacular medium schools in metros are slowly shutting down. Even the poorer section of society wants their children to study in English medium schools. The outcomes of these are going to be evident over the next 20 years, when we will have adults who are neither good in their own mother tongue and just average in English. Unless we make our vernacular medium schools as “dual medium” with a lot of emphasis on English right from the start, we will actually end up closing these schools. Another fall out of the phenomenon is the rush to so called international schools following the curriculum of other countries and ignoring Indian languages in the endeavor to be more westernized/ global.

I think we have made English into a very commercial proposition and actually made it into a monster. I think its high time to allow other languages to be considered for selection processes into management colleges and other places. Why should the interviews and GD’s not permit say Hindi or a local language to be used for entrance level testing. Example: Hindi/ Gujarati/ English should be the official options for GCs & PIs in selections for management institutions in Gujarat , and similar arrangements in other states. ……..after all, 95% of the time, all these graduates are going to speak in Hindi and other languages only after they start working ! Another solution could be also testing one’s prowess in Hindi and one regional language of the candidates choice during the entrance, and that could set things in a right perspective in a major way.

If the so called management institutions do not fall in line, we must allow new institutions to come up which will value local languages and Hindi, and conduct entrance tests in these languages. You will notice that there is a huge “business potential” is starting such institutions offering MBA & related course for those strong in Hindi & local languages and that could be the next craze. Are you aware that in Mumbai itself there are so many minority institutes from Gujarat or South India that prefer selecting students of their own communities or their mother tongues/ languages. So why these institutions should create the drama of English testing while selecting the students ? They may as well conduct the interviews in the Indian languages and Hindi as well ( or in their own lingo )!

C’mon- lets be practical. I am not being anti- English, anti –establishment or anti-“phoren”. English is an important language for us to learn and progress ( and we have benefited due to English ) , but it should not be a barrier to all the talented Indians who are spread far and wide in the country. Does a young man from Durg in MP who has studied in a Hindi medium school and who is very intelligent not have the right to study business in a good business school ? After all, what would have been the condition of our country today had we decided to select our prime minister on grounds that he should be a good English speaker ? Let’s focus on delivery, not a language. Let’s start changing- we have a long way to go, and we are amongst the largest populations in the world, and we could be dictating terms in centuries come. For all you know, international students will one day land up in India to study and we will test them for their Hindi skills. That is if we have adequate self esteem and a long term vision. Great personalities are built on so many different things like these, English is just one part of the process. Let’s give it the right amount of importance it deserves, but not any more than it deserves.

Dinesh Bandiwadekar
Director- Persona Academy


My recent visits to the Middle East makes me feel good that I am now working in India. Having spent close to 10 years in the Middle East (Gulf ), I am happy that I have settled back in my country which is really progressing well and far more professional in handling its affairs, specially the economy.

Till ten years ago ( 2005 ) it seemed the middle east was a good place to be in and make some money and invest back in India. That is a general statement. The talent that was required in the Gulf and the labour as well, was sourced mostly from India. Indians excelled in all types of jobs and generally they took advantage of their good education, polite behavior and ability to converse in English. The Gulf was the destination for the “not so elite” Indians . The elite ones got better jobs in India and USA and in the developed world. Gulf has long been the main stay for Indian blue collared work force and labourers.

When the Indian economy took off around 2005, several changes started happening at the same time in the Middle East and elsewhere which have affected Indians. In the 2000’s I hardly found Africans in big numbers in any hospitality industry. Now, I find them actually dominating some jobs. Most of the jobs where Indians dominated are clearly the strong hold of the Filipinos now. Egyptian and other Arabic nationalities were always there in some numbers , thanks to their Arabic language skills , but now the Egyptians and people from other Arabic nations have a total domination in many fields. Never did I see Nepalis in the Gulf 15 years ago, but now you see them in plenty. Bangladesh is one such country as well. I was shocked to see a construction site where only Arabic workers dominated, a stronghold of Indian labour till ten years ago. The situation in the last 10 years in Syria, Palestine, and some other countries have forced them to take up jobs in the Middle East at survival rates.

The salaries that are generally been paid now are excellent figures when converted back into the currency of their home countries- for the Nepalis, Filipinos, Bangladeshis and the for African new comers. Not for the Indians though. The conversion and the cost of life back in India does not entice Indians much- specially at the middle management level and for skilled blue collared workers – to go to the middle East anymore.

