Sunday, December 30, 2007

Customer satisfactions.

The last post for 2007. The time files.
I had lot of customer experience to share this week. Let me see how fast I can do this in the next 45 Minutes I set out for blog.

1) I posted my comments on the cranky middle manager Show Forum, on the Poor audio quality of the 800 CEO podcasts. I was pleasantly surprised to receive email from 800 CEO READ about the improvements and asking me to try out. Yes, there is a bit of improvement, looks like they have done their best. Thanks for their response. This goes to show customer every where matters. You may Listen to the moving story of how star bucks saved his life. Very touching. I plan to get the book if it comes to this part of the world. I have given them the feedback on not able to Sync their podcasts on ITUNES. Lets see.

2)I was delighted to see that Harvard Business review South Asian edition is now out for the Indian subscribers with Rupee Payment. This is the first venture, I guess outside USA. The same is true of Fortune magazine. While I could subscribe to fortune easily online through the Hong kong website, the same didn't happen for HBR which is done through phone call etc as there are some credit card issues which needs to be sorted out at the NEW DELHI office of the publishers.3 days have passed since expressing my interest and still no active response. Here is a customer who wants to avail a service and making follow up to the agency for subscription and there is no active response. So much for the customer satisfaction at the other end. Or is it local cultural issue!!! I wonder.
3) The third experience was Airtel broad band was abruptly disconnected from my home for non payment of Monthly dues.(US$ 110) I was surprised that within less than 24 Hrs of deadline expiry, they decided to switch off. I remember times at my hectic travels, I had missed even 2 months payment with other service providers(SPICE telecom) and they never did that. The payment amount would exceed US 600$. In fact even now they call over the phone to collect payments. They know that customer is right and has reasons. It took persuasive skills of my wife to work through customer service( We have 4 telephones, (2 mobiles and 2 landlines phones which she manages payments, issues) to restore service within couple of hours, at 7am. That much they were kind enough to do that before the payment was made at 3pm that day.
4) The last customer satisfaction was more a public interest, the US Visa interview visits were nightmare as people would know. There were lot of feedback when Steve Hamm explained his Indian visa experience. I too posted my piece of mind.(oct 22) I was delighted when the email from VFS came yesterday about a waiting lounge (Stars and Stripes Lounge) etc which will make other people experience much refreshing. (Not for me till 2015 as my US visa is valid till then!!!).

So my prediction for 4-0 whitewash holds good. Lets see. So the neck is safe. The next week weather in Sydney may save India. I guess as Rains are predicted.
Ok, Time is up got to get up to enjoy the Sunday evening walk with Lalitha.

All the best for 2008.

I look forward to receive the MERCK Ganesha Desk calendar from my good friend Ananthasivan.(It reaches me every year since 1998!!).

I have targetted 60-75 Blog posts for 08. Lets see.!!!

Till next week take it easy and take care. Live consciously.
PS: Next week; Kid on Candy Shop!!!.


2007 would pass in to history in less than 36 Hours. It was a great year for the family. We would easily give a rating of 7.5 on a scale of 10. Of course, 1994 and 2006 were much better years.
Here is to wish you all the very best for 2008. Hope it is a great year filled with Joy, Peace, Prosperity and goodwill.

Came across this interesting Video. Thought of sharing this with you.



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Catchup, TED, DIMDIM, Head on block.

Lalitha, Mrs.Rajan, Radha, Dr Rajan,Shravan.(20/12).
As indicated in my last week column, we could catch up with Dr Rajan, my EX-boss at BASF Managalore. Mrs & Dr Rajan took time from (their Indian trip) busy schedule to catch up with us over lunch at our home. It was a time well spent to do retrospection over the last 8 years. Children also learned some valuble tips from him for being successful in life during the interaction.

As indicated in my other podcasts, I listen to the Cranky middle manager show of Wayne Turmel. I never miss the show over the last 8 months. This week, I listened to Wayne's podcast with DD Ganguly of DIMDIM who is based in Hyderabad. Dimdim according to DD will make WEBEX, HISTORY!!. This is an online, web meeting tool. You just need a PC, Internet connection and Phone line. You may send a request email in the dimdim website.
This is similar to
Great to see the online tools which kind of help you avoid all the hassles of downloading and installing software. Wayne has planned a live web meeting on 3rd Jan. Cant wait to participate, Awaiting further instructions from him.

I came across interesting website of video presentations which inspires you a lot. TED(Technology, Entertainment, Design) is the website. Worth the time spent. You can also register your profile to join and exchange info in this community. The community concept is hitting speed on on on on.

