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Monthly Archives:March 2016

Free Ebooks – Welcome to download

Welcome to commence the new financial year with the brand new thinking. Let customer experience index and employee happiness index become the part of the Annual Report and see the transformation of business performance.

I am happy to invite readers to download two of my ebooks from Amazon. It can be downloaded on Kindle App or Kindle device. Free download ends on 4th April 2016.

The Fifth Idiot:

This is a story about a women CEO and her passion for workplace happiness. The book has received praise from readers and industry practitioners.

 The Fifth Idiot

The book is praised by;

“A great read that can be finished in one sitting..”
Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms

“…What a wonderful read, I couldn’t stop! So inspiring…”
Richa Anirudh, TV, Radio Journalist, Host – Zindagi Live

“…An interesting and remarkable story….”
Prof. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group

“…It is contemporary, insightful and makes you think…“
Ninad Karpe, Managing Director & CEO, Aptech Limited

The Bread is Moving

Social Media is ruling our world. The spread of social media is so fast and widespread that customer experience NOW is not only necessary to flourish the business but even for the survival of the business.

 bread cover-01

The book is praised by;

“The book is written in a simple to read and ready to execute format. I am sure, you will enjoy reading this book. And without wasting any time, you will start designing your organisations CX.”

Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director, Shoppers Stop Limited

“This book is very apt and timely for Indian market. Especially for hospitals, customer experience is critical and the book tells almost A to Z of it.”

Joy Chakraborty, COO, Hinduja Hospital

“I am impressed with how simply Sunil Gandhi has explained one of the most important aspects of Customer Experience (CX). Citing Indian examples he drives home the point very clearly and I am sure readers will be able to embark on a CX improvement journey right way.”

Manan Choksi, Director, RE/MAX Gujarat, Director

Welcome to download, share this post so your friends and colleagues can also download the same. & Yes do post your reviews on Amazon. This will help other readers in their buying decisions. Customer (readers in this case) experience rules even the literary world.

The free offer will start from 12 noon on 1st and will continue till 12  noon on 5th April 2016.

Sunil Gandhi

Aren’t we all waiting for our over No. 18th and 19th ?

All of us are pursuing our dreams since the day we commence our career. For most of us its daily routine and slogging and many times we feel it’s not happening in spite of our hard efforts. Sometimes we fail and some time we think our bosses or circumstances fail us. The bottom line remains same – We are pursuing, but nowhere near our final destination.

On Sunday, in the World T 20 cricket tournament, in the match between India and Australia, India, while batting 2nd was chasing the target of 161 runs but things were not moving as per expectations. Indian needed 39 runs from the last 18 balls.

In over number 18th and 19th Virat Kohli scored 35 runs & with the first ball of the 20th over India won. Over number 18th and 19th changed the fate of the match which looked slipping from the hands of the Indian team.

When the average was climbing, players did not panic, but kept their patience and kept pursuing the target.

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.” John Quincy Adams

Finally, Virak Kohli’s courageous act in the 18th and 19th over did the wonder. This indicates that after patience and perseverance, it is the courageous act that does the wonder. Many  times we keep patience and perseverance, but it is the courageous act where we fail and assumes mere patience and perseverance will do the act.

Australian bowlers didn’t ball badly during 18th and 19th over, but the only difference was a courageous act by the Indian batsman. Perhaps we all need our courageous act, circumstance will remain the same, but results will be different.

Courage

We all are in need of our 18th and 19th over and the wait will end with our courageous acts.

Sunil Gandhi

Do you know your account could be the next NPA?

The whole India is debating about Vijay Mallya. But he is sitting somewhere in the world and addressing his high debt worries. On the other extreme, there are farmers committing suicide, due to unbearable debt exposure.

In between there are SME borrowers who are the most vulnerable to the debt crisis. Most do not know the implication of debt – its short-term and long-term usage, cash flow mismatch, interest impact and in the case of default all other implications that comes with NPA status.

To understand the dangers of debt, one must understand the intricacies of business finance. Entrepreneurs are happy when they could raise finance from banks or institutions. But the money that comes for business growth, comes at a cost.

Cost is not just interest but the cost of inability to pay interest and debt. The cost of invocation of personal guarantees, liquidation of security and the tag of NPA means untouchable status by all banks and institutional finance. This is a huge cost so much so that people are committing suicide, gone under depression and lose their self-confidence.

Entrepreneurs are by nature enterprising and optimistic. These qualities are important in business. But unreasonable optimism also sometimes kills. Many times when entrepreneurs are advised by finance professionals about their heavy debt exposure and weak financial ratios but the advice is sidetracked under the pretext of undue optimism.

