Big Boss ka Khayal Rakho!

Avinash Gaur

Avinash Gaur passed out from St. Xaviers, Jaipur in 1961. He graduated in Chemical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1967 and completed his post graduation in the same subject from University of Washington, Seattle, USA in 1970. After 37 years of service in private industry, Avinash retired as Whole Time Director in 2004.

You might be working directly under one boss BUT you have to maintain your equation with not only him but also heads of other key departments and finally your boss's boss.

In our company one of the marketing strategies is to participate in relevant exhibitions pertaining to your product. The idea is that under one roof you have access to a large customer base.

One such exhibition is held once in four years. To impress others in the organisation one has to send them invitation to visit the stall. The unwritten rule is that the invitation must be handed over in person. While efforts are made to follow this practice, sometimes it so happens that it doesn't work out that way.

In one particular year this happened to the Managing Director of the Company. As a business manager, I instructed my regional manager to extend the invitation to the Managing Director in person. Poor guy made three attempts but on all occasions he could not meet the Managing Director. Hence, on the fourth occasion I asked him to leave the card with his Personal Assistant.

A couple of days later, I got a call from the chief executive officer inquiring as to why the invitation card was not handed to the Managing Director in person? I explained to him the circumstances and hoped that the Managing Director would understand and not feel offended.

Couple of weeks later, on the day of the Inauguration, I along with the marketing head, went to pick up the Managing Director to take him to the exhibition ground. We were ushered in and asked to be seated.

For the next 30 to 40 minutes no one came to meet us or even offer a glass of water, leave alone a cup of tea. It appeared odd because this was certainly not the practice and I had not been treated like this on earlier occasions.

Finally, Managing Director came out of the house and without a word sat in the car. For the next 30 minutes or so in the car not a word was exchanged between us.

At the exhibition ground we escorted him to our stall and showed him around.

Guess what?

He only pointed out the shortcomings; how things could have been done better and why certain things were done in a certain way etc. etc. Sum total was that he was totally unhappy.

By this time it was amply clear to us that the Managing Director was carrying the grouse of not being invited in person. At the end of the visit all three of us went for a cup of coffee. He stumped us by paying for his own coffee.

However, the issue got sorted out over a period of time and I managed to retire from the company.

All is well that ends well.


In the old days, the Big Bosses were probably more feudal in approach than they are today

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