Monday, January 12, 2009

Are you a "Spoilt Customer" who demands better customer service on every transaction!

I remember the good old days in my home town in Suburban Mumbai when I would wake up early to ensure that I am at the bank before many more arrive and apply for the demand draft that I need for some entrance exam fees so that I am not driven away saying “Come tomorrow and collect the draft” or “Come after 12:00 noon, From the back door!”

I have also observed the same bank officials make fun of people like me when they have dared asked about certain slips and forms to be used for the transactions.

This essentially was the Customer Service I had gotten used to. For years!

It was in the mid nineties that I moved out and started to bank with a Private Bank and I almost had tears of joy in my eyes when the bank executive told me that my draft would be ready within 10 minutes. I even had an ATM card to pull out money anytime I wanted. It was a sea change, I could not believe all this to be true! I now have more or less got used to the fact that good and proper customer service goes a long way into making customers happy and ensuring a continued and repeat business at a higher level.


Few days back I had an interaction with a bank executive whose bureaucratic habits and tone reminded me of the good(?) old days of customer service. It was a terrible feeling, more so since I could clearly make out that this person was a complete misfit in the changed ways of working, one who was embarrassing his peers with his behavior and someone who was unable to comprehend the vision and objectives of his organization.

I felt pity but soon I also realized I must report the incident, I got calls from the executives from the bank and the issue was sorted out, with the person apologizing for his behavior and rendering the service he was supposed to provide as part of his job.


Do we ask too much under customer service since some of us are “spoilt customers” demanding too much! What are you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Famed Mumbai Taxis to be taken off the road by the government...

Last heard, the famed Mumbai Taxi’s, the good old yellow and black Premier Padmini cabs are going to be off the road soon.


The state government has made this decision based on the age of the vehicles, the emission levels..


How would the urban landscape look, when these socialist era relics are off the road?

Wish you all a Happy New year 2009!

Dear friends,


As I write this email, I reflect upon some of the hits and few miss-hits of 2008. I personally closed the year with an excellence award and recognition from the organization for my team.

The coming year presents new challenges. Challenges that will test each one of us on the professional front and perhaps on the personal front too, challenges that will stretch some of us to the limit.

I feel excited and confident that most of us would overcome these challenges and surpass most expectations. What makes me confident is the faith and trust, commitment and dedication that most of us have known to show, especially in difficult times.


I wish you and your near and dear ones a very happy new year and hope all of us have a fulfilling, energetic and upbeat 2009!


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead


Warm Regards

Naresh Choudhary

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Satyam Scandal - India's Enron

The news flash on Wednesday morning as I returned to my desk after a brief meeting was shocking to say the least.

A colleague showed me the flash on his laptop and I could not believe it was true till someone opened the candid admissions of R Raju on the letter faxed to the stock exchanges and the Board (BORED?) members.


Why would seemingly smart and accomplished people do reckless and stupid things? For the thrill in it out of the risks involved? Why does this consume some of us in its fold while leaving others out of it?

I read in an issue of TIME( sometime in 2008 that the coding is in the brain and neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin play a role in the thrill- seeking behavior. Not all risks are serious some could be a lot less damaging like bungee jumping.


The problem perhaps is that high-sensation seekers tend to under estimate the risks and put themselves and a whole lot of others into deep s**t as we have seen in this case. Many a successful individuals have fallen hard by trying to think that they are step ahead. Meteoric careers have ended within no time, people who had it all seem to have thrown it all away in brief moments!

What could have prevented this? A model, framework like Baldrige, a Board that was not Bored and did its duty, a management that had its feet on the ground and was willing to be truthful and still do extra ordinary things by being honest with themselves and the rest of the world, an audit firm that could have potentially looked at the records and done what was expected of them – raise the issue, shout.