Tuesday, 21 May 2013


The exchange of business cards and handshakes in seminars and conferences are quintessential to business strategies even before the time of Facebook and LinkedIn. Giving due respect to the latter two, the exchange of pleasantries and cards has values of its own. It’s just not acquaintances in paper, but a real interaction between people that often shapes the initial perception between one another. And unlike social networking sites, the tangible handshakes goes a long way in building relationships, confidence and trust among the acquaintances. It helps a firm in recruitment, saves human resource cost, and helps build networks of vendors and the process of outsourcing services.

However, building such vast network without the aid of social sites is difficult. Thus, often CEOs of companies build the lead generation through social sites and other portals (like recruitment portals) and convert it to relationship building exercise. The Facebook and Twitter allows professionals to exchange information and rub shoulders with their peers with meticulous networking planning. LinkedIn, which is created for the purpose of professional networking, is a major source of recruitment procedure. The swapping of information and recruitment requirements are often messaged through the site among people in the networks. It helps save costs for CEOs, which otherwise had to be spent on advertisements or fees of headhunting firms. Further, online forums and prolonged interaction with the probable recruits make way for better evaluation than just a couple of sittings of interviews.

Layak Singh, CEO of Bangalore based IT and Marketing solution firm, Fullerene Solutions, has created a dating site called ‘DateIITians’ meant for IIT and other topnotch technical and management schools, to source talent for his ventures. Even though, the site is a profit center in itself, Singh’s vision is to build long term network of young talents that can bear value addition for his company. There are in total 445,000 CEOs and 962,000 Presidents in the crowded domain of LinkedIn, which is giving a hard run for money to the head hunters.

Networking is not just about recruitment but for securing customers too. Often, buildup of networks is made with objectives of looking forward and securing business. And that’s been a practice for a long time. Membership of some special purpose clubs, like Delhi Golf Club, Bombay Gym or Calcutta Club, blends social networking with professional break through. And it’s a hotbed for CEOs to clamor and charm their warts away. Even economic and financial bodies, like, FICCI and CII serves the same purpose.

It’s a unipolar world and collaterals of business are increasingly merged. Moreover, because of stiff competition there is escalating squeeze on margins. The answer to these scaling problems can be found through prudent networking. As the old adage goes – it’s not what you know, that is important, it’s about who you know – that shapes the business outcomes.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


It’s been the most brutal attack of workers’ movement against the management at Maruti’s Manesar plant where the General Manager – Human Resource, Mr. Awanish Kumar Dev, was burnt alive by the madding workers as a vengeance over the management policies. To soften the confrontation between the top management and the workers CII has stepped in to initiate a dialogue between the two parties. However, this Maruti fiasco is not a case in isolation. The ever growing confrontational tone of the employees with the CEOs and top management suggest a gradually growing angst among the employees all across! In a similar tone, the Kingfisher also saw its employees standing against the management, not once but multiple number of times. Moreover, the example of Hyundai Motors labor unrest is another one that toes the line of the previous exemplars. The production unit of Hyundai Motor’s Sriperumbudur factory was in talks to shift the base to a European country in 2009, because of regular labor unrest. And the year next to the Hyundai episode was the strike that occurred in the factory of another auto major viz. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter factory again at Manesar. The unabated series of labor unrest continues in major plants of India.

The lifestyle gap between the CEOs and the other staff are increasingly dwindling and the aspirations of the young pool of employees are ever rising, which makes it imperative for the CEOs to note the societal changes including better opportunities with revolutionary approaches to ensure the lifestyle ambitions of the employees are met. The only way to deter such uprising is transparent communication from the top management, preferably the CEO.

Take for instance, Toyota. The company has championed labour improvement and labour empowerment by promoting human resource development and healthcare – which are drivers for the workers to work with passion and enthusiasm. The labour-management relationship also focuses on respect of its employees insulating any form of discrimination. Transparent discourse from the top management has built trust and respect for both, and a unique “300,000 Communication Activities” has raised the workers’ effectiveness level too. IBM too can boast as one of the best motivated and disciplined workforce that keeps them consistently at the top of the table. IBM has effectively introduced effective communication from the top management and empowering its workforce through backward integration by encouraging debates, discussions, feedback and idea generations that thwart any kind of dissatisfaction by providing them a sense of belonging in the organization.

Effective communication has direct bearings on satisfaction of staffs. A culture of initiatives and creativity must be communicated vividly to the employees so that they are absolutely certain of the encouragement and there is no room for ambiguity. As usually said, better late than never. Instead of waiting for a fiasco to mushroom, Dear CEO, get up and get talking.