Difference in perspectives about India

I happened to attend MTHR event where personalities from different walks of life were called to present their thoughts or share their experiences. It was great listening to them. I intend to put down few pointers that I think would help the readers to stop and ponder on those perspectives.

Andy Ray, MD of SAP, India shared what they do to innovate. One thing that caught my attention was when he talked about their seating arrangement for employees. I understand their employees do not have fixed seats and they are allowed to seat wherever they wish such that it benefits them and increases their productivity! For instance, they may chose to sit at a corner one day and may chose to sit near the team the next day based on meetings/work schedule/priorities etc. The objective is to encourage innovation and make the employee think from a different perspective. It may sound different, good or unusual depending on how one perceives it.

I also happened to listen to Devdutt Patnaik’s talk. He has a unique style of studying mythology and applying it to business, leadership, management etc. One such observation that he shared is how people are quick to judge others in today’s world. He went on to explain that we usually judge based on certain patterns and assumptions. Although, we tend to arrive at decisions based on correct data pointers, we often ignore to explore if the data pointers are enough or if they give complete picture.

Then entered the grand personality who everybody in the auditorium awaited to listen – Mohandas Pai. I was awestruck to know the amount of data and information that he had and the suggestions that he made on how we can win in India, how comparing India with other countries like Philippines, Malaysia or UK was not appropriate due to the complex nature of issues that India has, what steps need to be taken to make India better etc. Consider this – most of the people today intend to join IT or take up the jobs that pay better. However, if everybody does that, who would do the jobs of a mason, electrician, plumber etc? Although we state there is a unity in diversity, the perspectives need to be considered too. Sample this – a set of activists were holding demonstrations in Delhi to punish the culprits in Nirbhaya case while MNS people in Maharashtra were driving out people from Bihar and UP depicting how their low quality with low wages has impacted local workers. At the same time in Bangalore, there were a group of people staging a ‘dharna’ beneath Gandhiji’s statue demanding to keep the bars open till midnight ! Do you see the complexity? Do you see how perspective changes depending on which side of the problem you are or what part of India you live?

Let’s step back to ensure that we have complete set of data pointers (not just correct pointers) to help us take better decisions. Having said that, let us not drag the decision for ages under the guise of collating complete set of data 🙂

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