Here is the list of the best of the Business books of 2007, (800 CEO READ). Glad to see some Indian flavor in to it as well as some Indian authors.

I just finished reading Tim Sanders, Likability factor. Great concepts, how some one is perceived to be likable survives in all the odd situation and goes up the career ladder. Sanders points out Friendliness, Relevance, Empathy and Realness as the factors which make it happen. Worth spending time in the days of uncertainty and unpredictability in all walks of life. His other book, "Love is a killer App, Mark Mentions in the favourite books to read podcast.

I am not sure If I had mentioned, Douglas Welch, Career opportunities, Podcast. Douglas Welch produces great podcasts. He also does podcasts on career Podcasting, Gardening, tech stuff etc. It is worth spending time. I take time to listen in the PC medium. The audio for some of the podcasts gets drowned in the local background noise.

I have just started reading Robin Sharma's- Mega living.

Incidentally, further to my Post on DiSC. This is now available in Manager tools site. The cost is 26$. You may try it out.

So this week the cricket Expectation starts. Let us see, I agree with Stuart Clark, for a 4-0. Looks like great weather in Melbourne. I am putting my Head on the block. My guess its going to be curtains for many of the cricketers.

So till next week, take it easy and take care. Live consciously.

Merry Christmas.


I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Have a great time with your friends and family. I am sure it will be time to rejoice, retrospect, Revere, remember the happenings over the last 50 weeks. Enjoy the time. It also helps us to realize that how lucky we are to enjoy life as much as we do.


Take care.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nagesh, DISC, Jim Collins,

I am delighted to see that My Linkedin connection has reached 300. I can assure you that of that 280 are those are with whom I have conversation by phone or email. About 20 or so are the requests that came in which was accepted. Yes, some of the common members of community have accepted my request seeing my Blog and Profile. Thank you. I know 300 is a not even a drop in an ocean of 6Billion out there. As Mark says, Build volume indiscriminately, thats a good beginning. Thank you all.

I am also surprised !!!,(Pleasantly) that site hits to my Blog has reached 412 till today from October 22nd. That is almost 8 hits a day from various part of the world. Amazing, I was thinking that I would hit 100 by end of the year. This is also delightful. The average time spent was 2 min, which is OK. Let me see what I can do to improve.

Ok, I was delighted to Host Nagesh Belludi, whose websites ( and Inspirational quotes) I had mentioned in my previosus posts, Saturday. He visited my home. We spent almost 90 Minutes on exchanging thoughts on how best we can do value adds to the community of readers.I guess I spoke a lot,!!. I am glad Nagesh took time from his busy schedule during his short 3 weeks visit to India (Nagesh is with Cummins in Indianopolis). If you wish to host Nagesh for any motivational lectures in Bangalore, Pl contact Nagesh on his website. He will be in India till the 29th of Dec. I have worked some plans for taking my personal blogging to some interactive level. More will follow in 2 to 3 months. I have posted the photo above.

I am sure many of you may know about the DiSC profile on the personality of people. Mike and Mark have worked out exclusive podcast on each of the profile. This is for registered members of Manager tools. Registration is free. The DiSC is D Dominant, I Influence, S Steadiness, C Conscientious. They have also worked podcasts on How to give feedback to this guys so that it makes sense to them. Just to let you know my profile is High S. Pattern: Achiever.
It is worth taking a test to know your profile. Ofcourse, there are other equivalent profile to try out for free.

I watched last evening with Awe, Jim Collins video in Utube on Leadership in this interview with Charlie Rose. What an interviewer he is!!!. I got to get hold of his book Good to great soon.( I remember my wife calling me up a year back,then when I was traveling that she would buy the book in the book shop and I told we will see later!!!). Crystal clear clarity of thoughts and expressing it. Worth watching. I am also amazed at the levels of leadership at Level 5 which extends to putting purpose beyond individual like Gandhi, Sardar did for India. Jim talks about Abe as an example.

I will end this week with news, that the family is excited to catch up with Dr VBV Rajan,my boss at BASF Mangalore, who in now in India. It was Dr Rajan, who molded me as a mature person by sharpening the people and task side of managerial skills in me to enrich the technical skills I picked up at Sandoz. Dr Rajan retired during 1999 and moved to USA later. I moved out soon. Some people say I have some misgivings about bosses. It is not so, I was very lucky to work with great bosses. You may read this article by Liz Ryan to see my other side view of bosses.

As we come practically the last working week of the year, I guess it is time to look back. The year just flew by I guess, so all the performance reviews etc etc should happen.

