Showing posts with label Labor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Labor. Show all posts

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sound Ok [204/365]

Trouble in paradize Source: The Internet
Maruti Suzuki. The poster child of Indian Automobile Industry. A brand that monopolized Indian roads until the late '90s when the government opened the floodgates of foreign investment.

In came Ford, Mercedes, Opel Astra, Fiat and a dozen other automobile majors with deeper pockets and better products. Maruti, the giant slipped.

Having seen brands like Jaguar, Audi and BMW, Maruti always appeared inferior in my eyes. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw the flimsy built of the Omni. It was ridiculous that the entire car would reverberate every time the gear changed or when the door were shut (not slammed, mind you).

Loosing ground as it did, Maruti had to innovate. And I'm using the term innovate very loosely. Some of the more disastrous products like the Zen 2004 and later models like an ugly love-child of the Russian Skoda Lada and a Indian bullock cart. I would be surprised if they even had a designer in their rolls.
In comes Suzuki. Thankfully, the Japanese have always been known to create art out of nothing. Case in point- Origami.
One of the best cars to have come out of the MS stable has been the Swift. Derived out of the concept Swift S and has been Maruti's most successful car since the veritable Maruti 800.

But it was too good to last.
As with any Public Sector (PSU) company in India, trade unions have always been a double edged sword. Protecting workers who are savagely loyal to the Union while pushing the management to to the edge, the Maruti Suzuki Worker's Union (MSWU) has been agitating for several years.

On the 18th July, violence broke out at a plant which produces about a third of Maruti's annual output and two of its blockbuster models- the Swift and the Swift DZire.
While the storm has been brewing for a while, last week's agitation left one senior manager dead and several seriously injured. Some strict action by the Management led to a lockout which means the company continues to suffer a loss of about Rs 80 Crores (approx $800 million) a day besides translating into a longer waiting period for those who had already booked for their vehicles.

Maruti has never been known as a company who is swift and agile but if it wants to have any hopes of surviving in a market as India's, it needs to cut some of its flab and fast.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May this day [121/365]

Yesterday, the 30th of April, was the International Honesty Day.
Today, the 1st of May, is the International Worker's Day (also known as Labor Day)

Across the world today, what we are seeing is a crisis of ideals and morals. Employees stealing from their employers, Employers undercutting their employees, and corporations cheating their communities. There is a shocking dearth of honesty and integrity. This morning was no different.

Woke up to a headline which described how the Indian President went on an official trip with her grandchildren. (The high flying news here)

While it is true that she has been the least favorite and perhaps the most forgettable person to have occupied the highest seat in the Indian government, what is also shocking is how she has been the most corrupt too. But can you really blame her? 
She is only doing what every other civil servant does. 
She is only doing what your local MLA or cop does - They use their official vehicles for everything from shopping for groceries to picking up the in-laws. So like Pepsi used to say 'Nothing official about it'

Her stint at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the fuzzy stuff that you dream about but want to forget in a hurry. In what can be described as a utterly shameful act of wasting the public exchequer, she is the most traveled Indian President in history. She will be one of the few Presidents who will be forgotten with a flourish. With her current term ending by the end of this month, I doubt if we'll ever get to see a prez with the acumen and caliber of  APJ Abdul Kalam.

With the kind of autocratic power that women like Mamata, Jayalalitha seem to be wielding, I am beginning to rethink how women in power in India has been a good thing. At the risk of sounding sexist, I say women leaders in Indian politics have been over-rated and over-sold.
While female leaders are a wonderful asset in a corporate, politically they are duds. Driven by the men or lack of one in their lives, they become the very monsters they started out to fight.

But here's a toast to the first day of May.
A day that is celebrated across the world, in one form or the other.
May we learn to live and work with honesty and integrity today and every single day here on.

In the meanwhile, here's a quote I read and one I think is very appropriate:
'Lord, give me work for all the days of my life,
And give me life so that I can finish all my work'
Poignant yet true, won't you agree?


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