CAREER


Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 30 September 2022
I reached Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur (KGP) as a fresher with a great deal of trepidation. No, I was not worried about missing the comforts of home. The monster that scared me was – ragging.   I had heard many horror stories about the brutality of ragging at other...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 24 September 2022
Some time ago, I was watching an old management film called The Professional. Van Johnson, the well-known Hollywood actor of yesteryears who featured in many westerns, plays the lead role in this movie. In one of the scenes, Johnson is told that, to be a real professional, he should have the...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 16 September 2022
Once in a while, a subordinate will put you in a spot where you won’t know whether to laugh or cry. You can only mutter to yourself, “What the .…!”   Here are some occasions when this happened to me.   Being the telex officer, a very junior position, I was in charge of the...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 09 September 2022
When I was in school, I remember my mother often asking my father, in the morning when he was immersed in the newspaper, ‘What is the front page news today?’ And he would patiently spend time telling her about what was happening in the world and in the country. This was all covered in the...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 02 September 2022
While working in the Middle East, my bank received a request from none other than His Highness (HH) the Crown Prince. The request was for a US$300 million loan for a new project launched by HH.   On account of the personality involved, I was specially deputed to discuss the matter...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 26 August 2022
It was a very wet day when I went for my first job interview. I went all the way from the distant suburb of Chembur to Worli in Mumbai. Because of the heavy rains, I arrived dripping from head to foot. When I was ushered in to meet the personnel director, my hands trembled, with the cold and...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 19 August 2022
The managing director (MD) saw my report, terminated John Miles and put me in charge of the task force. “Go and clean the mess, stop the bleeding,” he told me.   To assist me in the clean-up, I asked for Sundar to join my team. He was the senior-most operations man in the bank,...

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Jayat Joshi (The Leaflet) 17 August 2022
Of the crores of Indians vying for government jobs, hardly half a per cent are able to qualify for them. Despite the uneven odds, why do Indians still chase them? The usual reasons for running after government jobs (such as job security) are in reality the result of a deep-seated class...

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Walter Vieira Walter Vieira 12 August 2022
Over the many decades of practice in the business of personnel recruitment—and the experience gained from it—I have always advised young (and not so young) people that they should be careful when changing jobs. The new company may give you more money and a grander designation. But does that...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 05 August 2022
After T (the terminator) left, a new general manager (GM) arrived – David Moore. He was the total antithesis of T—short, thin, thick blond hair, no glasses and a mousy countenance. Rumour had it that the managing director (MD) had selected him because he had hated having a domineering GM who...

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If there is one problem that is common to the whole world, it is that the number of listeners is dwindling. Most of us rush to comment, voice an opinion and criticise. Few have the patience to wait and listen. And this applies particularly to newcomers in corporate organisations.    A...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 22 July 2022
I am sure you have heard of Mr AK. He is famous, or should I say, infamous. He left a huge packet of bad debts with banks in India and absconded to the UK, where he continues to live in his normal billionaire style, while fending off extradition attempts by the government of...

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Many people want to be leaders; very few want to be, and continue to be, followers. But there is a great need to have a few leaders and to have many good followers. There are many books written, and training sessions held, on leadership. A training session on followership is a...

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As I keep reading the reports on K in every newspaper, wondering which political party in India he will now help, I also keep thinking about how luck helps many of us, good luck and, sometimes, bad. It is one of those things.    In the rough and tumble of corporate life, many things...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 24 June 2022
A few months after taking charge of credit for Pakistan, I was told to tour Pakistan in order to get a first-hand feel of the country.   This was in the mid-1990s when relations between India and Pakistan were not quite cordial but not openly hostile either. Being an Indian, I was...

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The ability to be discreet, to build trust in yourself and, through you, in the organisation; to keep your word and, therefore, to build credibility - can make big demands on a manager. Is it possible always, to be honest? Is there sufficient room for grey areas—through which one can...

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As the battered ed-tech platforms enter the physical tuition centre space, knives are out and the traditional coaching institutes have threatened their teachers leaving the institutes.   As schools and colleges reopen, leading ed-tech platforms like Unacademy, BYJU's, Vedantu and the...

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Amitabha Banerjee Amitabha Banerjee 10 June 2022
At the height of the economic crisis in India in the early 1990s, I left the country to join a bank in Dubai. Early on, I found out how the personnel (now called human resources-HR) department works there.   HR departments in banks in the Middle East were headed by nationals,...

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Why is middle management the lost tribe?    Often, when I look at middle management (MM) in the corporate world, I am inclined to describe it as the ‘lost tribe’ of biblical times. They are caught between running with the fox and chasing with the hound. It is a group which is caught...

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Labour unions used to be a major thorn in the side of corporate managers in India, along with the demons of inspector-raj, goonda-raj, and income tax (I-T)-raj.   Having grown up in Kolkata in the 1950s and 1960s, I had seen what unions could do when they grew nasty. My uncle had been...

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