Adieu 2015 , Greetings 2016

Thank you,
O’ 2015
For you have been
My ally, My companion
In times of my despair
In my moments of cheer!

In my journey
Through rain and storm
Through fire and snow
With a hope…
That the nascent morning sun
Will be more crescent
That the moon is more cool
And the moonbeams spread
Peace and prosperity
On Earth.

Adieu my old friend 2015.
Greetings dear 2016!
Let 2016 be a great year for you all
The memories of which shall remain to be cherished
For centuries to come!


Incentives and Rewards

Incentives and rewards are often considered as one of the most important factors for employee retention and morale boosting. But, it is always a double edged sword. If pushed over-enthusiastically or pushed by wrong people, may add to the growing number of frustrated employees in any organisation.

Whatever best the rewarding policy and whatever generous the incentivising methods may be, it has been seen that only a single digit percentage number of employees are rewarded in any organisation, pushing a majority to the sidelines. These left-outs may gradually become unenthusiastic and non-participative, hindering the very spirit of the reward. However, these majority are, if not the wheels of a chariot, are the axels, sideboards and the platform, on which the charioteer and the warrior stand to move forward or rage a war. Hence the feelings of these employees can’t be ignored at all, at least in the interest of the wholesome growth of an organisation.

Some business entities, along with their core business, do an agency businesses as well. Whatever small or large the commission may be, it adds to the bottom line of the company. However, the company should be ever watchful of its employees, so that they do not fall into a commission trap. The organisation that employs them as agents, since not required to recruit or manage its own manpower and handle the market outlets, would always lure them with more money and other incentives and in turn, would require them to dedicate all their available time and energy to it.

This is a silent trap, where the employees are happy, secure and comfortable but the employer/entrepreneur is not. The employees feel secure, since they have a guaranteed monthly salary and over and above there is a handsome commission earning. The employer is not a happy guy, since his core business gradually gets relegated to his agency things.

Much of the effectiveness of the incentive schemes also depend upon the company policy. One of those could be, whether the top management and the board members are also a part of the rewarding. If yes, then there is every chance that their decisions and directives could not be without a bias.

These are some points, which should be given a thought, before launching any performance linked incentive scheme by a business entity.

However, one of the incentive methods could be
-Employ the best people available in the industry with the best of the remuneration package, with a steady annual growth.
-Grow collaboration and team culture among all the employees, with a strict sink and swim together attitude.
-Give a reasonably good career path to all to grow.
-Distribute a percentage of the profit, contributed by a vertical/group/team among all the members of that vertical/group/ segment/product team equally.

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Deliver your best, at the least time and deliver it courteously, build a life long customer relationship…and in turn gain a long term business.

Apart from the best of services, some other things may also need a addressing…by any business organisation, particularly a service organisation like a bank are –

Given similar products available in the market,how different is yours!

How Coordinated and Cohesive the organisation is! How seamlessly the decisions integrate into your system!!

Is the organisation aware of its strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis others in the industry and does it work on its strengths or on its weaknesses!

Is the majority of itsemployees are smart enough to convert leads and small opportunities into business. How high are the employee morale and how motivating are their leaders. How agile is the business and how timely are its decisions!!

And the list goes on…

Survival of the fittest is the law of nature and it does not spare anything or anybody, which can’t survive all the evens and odds of time.

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#DigitalIndia (Part-II)

#DigitalWeek #DigitalDialogue @narendramodi

(Who/What prevented, the giant Indian IT companies, which were established during or before Microsoft or Google, from being pioneers and giving to India and the world a robust, state of the art software platform like the Windows, iOS or chromes…)

PM Modi while launching Digital India campaign, asks, why can’t Google be made in India!

I googled ‘Google’ in google’s web-site and found,”Google is a multinational, publicly-traded organization built around the company’s hugely popular search engine. Google’s other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.”

The most interesting fact is that, Google came into being as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, followed by an Initial Public Offering on August 19, 2004.

Now, let’s look at the Indian IT giants like Infosys,TCS etc.

– “Established in 1981, Infosys is a NYSE listed global consulting and IT services company.”

– “Tata Consultancy Services Ltd was founded in 1968…In 1975, TCS conducted its first campus interviews, held at IISc, Ahmedabad, Bangalore. The recruits comprised 12 IIT graduates and three IISc graduates, who became the first TCS employees to enter a formal graduate trainee programme…In 1981, TCS established India’s first dedicated software research and development centre, the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC) in Pune.”

I never undermine the contributions made by these and other IT-services company’s to Indian economy and their role in providing employment to a large section of young Indian technocrats and engineers, but the question is –

Q3- What prevented Indian IT companies, which were established during or before Microsoft or Google came into existence, from being companies like Google or Microsoft or even more than them.

Q4- Who prevented them from becoming pioneers and giving India and the world, robust, state of the art software platforms like Windows, iOS, chrome etc.

