Saturday, February 21, 2015

Business ethics

We often hear about ethics. Rather nowadays we more often hear "no ethics".

Whether you are a small company with eight employees and a turnover of less than a crore of rupees
or a big corporation with thousands of employees and turnover running into thousands of crores does
not matter. Behaviour and attitude should be ethical.

But then what is ethical?

To put it in simple words, the behaviour by an individual or company towards its customers, suppliers, employees, government and the society at large in a rightful manner without showing partiality or trying
to avoid certain obligations falls into ethics.

Many companies have their own set of principles written down as "Code of conduct" which is
expected to be implicitly followed by all its employees.

As India progresses into the twenty first century it is better that each one of us has our own
code of conduct and follow it.

A few days back I received a phone call from a person in Kozhikode. I could have said that I operate
in Chennai and so cannot do anything much for him. I wanted to help him or guide him as much as I could so that his need is fulfilled. After talking to him I came to know that he wanted a small part for a water dispenser. I told him it is available with me and he said he could collect it when he visits Chennai. Why
make him come all the way to my shop? I told him to give his address and I can send it by courier and he pay on-line which he did.

What has this incident to do with ethics? IT IS THE IMPRESSION I HAVE CREATED IN HIS

Happy selling for summer!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Refusing service is also service...

A few days back I observed my car to be running bumpy. My local mechanic asked me to get
the wheel balancing and alignment done.

There is a wheel alignment centre near my office. The guy took a ride, came back and told me
that three tyres are to be replaced. I asked him not to do anything. I was not sure if his advise
was right.

I called my friend, a veteran tyre dealer for his recommendation. He told me that in radial tyres
it is difficult to see the wear and tear by sight. The tyres were more than seven years old and I was
asked to replace them. I asked them to replace all the four tyres and do the alignment. Now my car
is running smooth.

About a year back a corporate asked me to give AMC offer for their twenty and odd air-conditioners.
I went around and saw the machines. They were more than twelve years old and in poor condition but
were working....  I told them it is not worthwhile for them as well as for us to take the machines in AMC.
They may continue to use them as long as they work and then replace them with new ones. They were happy to receive this advise of mine.

Last month this very same corporate called me and said they wanted to buy ten units for their new office and asked me to come and  take their order. Yes, COME AND TAKE YOUR ORDER. We got the order after fine-tuning the price to somewhat match with other quotes.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lunch and a lesson!

Having gone to my office yesterday, I had lunch at the V.I.P.'s  restaurant at Royapettah.

As I entered the restaurant with my friend, somebody having his lunch greeted me. At first I could
not recognize him though I too greeted him but immediately remembered that he is the owner
of restaurant.

A few years back I had asked him: Why do you call your hotel V.I.P.s restaurant?
Reply: Sir, every person who comes and has his/her lunch here is a Very Important Person to me!!

Yesterday after lunch I asked him jokingly: What Sir, owner having lunch in own hotel??
Reply: My mother is 86 years old and when I started this hotel 20 years back she had told
me, "If you can't have food in your hotel you are not fit to serve others!". That is our family philosophy.
Every day I have lunch and dinner here. Even if I go out to a function and have lunch, I will have my
dinner here. I never miss a day....

When I was in-charge of an air-conditioning firm (SSD) a big ticket customer walked into my
cabin and after chatting with me for a while, got up and went near my window air-conditioner.
He ran his finger over the front panel and showed some dust. Then he said, "If you can't take
care of your own unit, how are you going to take care of others??".

I immediately replied, "Sir, we are so busy serving others, sometimes we don't mind about our
own needs...".    It was not a very serious question and I somehow wriggled out of the situation.