Be Flexible, Be Happy

Being Flexible

Over several decades, I have realized that the path to success and happiness must  go through the prism of flexibility.  If I see myself, I was one of the few to choose a college in a far away region with a different culture and language than what I belonged. My four years there gave me wealth of experience and lasting friendships. Moreover it helped me learn new culture that is helping me even after several decades. Most of my friends compromised with their college, as they wanted to be near their homes and were not flexible enough to get better college.

The next move started with my job that again was in a place with different culture and language. My rich experience and learning simply multiplied which my colleagues missed who were not flexible and ready to take a tougher call. Similarly, it was during my job and my work and almost everywhere. Flexibility helped me earn friends, get me opportunities and the most important, the rich experience which cannot be purchased at any cost.

One such example of flexibility happened while I was working as a process engineer in a large manufacturing company. While my work called for only writing time sheets based on the experience of workmen, my boss always told me to take a tougher path. He said that the right way to write a process sheet is to go through the process yourself several times and perfect the time and method of executing it. Only then, one should write the process sheet, as it would bring the right knowledge in the document.

I followed him in words and spirit, unlike most of the process engineers. In just one year the difference was clear. I not only ended up learning most of the machine operation, but also earned deep respect from the workers who always came to me for clarification. This resulted in my promotions and new opportunities.  I was promoted to take care of writing MML (Man Machine Language) for the new computer numerical controlled machines. That technology was very new that time and the training of these machines opened the gates for me to enter into the world of programming and technology.

Flexibility is equally important in our personal lives where relationship bloom only when we remain open and flexible. I have seen happy people are highly flexible in their personal lives.

Most of my colleagues were less flexible and continue to be so. Flexibility on roles to salaries offered to company and even the working time makes it look that most of us negotiate on the most important element of success ‘Change’.

Let us be flexible and embrace and lead change.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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