Last week, Mint published Interest Coverage ratio of some of the large companies having huge debt exposure.

Company Interest Coverage Ratio
Jayprakash Associates 0.65
Jindal Steel & Power 1.09
Lanco Infra 0.24
GMR Infra 0.23
Bhushan Steel 0.72
GVK Power 0.31
UB Holding 0.52

Note: Interest coverage (EBIT/Interest)  below 1 indicates they do not have sufficient profit to pay interest on the debt. All borrowers own to the banking system thousands of crores.

When we act in the initial stage, we can salvage and even turn around the business. But at the death bed, salvage and turnaround is very difficult and even if that becomes possible it comes with huge toll. Whether its business or it’s a disease, early action prevents more damage and chances of survival.

In the case of Satyam, Govt acted swiftly and the company was salvaged successfully, but the same yardstick of swift action was not applied in the case of Kingfisher and the promoters were allowed to sink the boat.

For SME entrepreneurs, they have their residential flats at stake, whether mortgaged or not due to their personal guarantees given to the lenders.

To stop fooling around and survive on the basis of mere hope, SME entrepreneurs must make true and fair balance sheet. One cannot be said fit based on fake and manipulated medical reports. The world can be fooled. But own body can’t be fooled by the manipulated reports. Likewise, rating agencies and banks can be fooled, but the biggest casualty of the NPA is the entrepreneur himself and not the banks.

Forget Rs.9000 crs of Kingfisher, but imagine Rs. 90 lacs or Rs, 900 lacs defaults by an SME and the flat & factory are mortgaged to the bank, sister concerns are good accounts, but casualty it will face due to one NPA account in the group company.

Therefore, timely action is critical to save the account from becoming an NPA account. That will start with knowing true and fair Balance Sheet and P & L Account. Financial statements are the results of entrepreneurs’ action so knowing the problems with the financial statements, going into the causes of the problems to address the same.

To a give simple example, know your net worth by subtracting dead stock and not receivable debtors / loans and advances. This is the reality.

Camouflaging to deceit lenders most of the times boomerangs.

Sunil Gandhi

Trust your instinct & Conquer your Everest

We all are climbing our Everest. Yes, those of us who are pursuing our passion are not any less than Everest climbers. Our expedition is ongoing and we can’t return back, the only option is one way, move ahead and upward. The result may be away or not even on the horizon, but the journey must continue.

“Trust your instinct & keep going.”

Yes, this is what Jimmy Chin has said in this interview.

Well, who is Jimmy Chin?

He is a professional climber, mountaineer, skier, director and photographer. His feature-length documentary Meru, co-directed with wife Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary is about his Everest expedition, with two others.

Meru Expedition, Garwhal, India

Meru Expedition, Garwhal, India

Our problem is as rightly stated by Steven Pressfield in his book: The War of Art. “We are too distracted by our own nonsense.“

Today I also read a quote by Gujarati author Ambalal Purani,

“Many a time nature fails us to generate enough energy to succeed, If we leave when we fail, we will never succeed. The route to success is through failures.”

During his expedition, Jimmy Chin many a time felt about leaving the expedition, but that would not have given him the desired result i.e. Success.

Keep pursuing your dream, failures are the milestones for success. But there is no option of going back.

If there is no uncertainty of the outcome, you are either not pursuing your dream or have not taken enough risks. Check out your own Everest. What you are pursuing where there is an uncertainty of outcome.

Then, trust your instinct and keep pursuing. By passing each failure milestone, you will hit the peak of your Everest.

When a well-known author and screenplay writer Steven Pressfield finally completed his first book after 26 months of work, the book did never find a buyer. He met his kind of mentor Paul Rink.

He said, “I have finished.”

“Good for you, start the next one today.” Replied Paul Rink without looking up.

Not a single buyer of the book and he was advised to start a new one. He did it. No option of going back. And Steven Pressfield is a well-known author with many great books to his credit.

“It is one thing to study war, and another to live warrior’s life.” Telamon of Arcadia 

Wars are not only fought on the borders and with external enemies, wars are going on everywhere, inside, perhaps every human being on a daily basis.  Jimmy Chin is living warrior’s life when he is climbing the Everest. Many of us are also at war with ourselves when we are on a mission to conquer our own Everest.

