Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Knee-jerk reaction to recession is not an accomplishment

India's biggest software house, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is believed to be avoiding travel to reduce costs. Instead video conferences, telephonic conversations and web casting will be used to discuss matters. This should minimize travel requirements.


1. Does it require a recession to cut costs?
2. Isn't a company obliged to cut costs and pass it on the benefits to the customers or employees?
3. Who were the people who authorized travel when a telephone call was sufficient?

Ahh! The answer to the last is all too obvious. I do not know how this process works at TCS. But I know for certain that most of these travels are undertaken by the executives themselves. The top management sitting at Headquarters are not bothered as long as targets are met.

You see, when things are hunky-dory, it takes top management of exception foresight to insist on stretch targets. Cost cutting is seen as retro-step. I can bet on my fledgling blogging career (!) that internal auditors at TCS must have raised objections but the executives must have shot these down insisting that such business travels are essential.

And why am I upset about this? Because by making a big hoo-haa about the measures TCS is taking to fight slow down, it is actually admitting that there is a lot of scope for cost cutting thereby confining Indian software industry to compete on costs for ever.

To all those managers / executives I have this humble request. Please do not announce knee-jerk reactions as accomplishments. Please do these within the four walls of your company. These are not achievements. You should have done this long ago.

Yes, if someday you do a 'Nano' shout from the roof top.

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