Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not Just a Medal But a Lot More to Battle For!

“When I fell down, I was like, ah. One moment, my race is over, my dream is over; but then I managed to dig deep. I promised my daughter Rhianna, my oldest daughter, I was gonna get her a medal. And in my mind I was like, ‘nah, I can’t let her down”... Mo Faraha.
“Frankly speaking I had come here (Rio) to win a gold medal only! Our country is participating in the Olympics for first time & we have won gold in first attempt & its awesome feel; we may be a small & poor country but if you have dedication then you can be part of this great event even after a terrible war & win a medal too”... Majinda Kelmendi.
Mo Farah, 10,000m second time gold medalist from Brittan expressed after his thrilling win even after falling down on track at Rio Olympics. On similar lines expressed Majinda who won Judo medal for Kosovo; these words says what an Olympic medal meant for any participant of the great game! When I started writing this blog, already India has banked two medals & both by women. Both the women made history in their own way i.e. Sakshi Malik became first lady wrestler to get a medal in Olympics for our country & very same day Sindhu assured silver, becoming first woman to get silver medal for country! The shuttler wasn’t satisfied with silver & fought like a true warrior with World No 1 till three games & finally lost the fight for gold! And what a honorable way to lose; again proving, sometimes it’s not just the figures which decides the match result but the memories we take back at home after the match decides the winner. And for 120 crores of Indians, especially those like me who are not only fan but play the game of shuttle by themselves will be always grateful to Sindhu for the way she played in finals at Rio!