Due credit also must be given to countries such as Philippines where they have massive skill development campaigns and programmes to “create” overseas Filipino workers- a brand “OCW” by itself . India did not do this for close to 40 years. Thanks to recent efforts, we have started, though quite late. Had we done this decades ago, the result would have been many million dollars more as remittance from the Gulf.

I noticed a great improvement in the English speaking abilities of the average Filipino, the Average Egyptian, other Arabs, and even Bangladeshis & Nepalis. This could be an effort from those countries to improve the English of their countrymen and better their job prospects in the Gulf Region. A lot of jobs lost by Indians, specially in the service industry could be because of this, and of course the relative conversion factor.

SO ARE WE THE LOSERS ? I think NO. On the FLIP side, our progress in the last 10 years has been excellent. We have created work opportunities for our own people in our own country. What could be better than that ? The plight of people in Gulf at the lower categories is pathetic. No one discusses this. The life in India is far, far better. Of course, more money helps. On the FLOP side, we lost a few million dollars income from the GULF , but we are on our way to a trillion dollar economy.

The Middle East is likely to be a dream which is getting over very soon. Everyone discusses in hushed tones so many related issues.

Does a country invest in anything just because its oil prices are high? Can only fancy looking skyscrapers and nice highways drive an economy? Is this a correct model of sustainable growth? The Indian model of development is far more logical and comprehensive. It does not need high oil and gas prices. It is a great economy by itself. Progress is assured in India and higher incomes as well for all. In India, oil prices do not decide whether the government is to build a hospital ! When we know we need it, it is done. There are adequate sources of financing. The basic need and demand , drives the completion of a project, not anything else. When that demand is there, things are in the right direction for an economy.

For Indians employed in the Middle East, The Gulf Between “then” ( 1970-2005) and “now” ( 2005-2020 ) has widened a lot. But, the Gulf between India and the Middle East has narrowed a lot. It makes more sense to work FOR your country , IN YOUR country and “BUY” in your country !

Dinesh Bandiwadekar

Should Indian students go for higher studies to USA in the 2016’s and after; & later settle in there ??

Should Indian students go for higher studies to USA in the 2016s & later settle in there ??

Back in the 1980’s when the American dream was still made in USA and not in China, I desperately looked forward to migrating into that coveted country. That was the time of pink colored inland letters called pre-apps which were to be sent to the American Universities and in turn they would send you back thick envelopes with application materials.

For some reasons I never made it to the USA, and the regret of not having made to the most prosperous nation lasted in my mind for the next 25 years. A month long technical training at a young age of 26 to that country led to a further strengthening of that feeling and a continued realization of having missed the “Greyhound” bus.

25 years later, two trips- a family vacation and a long business trip to USA, completely changed my perspective. The business trip took me to many extremely fast paced cities, and around the beautiful American country side and to some exclusive neighbourhoods where a lot of Indians stay. Also the difficult & dangerous neighbourhoods as well were on the travel itinerary – where most of the colored community stays. The great navigation tool GPS also took me through cities which were almost deserted and decaying and infrastructure (specially steel bridges) needing a huge revamp. It also took me to areas where industries had closed down long ago and people having moved out to other locations. A number of commercially active cities of the 1980’s have changed into ghost towns with the people being hit hard by the production moving out to China and other countries.

Staying in India, one does not know what’s happening in USA, exactly the same way staying in Dubai does not tell you what’s happening back in India. The vice versa is equally true. The fact is that a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and it is time to take stock of a lot of issues in migration that our next generation may be planning.

Who are the types who can migrate to the USA now? Mostly- the wealthy middle and upper middle class people- those who incidentally are having a set up for a good life in India. It is not the lower middle class and poor who are in a position of migrating. A complete balancing statement of life is necessary if you are already doing well in India and if you still want to migrate to USA.

India though not the best place now to stay, is the correct place to be in if you are reasonably wealthy, have a roof over your head ( mostly inherited from our parents !), and if you enjoy the pleasures of low labour costs even unknowingly. I see a lot of families from the middle class who now have a driver, a full time cook, a couple of visiting servants, tution teachers for the kids, a full time nurse for the old grandparents, and also a couple of cars for the family . This is in addition to affording all the fees that are needed for college for a couple of bright children.