Instead, these companies were complacent with their operations, providing solutions/ services to their American and European clients, outsourced to them by the firms of these countries, over the (licence money paid or open source) software platforms build by the firms of these countries.

For information of my readers, Apple was founded on April 1,1976 and was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977.Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975.

The difference between these companies and ours is that, those did R&D, believed in out-of-the-box thinking, constantly came out with innovative ideas and mixed their products, with a long term perspective. In the way they gave wonders to the world!

The blocking factor here in India may be, we were a developing economy and our priority primarily lied with our sustenance, rather than risk-taking and innovation. Opening-up of our economy to the world, was also a little delayed, late by almost a decade.

India’s contribution to the world in the field of Innovation in manufacturing of hardware is not worth mentioning. While Intel Corporation which was founded on July 18, 1968 gives to the world pathbreaking semiconductor chips every day; or the companies like HP, Dell, Samsung come out with new products every now and then; our HCL-Tech,Wipro-Tech or CMC…concentrated on installation, repair, maintenance, assembling of computer peripherals and marketing.

So, on this #digitalweek my #dugitaldialogue with @narendramodi would be, what steps we are taking through our #DigitalIndia initiatives to innovate and develop in-house

1-Robust and secure Software platforms in India

2-Data computing, storage and retrieval technologies

3-State of the art networking protocols/ technologies for secure and faster communication

4-India’s role in the Technical committees and sub-committees for advancement and standardisation and security of all computing, communications, dissemination related activities, in IEEE,W3C etc.

5-Do we pay adequate attention and invest enough resources in the field of AI & Robotics, before it is too late.

These are the few questions those create butterflies in my stomach and I could not resist but ask.

However, E-Com,E-Gov,E-Banking,E-Learning… iota of E-things are basic necessity of a developing and a developed country, which we can’t but have to accept in our society as a part of our day-to-day routine of life.

I am curious to see what interesting #IOT gadgets are going to be innovated by our young technocrats, which, I’m sure it ‘ll be far more impressive than Apple watch and Google glass.

#DigitalIndia (Part-I)

On 1st. of July 2015, the PM of India launched, Govt. Of India’s most visionary and ambitious #DigitalIndia program and he twitted, “Today we commenced a special journey…a journey towards a #DigitalIndia where technology will play a pivotal role in India’s progress.”

Following are my first part (Part-I) of #Digitaldialogue on this subject during this #Digitalweek.

I personally do not have any doubt, hence visualise an all inclusive #DigitalIndia in the near future, where, be it Govt. or Quasi-Govt., Public or Private Sector, Social functions or Individual interactions, everything is performed electronically. People get connected with each other and with their government in a virtual world.

In fact physical appearance is not at all required in most of the cases of our daily life and small-small computer apps can take care of many of our small-small day-to-day needs.

However, it is a question of seamless integration of all these functions (/apps) into a cohesive one to get the full benefit of digitisation. Most importantly the real challenge of integration of this virtual world with the (beautiful!) real world (or for that matter whether we choose the virtual world at all or not), lies at our mental level!

Looking at our experience in BPO and ITES sector,of the mega world leaders like TCS,Infosys,Wipro and the government agencies like NIC etc., we can confidently say that we have the expertise, and are apt at development and integration of these apps on any platform and for any sector… Commerce, Industry, social security and government benefit schemes or in Governance itself.

Q1-But the real questions here is, how fast and reliable our communication system is? In Fact an all inclusive electronic communication system linking all the households of the country, at all exists or not! If not, how fast can we establish such an infrastructure (Fibre Optic?) to connect with the last man of our country at the least time.
This communication infrastructure is the backbone and the success of #DigitalIndia rests on the efficiency, reliability, inclusiveness, availability and bandwidth of this backbone.

Q-2. Considering the low literacy rate and low per capita income of India, the #DigitalIndia project seems to be a very ambitious one!
The real challenge is, not only to educate the illiterate mass on government programs but also on the various government portals, utilities, their functions and their benefits.
What is the guarantee that these innocent,poor people do not fall prey to the semi-literate middlemen and crooks of the villages and semi-urban towns.
These are operational impediments and rests with the willpower of any government and its machinery to overcome these shortcomings.

#DigitalIndia in general and #E-Gov in particular is the need of the hour in India for a corruption-free India with transparency in public dealings and efficiency in governance.
I am hopeful of GOI under @narendramodi that #DigitalIndia will be a reality and dream come true for every Indian .

A Cat Story

JV is dead.
His stiff body lies flat on the floor. Head down, legs straight. It does not matter that his tail is stretched up, but what does matter is, it is short for a tail, clipped. But for the fractured tail and the exposed skull, exposed exactly between the ears, barren of its fine furs, nobody would say, JV is dead.

I hate cats!