The Olympic which is supposedly greatest competition in any format of game, right form athletics to swimming & many games which we came to know about only at the Olympic. It has also heritage of controversies which follows every Olympic, may it be arrangements at the venue or economic impact on the organizing country or even doping scandals with participants. Yet one thing remains & that is its highest regard in the minds of not just players but everyone associated with game, coaches, physios, support staff, volunteers & yes fans all over the world, all seek just one thing, a medal in Olympics! In Greek Citius, Altius, Fortius”, it means “Faster, Higher & Stronger”; that’s the motto of the tournament. This motto makes us realize every time you should try to outperform not just opponents but your own self too!
One more thing is common in controversy that too with our country & that is criticizing our team’s failure! And this time also we were not spared as first eleven days went without a medal & not so good performance by our players barring those by shooter Bindra & gymnast Deepa. Outcome was, right from our page 3 specialists to everyone started doubting our player’s capacity to win, even their intentions to go to Rio! Though there were many supporters for our players who replied Miss Page 3, yet it’s equally true many were thinking what’s going wrong with our country’s players; why even with over hundred player’s squad, we are not getting a single medal? Well, now with two of the girls getting medals will surely shut many critics but is it enough is also equally true. In our country success never needed analysis where as failure has thousands of critics, is always an unfortunate fact. Again why a victory should have gender shade to it, that is the question but that’s obvious in a country where we have to make slogans like “Save Girl Child”! Need of the time is to analyze sakshi & sindhu’s success at the same time lets work out how we can have more of them. Because if we study our game history barring cricket we never got consistent success at international level & this is the matter of concern. Agreed Sindhu & Saina are doing at world level much consistently but what besides them? At the same time we had Mary Come in boxing who next? We had Bindra with gold medal, again who is next in line? I am not referring to only Olympic but entire world level success ratio if we consider then it’s always individualistic & like years after year even  the countries like Ethiopia or Kenya or Jamaica produces athletes like ocean waves, while we have been just happy with trifles! And I am not comparing developed countries like USA, Germany, England or Russia. Even China has produced wonders after late entry in world level tournaments, so why we have to be satisfied by one Sindhu or one Saniya or one Sushilkumar & they too end as one tournament wonder!
Yes apart from cricket which unfortunately not part of big tournament one game we used to dominate, it was hockey. Here we have won seven or eight gold strait in a row, proving total dominance in the game over the years but that too we gave away to Western countries which learned basics of the game from us only.  And then in recent past we have been striking medals in wrestling but that too got cursed, first due to controversy over selection & then doping. Our best hope in wrestling is Narsing Yadav who got banned for four years ending his carrier itself. More than that the anti doping authority has raised serious question about entire system in India, asking how anybody can enter in the facility where athletes are trained & mix banned drugs in food of the players! As that’s what has been claimed by NADA i.e. our national anti doping authority, in a way exposing loopholes in our sports system itself! And then there has been a message which has gone viral how Gopichand trained Sindhu & lead her to medal, good at least someone is taking cognizance of efforts which are required to get a medal in Olympics! While we are celebrating two medals that too on 12th day but at the same time if we count success ratio then it’s hardly 2% on the count of entire squad which we have sent! And bad part is its way below the past Olympic i.e. where we have got some seven medals! So the graph is downwards which the case we should study is & that’s why I will like to put forward, our inconsistency at international level in any form of game! This is the difference we need to overcome between countries like USA or Jamaica or our neighbor China, where layers of players are developed. When one Lin Dan is snatching gold at the same time a Chen Long is getting ready for next year gold & someone further junior is practicing for Olympic after that, such is the system they have developed. In comparison we have one Kahshba Jadhav who got a bronze & then it too nearly thirty years for another individual medal. We had one PT Usha reaching finals of athletics & then it took again some twenty odd years for a Lalita Babar to reach in final of athletics! I think high time to think on such lacunas in our quest for Olympic medals. And I am not criticizing of doubting efforts of every individual player who has been qualified for the game, but it’s about the system which is supposed to develop the players who will stand to the pressure & quality of the game in Olympic! As going by genetics we are not as physically well built like West Indians or Germans are, so we have to make our self fit enough to rub the shoulders with them, is first challenge!
For that we have to understand social scene in our country, let’s start from the family or parents as it’s the parents’ role which is most vital in identifying a player right in childhood & provide him or her space to develop as a champion! On this front how many parents can afford to develop their son or daughter to make his or her carrier as a sportsman & that too other than cricket? And then those who can afford out of that how many parents allow their child to choose sports as carrier other than standard path like engineering or medical or mba or govt service? This is where the crux is for a country not being able to produce lots of international players, as we don’t believe in making sports as a carrier for our kids! Passion, talent & all other things are fine but that passion & talent get tied up & gagged under the terms like salary package & settling down in life, which sports doesn’t assure one bit here! For example who knew names like Dattu Foknal or Gita Fogut or Lalita Babar before they got qualified for Olympics & what will be there status after coming back from the game without a medal, can anyone assure that? Agreed now govt will give all praise, money & job for those who have won medal but what before that?
Why a young boy or girl who is from an average middle class family should start aspiring for the medal in Olympics with no background of any sports in first place? We need to tap the talent right when the age is nine to ten & train them & then we can expect gold from them at age of eighteen & above & like a production line in auto industry, this procedure should be ever on. And for that like engineering or medical colleges we need to build sports academy at every district level & see that it produces quality players & assure them their future! These institutes should give good scholarships’ as well insurance type backups in case of injuries to the young sports students. Along with game training, the sports institutes should train the athletes to keep away from drugs & stay extreme fit; as injury & doping are the two worst enemies of modern days athletes! Take example of Usen Bolt, it’s not just nine gold in three events in three consecutive Olympics but he has to remain fit & drug free for nearly fifteen years for that, that is what makes Bolt greatest!  
We have IIT’s for making best of technocrats, we have IIM’s to make best of managers, we have AIMS for quality  medical talent & list is on with Architectural, Science as well Commerce Institutes but where are the Institutes which produces quality players & if there are any then what’s going wrong & who is analyzing their output? Same is with attitude of society as well players who have made themselves big even by money (though very few other than cricketers), what is their contribution to sports academies like alumni of IIT’s does for their institutes? How many players who have made it to international level, regularly goes to spend time with young athletes who are yet at State level & share their passion as well exposure? Most importantly, what society in whole is doing for sports in our country? How many corporate have adopted unknown players in sports other than cricket? Agreed we do business to make money so we put our money on the horse which is winning but then what right we have to call other horses as donkey? At the same time there is need of tournaments like IPL in every game which will give opening as well stage for every sportsman to perform & earn some money too. One more important aspect is developing Institutes’ to make coaches also are equally important as to have batch of great sportsmen, we need greater coaches first!