Honestly, things have drastically changed in India. I remember, back in the 80s, a manager in a public sector drew Rs 50 k as his annual salary at retirement, and a second hand ( pre owned) Ambassador car costing as much as Rs 40 K ! People stayed in rented flats till they retired and moved out to their own homes with their lives savings – almost at retirement time, to cheaper areas -a virtual surrender to the fact that you could manage your own house/ home only at the fag end of your lives .
Things have changed, the same manager at age 35 draws Rs. 30 lakhs or much more, and a brand new Japanese car costs just 1/3rd of his annual salary. A driver comes in at Rs 13000, ( USD 200 ) a month. A full time maid comes in around the same price, and if she does not turn up, the “Poli Bhaji” Kendra next door serves you home cooked chappatis & vegetables for Rs 100 ( USD 1.5 ). Do you realize the extent of salary income increase and but also notice that basic life essential services still being available at throw away price ? Neither do you have to drive your kids to their dance class or swimming pool- there’s always that noisy Auto which taken you to your destination at quarter of a dollar. And, it does not snow in India , so either you don’t have to rake up the snow or pay for doing the same.

And things are changing further…….jobs lost in the USA are found in India. India is 25% of the American working costs for skilled labour- and if the outsourcing continues, India is likely to be the greatest beneficiary of the high cost US economy. Recently, USA increased its minimum wages, yet you see boards everywhere “ Positions Open” and “NOW Hiring”. USA is in real shortage of lower end “willing” workers, and India is flush with them. This economics is going to work out well for Indians. 30 years ago, Indians rushed to any core engineering stream for university admissions, and later found jobs in those fields. Those fields are now almost defunct. Those jobs have moved out elsewhere, India is a distinct beneficiary- but our poor quality has left us much pretty behind in the race.. We still have a chance here, though. No doubt that the USA is the top end destination for software & hardware jobs , but then equivalent jobs will be created here as well.

Yes, I accept that there is no comparison between the quality of life in the public domain in USA & India. Those standards will never be reached by India in the next 500 years or ever. The roads, the driving, the cars, the discipline, the education, any infrastructure issue, and public healthcare system is beyond imagination of that of India’s.

Life is pretty tough in the USA, even for the best of professionals. They work 9 to 11 hours a day, drive their own vehicles, come home & cook food, clear the dishes, and do all their chores on Saturday & Sunday like washing and ironing, gardening and all kinds of cleaning and dropping kids to school and classes , preparing for the next week and face bitter winters for about 4 months. They do all the work, not because they cannot afford the help, but do so because everyone does all these things on their own . Even the CEO of any organisation drives his own car. Anyway, what’s wrong in that ? They struggle to pay huge college fees and medical & other insurance costs. In most cases they just own one house, may be because the government has ensured that basic needs of life like a house is not where you invest and speculate. In most cases, both the husband and wife toil hard to have a good life for their kids, and for themselves sometimes. However, if the family does not have a decent income for any reason, it is very difficult to have a good life for all including the kids.

In the personal domain, things can be great by local standards or more likely haywire by Indian ethos. The younger lot do not seem to find the need to marry. By choice many are single mothers, and divorce lawyers advertise their services widely. Though first generation Indians do not get affected much by this, approximately the third generation of immigrant Indians is no more “Indian”.

Nowadays, a number of students who go for the fall admission, return in 3 months in the Christmas vacation for a short stay in India . That was not the case 30 years back- when students arriving in USA, normally went home for the first time after 2 to 3 years after their education or after getting a job. Several lakhs of Indians are now financing their own education at US universities. This change in wealth pattern for Indian students and parents, itself tells the story that India is doing well and quite differently now, and staying back in India may make a lot of sense in the future. Or put it more correctly, it is great to go the USA as a student, but even better to return in time to cozy India. If you are in a financially sound position to go to the States now, it is possibly more likely that you will have a much easier & prosperous life in India ! Choice is yours …I just explained one option in detail.

