Stay Quite ! Stay Hungry

It is becoming evident that Indians by nature do not speak out much. We probably see ourselves great in executing orders, but questioning someone is a real tough deal. Probably, in India, the best questioning is done only by investigative agencies.

As a society, our upbringing is based on the fact that every child is supposed only to obey orders. Right from his parents, elders and teachers, when it comes to the child there is nothing left for the poor soul. This makes children less curious and wary of asking questions. By nature the development of such children results to less risk-taking adults who find limited success inspite of high level of intelligence.

 It is never late to improve. Being inquisitive and open to questions helps individuals and organizations are more open to fresh ideas and will certainly be better than the rest of the bunch.

 A lot of people argue with me on the subject that Indian companies should be better then their Western counterparts as our education system is highly taxing and helps students become more learned. My answer to this argument is simple. India does not produce employees who are open to question and be questioned. Till such time, this habit of one way communication is broken, Indian companies will find it difficult to be successful and grow in a sustainable manner. This habit however cannot be broken unless we have our social setup which supports this change and an education system which encourages open questioning. While this is happening in pockets, a large portion remains untouched.

 In my view, if an organization has to be a great place to work, every employee must be encouraged to ask questions and be ready to be questioned with a view to break hierarchy and flatten the structures and get things done faster and better.  Every employee must be trained to be open to ideas and questions and reward people for being open and frank.

 I am sure, a transparent communication and at times over communication will help companies be a great place to work.

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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2 Responses

  1. Tarun Minocha says:

    Fully agreed to the notion, Entire education value chain, starting from schools to colleges should take proactive measures to imbibe this habit in children right from foundation days

  2. Srini says:

    Alok, I agree with you. We should also encourage kids to speak out their mind at home. We don’t allow them to even stand when elders are talking.

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