Social media is full of positive as well negative comments about players & their performances but who have actually done something for any sport or for a sportsman in real life? What right we have to speak about our countries performance at Olympic? I think Rio Olympic has definitely opened box of Pandora for all of us & our Hon PM who is keen to make countries mark on International level won’t leave any stone unturned to use sports as best tool for doing so. Only thing is he should realize, an Olympic Medal can be wished through “Man Ki Baat”, but it needs more than just wish as well passion & talent to take it home. The missing link is organized infrastructure & a system to support the talent we have in sports. Lastly, what I as a person gained from Olympic? I enjoyed watching every moment of game & I myself get inspired for being fit by myself first & to do something better than what I am doing for my work as well my surrounding. One more thing, I will surely do my best to support some sport in my best way & will contribute to gain my country medal in not just Olympics but every tournament; this is what I have gained from Olympics & I am sure if each of us decides on same line then only we have understood the gist of “Citius, Altius & Fortious”!

Sanjay Deshpande
Sanjeevani Dev.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Teaching Management!

"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done"… Peter Drucker

Good, the great Management Guru has said it & not me; Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.  And it’s this quote which was in my mind when I stood on the dais to address Sinhgad Institute of Management, Induction program for first year MBA freshers’! Being a non management academics by myself, I was first a bit hesitant to accept the invite as although  consider myself a veteran speaker when it comes to environment, wild life, real estate or construction but management that too in front of some four hundred young aspiring would be managers, I said “Sanjay it’s not your piece of cake”! Yet one part of me said, why not? Am I not managing my own self not just work or call it business? And what better way to learn than to get exposed to young brains which can ask literally any out of the blue question (which eventually happened), so accept it as a challenge! And I accepted, with pulse rate something which I stopped counting I hold the mike in my sweaty palms!

Challenges were two, one I have never spoke about management except in discussion which is different case, when you address for induction lecture you need to build your speech like a sky scraper, right from excavation for foundation to finishing, stage wise no abrupt change of course. And then it’s in front of students, who gets bored very easily & then management wasn’t exactly my forte! So I chose safe mode of keeping it casual as well in the first sentence cleared, in my biodata what’s most important think which I felt is lacking was a Management Degree! On this there was a cheer from crowd & then I told very specifically, I won’t be telling what management is as for that your teachers are paid & they are far better persons to do the job than me, all I will be sharing is what is expected from you guys as a manager when you pass out from this school! As after all what we have learn in management is decided unfortunately not by our teachers but more senior managers in the field is bitter fact & they are not always in teaching or understanding mode! The theme of the Induction program was “Wining", so I started with explaining concept of wining, as by me winning is not necessarily mean beating all the opponents & come first but wining is something far larger term than that. I think here is where we make first mistake while developing the young lot. The Olympics is on & agreed there winner means who comes first & bags the gold. Let’s not forget even in the great tournament, spirit of the game is not just coming first but as it says, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” i.e. Faster, Higher, Stronger, is the motto of the game. Whatever we do we should do with full dedication & to make our performance better every time we do, may it be a game or any task expected from us as manager that is what makes you a winner! And for that you need to understand what game you are playing, may it be a real sport or even work, which we should learn to enjoy as a sports only!

In our country probably “to manage” is the most loosely used term, as we manage right from our parents to the traffic constable when he caught us travelling triple sit or without license, we say “are manage kia usko” i.e. you managed to get out of the tough situation you got in! At the same time it must be most searched topic on Goggle & having maximum numbers of books written on it! For being a manager indeed management degree is a must but do they teach management in this course? Keeping due respect I think we all have one manager within us; all we have to do is understand that manager within, acknowledge him & then only we can understand what he is supposed to manage.  This is what a management degree teaches us i.e. to identify a manager in us as then only we can identify the manager in others! Here I remember a story though it wasn’t related to management actually but yet applicable, “three men were working in open & they were breaking rock with hammers & chisels, when asked to first person what he is doing? His reply was he has been told to break the rock, that’s all. When same question is asked to second person his reply was, he has been breaking rock to make some steps. And when third person has been what he is doing, his reply was, I am breaking rock to make asked  why the steps out of it which will be leading to the temple proposed at this place! Here in first person the manager is fast asleep & in second person partially awake where as manager in third person is fully awake as he knows exactly what he is doing his job for! In nutshell may it be a simple job of breaking rock to managing a factory, we all must know, what is outcome of the job we are doing? This is what your employer will be expecting from you when you are working as a manager if you want to become as a successful manager. I am deliberately using term successful manager as there is no term as good manager or bad manager, either you are a manager or you are not, it’s that clear!