CEO @ Rs 3 crore per annum & sales executive at Rs. 30,000 per month……The fallacy of paying exhorbitant salaries to CEO & CXOs- the time for owners to think seriously

Recent pay packages to so called professional CEOs have reached the sky. Nothing seems to be the limit. Salaries like Rs. 2 to 5 crores per annum seem to be common. Yet, how really effective are these CEOs in changing the fate of their organisation ? Are they really worth that much. And really, how long do they last in their organisations to make a long term difference ? What are the repercussions of their salaries on the morale of their staff ? How do the CEO’s really convince the management that they are worth that much ?

Point No 1 that comes to the mind- is the CEO the founder or promoter of the business ? Did he take the organisation to a great success from scratch. If not, if he was introduced into the organisation after the business reached great heights, was it his achievement ? If not, he really does not deserve the pay.

Point No 2
What does such a guy do after taking charge? Normally to show his utility and hide his expense, he tries to cut corners- he sacks a few people drawing say Rs 30 lakhs a year. 5 people gone means he has saved Rs 1.5 crore, say 50% of his salary he has saved ! Another Rs 1.5 crore comes from reducing advertising and travelling budget due to “austerity” measures! – so he can now show the management that his salary is recovered !!! . Such CEOs always immediately on joining cut expenses on advertising, marketing, sales, personnel & travel and company lunch to cut costs and show profits, but these are the decisions that cost the companies crores of rupees in business !!

Point No 3
The other things this type of CEO does is introduce new work measurement and extensive reporting formats to make performance measurements sound more professional. The formats are too cumbersome,academic and possibly developed in another set up earlier where the CEO worked – and not applicable to current organisation. Another thing he does is reshuffle the organisation chart and create new divisions and verticals. All this in reality disturbs a well settled organisation and does not bring in any tangible value. As the CEO is new,
the management does not object and the staff does not dare to protest.

At this stage 3 to 6 months have passed !! ( Rs 1 CR Nett after tax is in the CEOs bag ) . Company has not shown any improvement , in fact there deterioration in sales & profitability.

Point No 4
What next… the management is starting to get jittery over their selection of the CEO ( & his salary )….Really when can we see improvement in sales and the bottom line?…The CEO in the board meeting says that he is just settling down, and the management should see a distinct difference in operations in a few months time…..the CEO then identifies a few people who are in the salary range of Rs 30 to 40 lakhs per annum. He slowly tells them to leave and replaces a few with half their salaries, but not even with 25% of their competence. Great- the salary bill drops by another Rs 1 crore. The CEO has something to talk about !!!
At this stage 9 to 12 months have passed !! ( Rs 2 CR Nett after tax is in the CEOs bag ) . Company has not shown any improvement , in fact there is further deterioration in sales & profitability.

Point No 5
What next……at the AGM, there is serious discussion about the the company’s performance. The owners are really wondering their decision to hire the CEO was correct. They question the CEO. His answer is -all efforts taken are in more or less correct direction, and next year the results of this will be seen….my assurance.
The CEO goes home, a lot of tension on his head. He has already chucked out a few guys, cut down on expenses , tried some cosmetic measures to to change the company, but now what ? What next can be done? The market situation is too bad, China is destroying his market share, no idea will really change his sales and business. The CEO knows he is losing out. He takes out his laptop, searches for his last CV ,and updates the same.

Point No 6
Next day at work…..he takes stock of his people & targets. he feels they are not performing, not him. He fires a couple of more guys , and brings in some high sounding designated people who were loyal to him in the earlier company. Salaries?- at 50% more than those fired. He tells the new guys that he wants RESULTS.Goes back to his laptop and uploads his fresh CV to consultants loyal to him. As a last ditch effort hires an expensive management consultant to make a report on his company.( Owned by a jobless friend of his from his MBA batch of the 90’s ! ). The consultants “consults” the employees(!) , takes a lot of information from them, (!) and makes his nicely worded report in English and packs the old wine in a new bottle. The CEO settles the 1 crore bill of the consultant and organises a lot of procedural changes in the organisation, which saves a couple of crores more in salaries, but does not improve anything !! At this stage 15 months have passed !! ( Rs 2.5 CR Nett after tax is in the CEOs bag ) . Company has not shown any improvement , in fact further deterioration in sales & profitability.

Point No 7 :
In the next quarterly meeting the CEO is taken to task by the board. The CEO has nothing much to say. His power point slides which he mastered during his MBA, do not reveal much as to how the future will change.
The CEO goes home, gives final touches to his CV and sends it to his HR consultant friends and to people he knows. Another 3 months pass.. The CEOs bag is Rs 3 crore nett full.