My recent ebook – The Fifth idiot

Sunil Gandhi

Eleven questions to the CEOs/ Business Owners:

  1. Employees spend their prime time of lives with the employers. They need not wait for weekends for their happiness. Happiness for employees must be there and there at workplaces. This is the responsibility of CEOs. What are you doing about it?
  2. Most (85% in Indian Pvt. Sector) employees are suffering from lifestyle diseases due to work related stress and long hours of working but they do not have time for gymnasium or exercise. Courtesy – long hours of work and so-called self-imposed targets. Shouldn’t this change?
  3. All promoters and shareholders are net-worth rich – courtesy – company profit but most employees are in debt for the most part of their working life. Remember, being in debt is one of the top reasons of unhappiness.
  4. Promoters themselves are not loyal to their business and selling companies for money. Isn’t expecting or propagating employee loyalty is a big deceit?
  5. Does your enterprise know your Employees Experience Scorecard?
  6. Indulging in corruption for special favour and even for growth is no different than smuggling as both are anti-national. Anything not in the interest the nation is anti-national. Does your company have anti-bribery and corruption policies in place? Whether it’s being implemented? Do employees know about the same?
  7. Customers are fed up with over committing advertising and misselling. Online reviews are driving their BUY decisions. Do you have customer experience policies and practice in place? How do you measure customer experience your enterprise is offering?
  8. Do you dare to publish Employee Experience Scorecard and Customer Experience Scorecard in your annual report?

We talk f employee loyalty , but even owners are not loyal to ther business.2 (13)

Note: The Fifth Idiot, is a story of a woman CEO, passionate about the happiness of their employees & her interesting journey. She also endeavours to address all the above questions.

“Change making happens when people fall in love with a different version of the future.” Seth Godin

Sunil Gandhi

We are DYING in EMIs

Yes,  we all know about paying EMI but what we are ignorant about is,  we all are also drying in EMI.

As per the recent ASSOCHEM survey, due to demanding schedules, high-stress levels and performance-linked perquisites in private sectors, nearly 85% of employees in private sectors are afflicted to lifestyle, chronic diseases and acute ailment, according to a recent survey conducted on the occasion of ‘World Health day’.

We human beings are not compatible to cope up with fast moving technologies and severe competition. Bill Gates writes about Business @ The speed of thought, but we are also dying at the speed of thought while doing at the speed of thought.

Like we have premature deliveries, highly demanding corporate stress is killing us quicker. These premature deaths is our response to God’s premature deliveries.

Somewhere we have forgotten the real objective of the business and started running for all wrong reasons.

“The real purpose of business is to serve society, not to cater to the shareholder, but often the latter is what CEOs are focused on because of pressure.”

  • Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.

“Doing whatever it takes to keep our employees, customers, and vendors happy has led to profits in the end.”

  • Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

Tony Hsieh, confirms that companies with higher sense of purpose outperforms 400%,  while Jack Ma of Ali Baba also confess that;

“This month I’m not very happy—I think too much pressure,” Ma said. “I try to make myself happy no, because I know that if I’m not happy my colleagues are not happy, and my shareholders are not happy, and my customers are not happy.

The company’s historic IPO—valued at a record-setting $25 billion—may has contributed to this stress.

Maybe the stock goes so up, maybe people have high expectations on you, maybe I think too much about the future and have too many things to worry about,” Ma said.

These pressures may not be receding anytime soon. But Ma said the stress in his life is coming from more than just his job: Becoming China’s richest man has provided its own set of headaches.”

  • Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

“It’s time we stopped putting up with unhappy workplaces and bad bosses. Unhappiness at work is not a minor annoyance. It makes us tired, stressed and negative. Worst case, it makes us sick or kills us.”

  • Alexander Kjerulf, Chief Happiness Officer, Postivesharing.com

The book, The Fifth Idiot is all about happiness at the workplace. This is a story, this is about change, this is about refocusing on business priorities. The movie Three Idiots was about mad rush for numbers & herd mentality in the education system, The ebook, The Fifth Idiot is about the mad rush for numbers and herd mentality prevailing in our corporate world.

We talk f employee loyalty , but even owners are not loyal to ther business.2 (14)

Welcome to join the journey of The Fifth Idiot. There are some interesting readers reviews since the book launch posted on Amazon.

Sunil Gandhi

The journey of – The Fifth Idiot

Husband of our neighbour, a young lady CA age 24 , died within one year of their marriage. He was working with a bank and the  job was demanding. Ranjan Das, 42 years young CEO of SAP India died of cardiac arrest. Sarvshreshth Gupta, an analyst with Goldman Sachs died due to long hours of working and high stress at workplace. He once told his father that his job is too much work and too little time. After months of working close to 100-hour weeks, the young banker fell to his death at his apartment parking lot at the tender age of just 22.