Entire business or industry wherever you will be making your carrier after this degree, it moves around managing 3 M’s, i.e. Men, Machine & Money, which are three basic aspects of any business! And if you refer to management then it also has branches related to above three aspects only; human resource which deals with man power or man handling, production management which relates with machines & marketing as well finance, which takes care of money. In all above three aspects one common factor is time management, as everything has its own timing & if we don’t follow that, then no use of however effective we are, as they say even a justice delayed is justice denied! And then once a manager then you are twenty four hours a manager, as tell me when you are not managing something or other all the time; even your sleep also you need to manage it properly or else how you will be fresh for your work? And let’s remember management isn’t something which is limited to your work as you have to manage your friends, family, collogues & what not! Here manage doesn’t mean to bully them but to stand to their expectation from you is what I meant.

Most important aspect once you identified the manager in you is to remain a good human being. Because understanding that manager & become successful doesn’t mean what best salary package you are getting along with perks like travel by business class & a luxury SUV of your own. But it means how you are making use of this power of management to make the world a better place. And not necessarily the world meant entire globe, but it can be your peon or watchman or driver or anybody around you who is not as lucky as you are! Because if you study the progress of entire world then first century 1800-1900, where the world started towards stability was of invention i.e. science. Many new inventions which made life of society better were made & then next century saw riding of production on these inventions i.e. 1900—2000. The very same century witnessed what if the inventions are used for wrong reasons, the two world wars taught us that lesson, so this century belongs to management i.e. managing the invention as well production of the same in the benefit of the mankind. And that also pulls in most important aspect of today’s needs that is environment management. Up till now there isn’t any such branch where environment management is taught but till then whatever management skills you will acquire you will have to use it for environment conservation also, whatever field you will be joining!

Lastly I conclude with one thing, a manager has to be innovative always & for that you need to read whatever you can, to watch movies as well to play. Imagine a simple game like badminton doubles, one has to think of your partners position, then both of opponents positions, & return the shuttle thinking of what return you will get back & innovate to earn a point; so many things you have to manage at a time, that’s what your brain gets trained for by playing any game. Even in a game like football though there are twenty two players on field your mind has to manage rest twenty one & then make your move for the goal! And remember only a fit body can accommodate a fit mind, which otherwise can lead your to do wrong things with the mind power you have!

With this I appealed the audience for questions if any, which Mr. Principal has said he isn’t sure about the response as these are fresher’s & may be shy of asking question, was his past experience. I deliberately told them to ask even most foolish question, even they can ask why I am wearing a  blue blazer & not a read one, as let me test my depth of foolishness; as to answer a fools question you need to be foolish than him, is the simple funda! 

One girl came forward shyly asking how I balance my CSR activities with my work? I replied, it’s simple, CSR i.e. corporate social responsibility I made it as part of work, so I need not have to think about it separately! And that opened up box of Pandora, I wished they could have asked about color of blazer, such was the quaility of questions; I will refer some of them, just to give a glimpse of the depth of the lot as well what a student’s mind can think…

*Sir, you said you left the earlier company after working there for 18 years, why you did that?

On this I said, very selfish reason, I was unhappy working there, not as work part but somehow I couldn’t give justice to what I wanted to do. Like I wanted to teach, I wanted to spend more time in forests, I wanted to read & so many personal things which I was unable to do because of the work load or nature of the job. And if what I am doing isn’t making me happy then I don’t think I am successful manager, so I quit!

* Immediately second question followed, why it took you 18 years to realize you were not happy?

I replied, because neither I was having an MBA degree with me, nor I got a chief guest named Sanjay Deshpande at my induction! After the laughter got settled, I said joke apart, this is what you need to learn of identifying a manager in you in these two years. As I was unable to identify manager in me for all these years & was just behind work results while management isn’t just achieving work goals but making your own self happy & peace too or else what you lose in the process no salary package can make for that loss!