Did I say, JV is a cat, a golden cat!

Rather, a dead cat now, who lies flat on the floor. His proud whiskers fallen off its pad and eaten into his mouth. No frightening eyes, no terribly sharp claws!

No cat is immortal and JV is not.

JV came into my life upon Vincent’s death. Vincent was my friend, my lone friend. But, I hated Vincent. Not only for knowing that I hate cats, he had asked me to take care of JV, but also for the fact that he was always a winner, beating me every time, be it in academics, in career or in social circuits. Be it in living life or in embracing death, he did both with equal joviality and courage!

My friend Vincent had a long suffering and died of that bloody cancer, now lay dead in his grave. On his death, JV followed me from his burial to my house.

JV was not the name by which he was called by Vincent. He was just ‘J’ then. I don’t know what ‘J’ stood for…Jon,Jol,Jack,Job or Jiv or may be Jonardan. He is just JV to me, ‘V’ for my friend Vincent and ‘J’ for Jonardan. Vincent Jonardan or Jonardan Vincent, whichever–I’m least bothered…since I hate cats!

JV followed my footsteps to my house only to be hit by the door at his face. But to my wonder, moments later, he sneaked into my house and settled quietly at a safe corner in my living room, at a close vicinity to the exits, so that at the flick of a danger he could flee to safety.

If I had observed keenly, I could have found an opening  at the false ceiling, which was used by JV as a safe hiding place and to occasionally snore off.

I used all the tricks that I knew to frighten a cat out of my house. I made funny noises, howled, growled, barked, roared…and I ran after him around the house carrying a broomstick in my hand. But all those ended up in a character reversed Tom and Jerry game. We finally settled at our respective places from where we had started. He gave a sarcastic look and making his whiskers dance before me mewed the contemplating sound of a winner cat.

That’s what I hated of the cats.

Thoroughly beaten and frustrated, I learnt to live with the cat. Though it was my compulsion, but you know, Vincent was my only friend, who was survived with J and J in turn was the only friend of Vincent. He was also the sole mute spectator to all of Vincent’s sufferings. J and Vincent, the pet and his companion, were inseparable to each other. In fact, after Vincent broke-up with Julia, it was only J’s company that inspired him to live a life longer than the doctors had predicted for him.

So, when I extended my hand of friendship towards J, I could not but in memory of my friend add ‘Vincent’ to his name, and ‘J’ became JV forthwith.

JV gradually entered into my daily life and into my  daily chores. It was more of a bookish kind of a thing at the beginning–feeding, grooming, patting… combing his fur, cleaning his litter, taking him to a Vet. Then the emotions…likes and dislikes, loves and hates. Ultimately, in one fine morning, I realised that JV and I are inseparable.

But the saddest thing as I started with is, JV is dead and I don’t have the slightest clue as to why he should die!

That’s what I hate of the cats. They become a family, you like them, tend them, cuddle them, fondle them. They please you, amuse you, tease you and ultimately desert you.

How did JV die? Why should he die…? After Vincent, JV was the only friend I had,with whom I could fight or talk for hours. He would listen patiently to all my gibberish purring in my lap. JV liked me as much as I liked him… how can he suddenly leave me!

I searched my house frantically for any clue, for a predator or an unknown object or anything that could have killed JV. I ran all around the house and searched every nook and cranny till I found a few cat hairs on the kitchen floor and drops of blood on the window pane. I did not understand what made JV to press himself against the glass pane to force through the narrow opening of my sixth floor kitchen window to jump onto the fifth floor parapet! There must be some irresistibly compelling reason. I pondered…but could not reach a justifiable conclusion. ..O’, My poor cat!

I cursed myself for leaving JV alone in the house while I was away with my work. But, this was how it had been all through. JV stayed all alone, while I was out. We had mutually agreed upon and he had learned to live that way…him being a brave cat! I had never imagined that JV would venture into something imprudent which would pain me…O’, my dear cat!

Now that my my poor JV lies dead on the floor, tears didn’t stop rolling down my eyes. However, keeping my emotions all to myself, I wrapped him in a towel, put him in the casket and carried him for the burial. With a heavy heart, I said good bye to him. He now rests in peace in a grave besides that of Vincent’s.

* * * * * * *
That was a cold night, it was snowing heavily outside. The last few days were very grievous and tiring for me. In the mid of my deep sleep, I felt some tickling thing under my blanket. A cold touch of something broke my sleep.

Awoke, I found two little kittens under the blanket, on either of my sides, pushing themselves closer to my body to get its warmth. I was surprised but amazed at the blissful sight of the little kittens those were sleeping peacefully by my side!

I felt as if JV had appeared before me for a moment and disappeared from my sight within a blink.

* * *
I affectionately took the two little kittens close to my chest, patted them and lost myself in their beautiful little blue eyes.

Susanta Pattnayak

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