CAREER


People working in the corporate world repeatedly talk about how much better it is to be “on one’s own”- where they can do what they like and be totally independent; where they can freely implement their innovative ideas and need not kowtow to the boss; where they are not constrained by the...

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There was a lot of media coverage on 30 November 2023, on the death of Charles Munger, the alter ego and foil of Warren Buffett for over 60 years, as they together built Berkshire Hathaway into an empire. Though many of us always heard about Mr Buffett, the name of Mr Munger hardly featured...

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In standard books on the theory of selling, there would be three seemingly innocuous directions, lost in the vast verbiage of a standard text, under the chapter on closing the sale. These are a) never be insulted by a refusal; b) never write off a customer; and c) never give up. It seems so...

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“When I grow up, I won’t have children,” said my six-year-old granddaughter. “They are too much work.”   Yes, parenting is a lot more work today than it was 30 years ago. And more expensive, too, in more ways than one. First, of course, the cost.   As far back as 2018, a...

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The usual refrain in many companies today is that most of the unemployed are unemployable. They sometimes have poor technical knowledge (even though they have graduated) and even poorer communication skills and human skills. As I have said in earlier articles—technical, human and...

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IANS 27 December 2023
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a notification warning that students should not enrol in MPhil Degree courses being offered by universities as they are no longer recognised.   The notification comes as the UGC had earlier directed all higher educational institutions...

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If you have not set values and a design for the kind of life you wish to lead in the corporate world (and outside it), you can end up having very flexible standards. This can even mean no standards at all! As you go up the executive ladder, keep looking around you at the people who have...

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Sparks flew after Narayana Murthy asked the nation’s youth to work 70 hours a week. Though a few industrialists did support Mr Murthy, most of the other opinions were decidedly against the notion.   Now that feelings have been vented, and the dust has settled, it is time to look at...

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It is a turbulent world. A world of change and chaos. I see that old solutions, which I had successfully applied to problems 40 years ago, are no longer suitable for the same problems. This is compounded by the fact that even the basic nature of many problems has changed. Hark back to the old...

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Long revered as the ‘simple’ middle-class, super-success story, the Murthys of Infosys are perhaps perplexed at why social media (with often leads the mainstream media coverage) seems to explode at their comments these days. This time around, it was NR Narayana Murthy’s ‘request’ that India’s...

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I have greatly admired and learnt a lot from Charles Vance, who wrote Manager Today, Executive Tomorrow. One of the 10 principles he propounds in his book is that ‘from birth to death you are alone’. You may have parents to help you up to a point; you may have your spouse and children to help...

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IANS 30 October 2023
Infosys founder Narayana Murthy's advice to youngsters in India, urging them to work 70 hours a week, has sparked sharp reactions from founders and leaders who said that while extended working hours can boost productivity, a balanced approach is equally necessary.   During a podcast,...

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IANS 27 October 2023
Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, in a conversation with Padma Shri Awardee and Chairman of Aarin Capital, T.V. Mohandas Pai on the first episode of 3one4 Capital's podcast 'The Record', said that if India wants to compete with developed economies that have made remarkable progress in...

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If there is one problem that is probably common to the whole world, it is that the number of listeners is dwindling—not on TV, and podcasts, but in personal interactions. Most of us rush to comment or voice an opinion and criticise; and only a few have the patience to wait and listen. This...

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Please note that I have said ‘bad’ ragging, not all ragging.   I believe that ragging does have value, provided it is carried out the right way.    I certainly do not condone the type of ragging we have been reading about, in which a young boy is abused in such an inhuman...

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Knowing how far you can go too far, in familiarity, can mean different things in different cultures. There was the big ‘goof up’ made by president Johnson of the USA, when he bowed low (he was very tall) to kiss the queen of Thailand on the cheek. This is never done in Thailand. The ‘face’ is...

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“Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) produces world-class chief executive officers (CEOs)”.   I disagree.   IITs don’t “produce” CEOs—it processes them, just like a gold mine doesn’t produce gold, it merely processes the ore that contains gold.    Yes, IITs teach...

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IANS 03 August 2023
The university grant commission (UGC) on Wednesday declared 20 universities, including eight based in Delhi, as fake.   Last year, UGC had declared 21 universities as fake.   UGC stated that these institutions are not authorised to grant any degrees to students and alerted the...

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There are many times in corporate life—and even outside it—when you have to be (or seem to be) cruel to others, or unkind, or thoughtless, or lacking in etiquette, in order to be kind to yourself. There are situations that arise, where one has to put one’s foot down, or else everyone will...

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Sharing an apartment leads to the discovery of hitherto unknown traits in people.   The third person in our apartment, apart from Swapan-da and me, was KR, also a PhD student. He was very affable, jovial and helpful. But, over time, cracks began to appear in his veneer.   At...

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