Until next week, take it easy and take care. Live consciously.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Value of Life, JP Lounge.

I was away to Pune on Business travel and back last night. So 2007 travel is over and I look forward to spending the next 3 to 4 weeks at home and enjoy a bit of holidays. I guess 2007 just flew past in a flash.

I was saddened to read the fatality at work in the Hyundai factory in Madras. 4 People lost their life due to Methane gas leak in the confined space. I really wonder when the personnel overcome their ignorance to this Quiet Assassin. This clearly goes to show the Pre-job inspection and assessing risk is critical. I don't want to touch a safety subject in my blog, the main reason for this posting being that I was appalled by the compensation announced by the company of US 5000 $ for each of the person died. I just wonder that is that the value of life in India. I guess people / press will forget and move on. I also wonder being contract employees, I am not sure what kind of welfare and death benefits would be covered. Is the value of a worker is only that much. I am also seeing from the employee perspective, Couldn't they have done the checks or Hazard recognition. What a loss to the family. How much the family would suffer and undergo pain and suffering in times to come. I know there are no easy answers. Cant we be sure that what ever we do, we take a moment to step back and see if this is the right way to do?, even if not for our own sake, at least for the sake of dear and near ones.

While returning back from Pune to Bangalore, I transited from Bombay airport. I made the mistake of going in to the Jet Airways new premier lounge after security check at the departure bay. Oh, God it was a nightmare, the lounge was right above five or six departure gates of all airlines (Including the low cost airlines) made a hell looks better. There were no glass partitions or noise reduction measures. So I can hear all the screaming and fights of passengers of these low cost airlines whose flights were delayed. It was like seeing a war movie. I had to endure the agony for 90 minutes before boarding. I can not go back to the other lounge as I had completed security formalities. That will be the first and last time I would have gone there. The irony was this lounge was for the benefit of Business class and Platinum card members,(So much for customer satisfaction). Whoever had planned this in Jet is a genius whose job is protected by Life long employment guarantee, I guess (Like some of the Japanese companies).

I am also amazed at the changing security rules and inconsistencies across security checks at Airports. Bombay has strange rules saying that 2 pieces of hand baggage is not allowed. Pune asks for Photo Identification as you enter. Bangalore, lease said the better. Wonder when the consistency will come. My British friends ridicule at the number of Machine gun trotting security personnel at US Airports, I will invite them to visit Indian airports.

I am reading Bill George's (Ex- Honeywell Executive)
True North. I found the concept of Passion, Compassion, Empathy and Courage as key behaviors to manifest in leadership. Also, the personal situation drives the key characteristics to manifest. How true!!. I would suggest every one to go through.

Ok, As the year is coming to an end, I got to focus to prepare for performance reviews for myself and my team. I don't have to worry as I have listened to Mike and Mark's Podcasts on performance review podcasts and is fully prepared.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care; Live consciously.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Board of Directors.

I had a quiet birthday celebrations on the 30th, kids are having exams, wife busy with her e -coaching so let the day just drift. Of course did a bit of shopping Thursday.

Ok, I came across2 books this week, Fifth discipline by Peter Senge.
Love the work you are with
by Richard Whiteley
The overlap between the 2 books were amazing, both talk about personal mastery. Both books talk about you forming your "Board of Directors" through friends, well wishers, colleagues, professionals who would facilitate planning,Coordination, direction as in case of management for your personal development. They would work with you as a Politician, strategist, Problem solver, Coach, Butt kicker and Cheerleader to take you forward as you go ahead in life. I loved the concept, Of course in an Indian sense if fits well as you always consult people close to you for all the important decisions in your life.

Here is the Global list of 50 Great thinkers, there are some interesting names, Came across this in CMM web site. I begin to like more and more the show and I feel it should go in to every one's must listen podcasts list. is a practical information on the Management aspects with lot of information to download.
I also spend some time on Spirituality and religion once a week and came across this website on Swami Sukhabhodananda. He connects religion, spirituality, management. There are some interesting audio interviews to listen too.

As a globe trotter I always refer to the etiquette and business practices that exist in the countries I visit. I was curious to see what is being said about doing business in India. This link provides all the info for doing things in India. I guess many of it is true and practical.

I close my blog with the the 10 Most underrated books of all times and 10 most overrated books of all times and what to read instead. Agree with many of the ratings, ofcourse many of the overrated books I had found useful.

Till next week, Take it easy and take care, Live Consciously.

John McCain.

#329 Very sad to wake up to the news of passing away of Senator John McCain aged 81 (4 days short of his 82nd Birthday).  He was a true ...