Ryan Henry Crane, a Harvard graduate, who is survived by his wife, son and parents at the very young age of 37. He was working with J P Morgan chase. Earlier Ravi Mohan of Reliance, Ex OTC exchange/ CRISIL died of a massive heart attack at the age of 52. Devang Mehta, a very dynamic NASSCOM, CEO, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 38.

A study by ASSOCHEM found that demanding schedules, high-stress levels and performance linked perquisites in private sectors; nearly 42.50% of employees in private sectors are afflicted from depression or general anxiety disorder.

Another study by the Government of India shows that one out of every five Indians is suffering from a mental disorder. In fact, that places every family at severe risk of multiple issues such as chronic depression, suicidal tendencies and work related stress. 50 percent of corporate India is under chronic stress with 30 per cent having problems such as addiction and marital discord, and 20 percent suffering from depression. That effectively means that a rise in depression is a very real threat that could affect the country’s denizens and economy over a period of time.

We are surviving, but most of the working population is suffering from stress related disease? – diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Long working hours coupled with no time for exercise, junk and erratic food habits, smoking and drinking are adding jet fuel to the fire.

We needed Three Idiots to make ourselves aware about school & college study related stress and studying what we love rather than following the herd mentality.

But madness for marks and social pressure for performance does not stop at colleges & universities. It becomes severe after we moved on to our work life. Here IRR, Market share, EBIDTA, ROCE, Topline & Net worth are some of the subjects.

The major change at this stage is, now the situation is ruthless.

Life @ Child stage:

Stress (Study and Expectation) Plus Love & Care of parents Plus time for sports/games.

Life @ Working Adult stage:

Stress (Work, Career, and Financial Goals) Minus Love & Care of parents Plus Expectation of Love and Care by family members Minus time for sports/games.

Here comes – The Fifth Idiot.

Originally I wrote The 5th Idiot as a movie script. I approached quite a few producers/corporate movie producers and even characters, who can play a lead character, but found many gatekeepers and perhaps failed to reach the right eyes. But the arrival of Kindle and Amazon self-publishing is quite liberating. We don’t need any rejection either from – film producers or from book publishing companies.

I wrote the story again in a novel format.  As book marketing experts recommend, I also approached many beta readers. I am thankful to all those who agreed to read the book even before it was edited and final, in some case. They offered me valuable feedback. I approached many well-known personalities to write a blurb for the book. I was successful in convincing a few (Most well-known people are extremely busy.)  I sincerely thank for their time and their names they have lent to the book by writing a blurb.

Praise for the book:

“A great read that can be finished in one sitting. I could relate to several instances/mentions in the book; especially the madness around Diwali – even our business takes a different curve during this holiday season amongst others. Employees are the biggest assets for any organization, and every organization should put in place mechanisms to ensure their happiness – some of the inputs from this book can prove to be valuable.”

  • Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms

“In my busy schedule, I was wondering whether I made a mistake by accepting to write a blurb. But when I started reading, I realised that this has come to me for a reason. What a wonderful read, I couldn’t stop. ! So inspiring.  ……., this book is a MUST read…..” 

  • Richa Anirudh, TV,Radio Journalist, Editor in chief, School LIVE

“I would like to congratulate Sunil, for taking up such an important topic and weaving an interesting and remarkable story around.

A must read.”

  • Anupam Sibal , Senior Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group & Author of “Is Your Child Ready to face the World?”

“If you have to pick up a book to read, pick up “The Fifth Idiot”. It is contemporary, insightful and makes you think. Read it and you will enjoy it.”

  • Ninad Karpe, Managing Director & CEO Aptech Limited

 Here is a book – The Fifth Idiot.

This is a story about a woman CEO, the book was formally released on 8th March 2016, International Women’s Day.

As usual on 8th also I read a daily blog of Seth Godin & coincidently he wrote in his interim blog;

“Change making happens when people fall in love with a different version of the future.”

The quote was quite apt for the theme of the book. So I wrote a mail to him asking for a permission to use the quote on the cover of the book. & he readily agreed. The cover of the was changed on 8th night and the book was ready for the readers with the new cover.

Welcome to read – The Fifth Idiot.

The Fifth Idiot

I am sure you would enjoy the journey. My target is to sell 1000 books within 100 days. Your support will help me achieve the goal. Please share the link with all your social media groups – LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, and all other. You can also help by writing a review on Amazon.in and even write a blog about the book if you are also a blogger.

One of the early readers of the book sent me a message; “I hereby enrol myself as The Fifth Idiot.” I am sure you also would like to be a part of The Fifth Idiot movement.

Sunil Gandhi