*Next one, what you mean once a manger means 24 hours a manager?

My reply was, I go to play badminton every alternate day at 7am in morning, so if I want to enjoy the game then I have to be fresh in the morning means I have to have seven hours sleep. That means I can’t be up late at earlier night & so I have to work out my entire schedule backwards for the day long. Same way I like to write so I can only write at nights as that’s only free time really I have, so I keep alternate nights for my writing whereas next day I don’t have to wake up early! So small things in day to day life but if I don’t manage my every hour then I won’t be able to achieve what I want to at the end of the day & this is applicable to each of us, that’s why 24 hours you need to be a manager!

*Then next one was, sir, you said it’s important for a manager to be a good human being, why is so?

Indeed a tough thing to make understand to the lot who has yet to come across badness of the world! Yet I gave a simple example, you give a gun in the hands of a military man who fights at border & he kills, that isn’t a murder but its protecting your country as well for lives of your countrymen but give the same gun in the hands of a gangster who kills for extortion it becomes a crime! Same way whatever we learn as a MBA student in coming years, it’s a power given to us & how we use this power will define what we become! So unless we are not a good human being, we won’t use our knowledge for doing good, is my simple logic!

*Why you said the manager must be innovative? Isn’t passion enough for that?

Simple, or else how you will lead?  Take real estate market today, we were doing same age old things like mentioning amenities in form of club house , swimming pool, gym & blah blah blah. Till the supply was less than demand all was fine & the day its reverse case we were run out of ideas of how to sale our projects! Same was story with Bajaj Scooters & scooters become absolute, the world is full of business giants who miserably failed & wiped out just because they couldn’t innovate, recent classic example is of Nokia! So unless you don’t keep inventing something new for your product the race will finish for you even before it starts! As passion is a must to grow but then passion is not skill which you can acquire, it has to be in you basically built in. But innovation you can learn & adopt, provided you give yourself time for that & remain open to new things!

*Sir, which book you will tell us was most inspirational in your journey?

My answer was, Tinkle Comics & Supandi (a dumb house boy) character is most inspirational one from Amar Chitra Katha! There was roar of laughter on this from those who has read Tinkle; I continued, it’s not joke, you can make a story interesting even the character is dumb & you need to think as a dumb when you are not & then make the reader laugh, this is something incredible job, that's why I like to read Supandi tells! But coming to the question, why restrict reading to any single book for inspiration, I read everything that comes to my way & it includes Tinkle, to Tin tin to Ian Rand & Sigmund Freud, everything I read inspires me. Same is movies, I felt thrilled with Kung Fu Panda & equally exited to watch Salman Khan’s recent flick Sultan too! And not to forget every super hero from Bat Man to Iron Man to Spider Man as watching these movies I understood, they are Super Hero not because of the super powers they possess but because of the cause which they use their powers for!

*Last question which I will be sharing here, don’t you consider your sons lucky as they will get your chair in your company?

Yes they indeed are lucky in one way & unlucky too as they won’t ever know the fun in reaching here from zero! And more importantly even if they get in my chair but I have reminded them just by sitting in any chair it won’t become yours; it’s what you do to retain that chair will decide your fate & for that you have to be capable of that chair! Let me tell you something, don’t ever be upset for your father is not a big businessman as if you have capacity then someone will adopt you & present his chair but if you doesn’t have capacity then even if someone presents his chair to you, it eventually will throw you out! And best thing is why target somebody else’s chair; create your own chair, that’s what life is meant for!

The Q & A could have gone for hours but there was another session lined up & nearly two hours of all this bombarding has drained me of; thankfully the Principal only said now remaining questions you can ask Sir in person on his mail id & satisfied, I walked down the dais but waiting for the unasked questions on email!

That day while getting down the dais I have learned an old lesson once more, never run away from any fear unless you give a try to overcome it; as I was afraid that I won’t be able to stand to the expectations of the students, so was thinking of declining the invite in first place! But then we all are our own teacher & students too, aren’t we?

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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