Chand ke paar chalo
Don’t jump on a conclusion about the nature of this article by the title. This is not a love story. This is a corporate story, a true story of my professional career with a media company. The incident/project given to me is fictional but the nature of working is same.
The company I was working is one of the most aggressive and fastest growing media company. This fast growth is because of the direct involvement and quick decisions of the promoters/directors of the company in most of the decisions. But sometimes this quick decision and too much involvement created problems also for the people like me who were directly working with them. All the directors were having different mindset and different style of working. They always wanted things on yesterday basis, changed decision too quickly, keep changing the brief without informing the project head and expected quick action. One director will give you brief and other will change it without informing you. Here I am trying to narrate the way they work with a fictional task/project.
So the fictional task is to make a plan to visit moon. I have taken example of moon visit because the kind of work given to us was always big task which we were supposed to finish on yesterday basis.
Ah I forgot to tell you about myself. I am MBA in marketing and I was working with this media company as brand manager. I was supposed to create brand image for the product through communication, events and helping management in strategic planning and making plans of new projects.
So one day I was called by Director, who is also one of the promoters of the company. He said – Naveen, I have a project for you and it is very important and confidential. We have to go on moon. You make the entire plan, requirements and budgets.
Me – This is great sir. I need some information to plan it. Can I start asking?
Director – Yes, before leaving the room all doubts and queries of yours should be resolved so that you can action quickly.
Me – Sir, I want to know the objective of traveling to moon?
Director (thought for a while) – leave that blank.
Me – Can I write that we want to explore opportunities over there?
Director- ummm, ok.
Me – Fine sir. How many people will travel to moon?
Director – Well that is not yet decided.
Me – ok sir, can you tell me for how many days?
Director – well, that is also not decided yet. You make the plan first than we will decide in board meeting.
Me – Sir, but to make budget and plan I need this information.
Director – Why? Why you need all this information. Make a general plan.
Me – But sir, then how will I calculate the requirement of oxygen, food and other necessary things? I need to budget according to number of people and no. of days they are going to stay on moon.
Director – Naveen, you are an MBA. Right?
Me – Yes sir.
Director – Apply your management skills and plan it.
Me – Ok sir. What I am thinking is to make 3 plans assuming 3 days stay, 1 week stay and 10 days stay of 3 persons.
Director – That’s my boy. Here you are. See you applied your mind and got it. You guys always want things ready, use brain.
Me – You are right boss. May I leave?
Director – yes.
I turned back and he called me again. – Naveen, wait. Do one thing, make 9 plans. 1 as you said, one with 5 people with same 3 options and one with 7 people with same number of days.
Me – Sir, when you want this report?
Director – I was planning to leave yesterday, but your plan is not ready. So now you know how much time you have to plan this.
Me – Sir, I have an idea. Instead of making 9 plans, I will make one plan which will be easy to calculate in any of the case.
Director – Like?
Me – This plan will save time and I will be able to present it to you in 1 hour. I will calculate the per day fix cost, which will be same in case of any number of people. Then I will calculate the cost per person per day which is variable. Whatever number of people want to go, we will just multiply the number and get proper budget.
I felt good with this and thought “Boss khush hoga, hamko shabashi dega, lekin nahiiii”
Director – I don’t understand why you guys always look for a shortcut. When I said 9 plan then why not 9?
Me – Sir actually number of people is not finalized, number of days are not finalized. In this case I have to work on assumptions only. So I will assume only one person one day. Cost will be multiplied and we will get the figure.
Director – More number of people, more number of days will give you economies of scale. Your figure will be an assumption only.
Sir – But sir, I am taking fixed cost separately. When we will calculate cost of 5 or 10 people on the basis of one person, fix cost will be same and we will get economies of scale.
Director thought for some time. He got confused or what I don’t know. He said – 9 plans means 9 plans. Ok. Give me in one hour.
Me – Sir, not possible in one hour.
Director – you said few minutes back, one hour.
Me – sir that was for one plan. It’s already 7 PM, making 9 plans will take 8-9 hours. I will be able to give it to you by tomorrow evening.
Director – Fine. Show this plan to me tomorrow. Tomorrow at 9.30 AM.
Me – But sir.. how? I have to work whole night.. Ok sir, Right sir, will present in morning.
I worked till 1 AM in office made 9 plans. Checked it again and freezed.
Next day, morning 9.30 AM. I was in front of Director’s office.
Director – Come Naveen. Ready with presentation?
I said yes and started my presentation. His face was expressionless. After 2-3 minutes he stopped me and said what are you presenting to me?
Me – Sir, plan to travel on moon.
Director – who said we are going on moon?
Me – Sir you briefed me yesterday.
Director – Naveen, where are you? That was briefed to you 14 hours back. Plan changed after that. We are going to Mars. You are not aware?
Me – No sir, nobody informed me.
Director – who will inform you? You should be proactive and get details.
Me – You are right sir, but you briefed the same in evening and worked till 1 in night. I didn’t receive any mail or phone. By the way sir, why plan changed to Mars?
Director – We had a meeting in evening. Our peon ***** ji (who was for service in board room) said – “Saab, chand pe kuch nahi hai. Kal TV pe dekha tha ki mangal par pani bhi milta hai, wahi kyo nahi jaate”. (Sir, there is nothing on moon. I saw in TV that water is available on Mars. Why don’t you go there?)
All peons and drivers are eyes and ears of directors. You have to call them with respect and they will feel bad if you not suffix “JI” after their name.
Anyway, my director continued – see, how much a peon is aware and you guys are not. Instead of peon you should have told me that we should plan for Mars.
Me – My fault sir. But sir that’s why I wanted to know the objective. You didn’t tell me the objective otherwise I could have suggested. I thought it’s your final plan.
Director – You mean it’s my fault? I misguided you?
Me – No sir, it’s my fault. I just wanted to say information was not complete.
Director – Ok. Where is the mars plan?
Me – Sir, you just told me about that. I was not aware. I need time to make.
Director was angry now – I don’t know how to handle you guys. We are planning for Mars and you are making plan for moon.
Me – Extremely sorry sir. I was not informed about that. It’s my fault, I could have checked with you before starting the moon plan. Sorry again sir. I will make Mars plan.
Director – Good. Ask me if you have any doubt right now. We are running late by one day now. Your queries should be resolved before you leave this room.
Me- Thanks for your kindness sir. I just wanted few basic information. What is the objective of Mars travel, how many people will travel and for how many days?
Director – Leave the objective blank. We haven’t decided how many people and how many days. This will be decided today evening in board meeting. You use your brain and make 9 plans as I said yesterday. Give it in one hour.
Me – thanks for the detailed information sir. But 9 plans will take time.
Director – You guys don’t use your mind. Do one thing. Make one plan. Take fix cost separately, and then calculate the variable cost for one person per day. We will multiply it with number of people going and this will be done in one hour.
Me – Thanks a lot sir. But yesterday I suggested you same and you denied.
Director (felt offended) – because this calculation will not work for moon. This will work for Mars.
Me – Thanks for your guidance sir. I am highly obliged.
Director – I told you Naveen, you will learn a lot in this organization. What people learn in 4 years, you will learn in one year with this organization. Go and work, we have a meeting in evening.
Ahhh, you can understand my situation now. I resigned from this job in short span. Director offered me higher salary to stay back. I asked him – Do you think I am leaving the company for money. He said – ofcourse. It happens people learn from us and take higher salaries at other places.
I just said thanks for his kindness and told that I am leaving and that is final.
I came out of office. Switched on FM in my car and FM was playing the song “Rado ki ghadi haatho, perfume Gucci wala, But PAPPU CAN”T DANCE SALA”