Point No 8
What next ??? The management has started the search for a new candidate. The CEO s aware, but his new flat booked in Powaii is almost ready. He is looking for a job now in Andheri East. The sales do not improve ,the collections do not improve, the bottom line takes a hit. The CEO complains to his wife that the management does not understand his long term plan for the organisation. and he is fed up. As a last ditch effort, he tries to get in SAP- something that he is not aware of at all. He calls his IIT hostel mate who heads a SAP company, and agrees for a contract of Rs 3 crores.

The management comes to know this. They meet at a Malabar Hill flat of one of the investors & decide to throw this guy out in 3 months. The same night the CEO has taken stock of his earnings in 2 years- Rs 5.25 cores after tax. The empty “gala” under his Powaii building is on his radar for a purchase and to plan his consultancy business after retiring “early”. He writes the cheque for the down payment……. A new consultant has emerged.Next day, there is a call from his friend for a CEO level position in another limited company. The CEO rushes for the interview, shows his salary slip and luckily get the job at Rs 4 crores per annum negotiating a 30% pay hike.. Finally another “BAKRA” Company ( scapegoat )has been found by the CEO. Spending the next 2 years at least is not going to be a problem!!! A new CEO has arrived !!!!

THE CEO calls a meeting in his current company. Privately expresses his ” gross dissapointment” over the management not being clear in its objectives and hence he would like to move on as it is waste of time for him in the current organisation. A story is over.

Rs. 6 crores with tax has gone in the drain due to the CEO. A lot of lower salaried employees at the same time also did not contribute properly as they felt that they were really UNDERPAID compared to the CEO who they knew did nothing.


Actually when you hire a CEO at Rs 3 crores p.a.& above and all other staff is at an average salary of Rs 15 lakh p.a., automatically you have send a signal to the CEO that he is GOD and all the others below are idiots. The excellent guys down the line also accept willingly that if the CEO is so good to get a fantastic pay, then let him do wonders for the organisation, why should I at such a paltry pay ?

Solutions to avoiding such CEOs and avoiding losing tons of money are simple HR rules- old ones from the time there were no VP (HRs) and are still very effective

1. Do not have more than 20-25% of salary as difference between 2 consecutive levels of hierarchy at top 3 levels in the organisation. Distribute pay & responsibilities equitably.
2. Pay commissions to staff on sales and other performance related incentives. The performance related should touch 50%-100% of the salary
3. Identify performers and groom them to take over higher positions. Train them at your cost. You do not need hi fi qualified candidates.
4. The pay scales at mid management levels should have 15 to 20% difference and at top 3 levels at 25% difference. In NO way, should your CEO draw Rs 3 crores and your VPs Rs 40 -50 lakhs, and your Managers just Rs 15-20 lakhs and your field sales staff Rs 200,000 P.A. This huge difference in pay scales is destroying organisations and not motivating anyone.If you distribute the CEO’s salary as performance bonus to staff, your company will not need a CEO and will do twice the business that the overpaid & insecure CEO can do.
5. Assure promotions to people on a regular basis with higher positions/ promotions and just 20% higher pay every promotion.You will soon find CEOs, Presidents and VPs from within who are happy, and work at normal pay levels and who deliver, rather than the monsters that you buy from the market at over valued salary levels..
6. No human being is so supreme to change business situations, or change market sentiments, or a failing economy and direct hundreds of employees to double their output. Do not try to find one.

Even Godmen cannot change the fate of an organisation, forget a ordinary mortal whom you have put on a pedestal just because of his professional degrees.
A company or organisation runs on its own strength , not on the strengths of one person. So build your organisation, do not build your CEO’s status . A
ll the difference can be made by all your people in the organisation. So do not waste your money on one person , better invest in all your employees.

7.The middle and lower end of your pyramid actually delivers results and is responsible for the quality , speed and profitability of output and not the top end. Put your money on the right resources.

Rather than pay one person the salary of 50 to 100 average people, pay all the people 10-20% more in terms of profit sharing or sales revenue or for productivity, and see the results improve dramatically all over.This fundamental change will ensure that no person above a crore of rupees of salary is ever required.


Written by Dinesh Bandiwadekar