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Posts Tagged ‘Vida Economica’

Recently, while on a trip to Switzerland, yours truly had the opportunity of calling upon Mr. José Manuel Castro Santiago, Minister – Counsellor at the Embassy of Portugal in Bern.

Despite his busy schedule, he was kind enough to grant an audience to yours truly, who wished to present to him a copy of his book ‘Como Sobreviver Na Selva Empresarial’.

It happened to be a day when the soaring day temperature had left denizens of Berne gasping for breath and scurrying for cover. To match the heat outside, the Embassy of Portugal in Switzerland offered a degree of bonhomie and warmth, much like the genial and affable disposition of the people of Portugal.

An informal meeting took place in his tastefully done up office. He was genial, graceful and dignified. The frankness with which he spoke and the warmth he exuded was typical of the people of character, resource and rich culture he represents.

It transpired that he had also had a stint in India. He spoke warmly of his positive feel about the country. He touched upon its rich ancient culture and the diversity of its citizens. Yet another emerging economy he had been posted to in the past was that of Brazil.

He mentioned that he has himself authored and published a book which captures his experiences in a long and successful career. Yours truly expressed a wish that some kindly publisher might bring it out in English as well, so the wisdom contained therein may get shared more widely.

He was happy to know that yours truly had been associated with the Tata group for close to a decade, that too in the field of leather footwear and components. The courtesy extended to an ordinary soul from an emerging economy like India was impeccable.

Diplomats represent all that their land is and aspires to be. Much like Ms. Clara Nunes dos Santos, the Ambassador of Portugal to Norway (whom yours truly had the opportunity to meet recently), Mr. José Manuel Castro Santiago is also no exception. One has no doubt that both of them handle managerial challenges coming their way with characteristic aplomb.

One wishes them and their country a great innings in the days to come.

(Notes:

This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016, courtesy Liberty Seguros and Vida Economica.

The English version of the book, entitled ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, was released recently.

Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/a-meeting-with-the-ambassador-of-portugal-in-norway)

 

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Recently, while on a trip to Norway, yours truly had the opportunity of calling upon Ms. Clara Nunes dos Santos, the Ambassador of Portugal in Norway.

Despite her busy schedule, she was kind enough to grant an audience to yours truly, who wished to present to her a copy of his book ‘Como Sobreviver Na Selva Empresarial’.

On a day when the skies were a characteristic Norwegian grey, the Embassy of Portugal in Oslo stood out in its dignified glory. Much like the genial and warm people of Portugal, the welcoming interior left one with an inner glow of joy, much akin to a homecoming of sorts.

An informal meeting took place in her exquisitely done up office. She was charm, grace and dignity personified. The frankness with which she spoke and the warmth she exuded was typical of the people of character, resource and rich culture she represents.

She was kind enough to leaf through the book and found that it demystified the art and science of management in a lucid manner. The Portuguese translation came in for some praise. The courtesy extended to an ordinary soul from an emerging economy like India was impeccable.

Ambassadors represent all that their land is and aspires to be. Ms Clara Nunes dos Santos is no exception. Given her keen intelligence, sharp eye, wit and humour, one has no doubt that she handles managerial challenges coming her way with characteristic aplomb.

One wishes her and her country a great innings in the days to come.

(Note:

This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016, courtesy Liberty Seguros and Vida Economica.)

(The English version of the book, entitled ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, was released recently.)

(Related Post:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-1-0)

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Celebrating the first anniversary of having launched a book in Portuguese in March 2016.

English version to follow soon….!

ashokbhatia

Surviving in the Corporate Jungle

BookFrontCover

This is a short introduction to a book by yours truly, the Portugese version of which is getting launched in Portugal shortly. The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto. The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

How this book happened

Forty years back, the School of Business at a prestigious university in India made a big mistake. They awarded me a degree in Business Management. They were so very happy to see me off the campus that they even awarded a silver medal to me.

I owe this book to my professors – some of whom taught so well that I learnt a…

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BookFrontCoverAn interview of your truly which appeared in Vida Economica in Portuguese some time back:

1. You are publishing your book in Portugal in March. What’s your relationship with Portugal? Why Portugal to publish your book?

It would be recalled that the relationship between our two countries goes back quite a few centuries.

At the personal level, I have several friends from Goa and Cochin in India, both of which were the seat of power for Portugal till the 1960s. I have always people from these areas to be highly committed but fun-loving at the same time.

At the professional level, having worked in the leather footwear industry for a long time, I had occasionally been in touch with some such businesses in North of Portugal.

Some time back, I came across CEO World, and felt connected to your lovely country.

Relationships evolve over a period of time. It is time to improve the engagement between our two countries. Traditional knowledge and management wisdom is just one facet of the possibilities. That is how, the thought of publishing a book here came up.

2. Amazon said recently that they will not fail to be a major player in India (as it happened in China). They will invest much more this time. How do you see the opportunities for Portuguese companies in India?

Against the gloomy backdrop of major economies, India happens to be a bright spot in the world today. The new government has grand plans for development and is taking steps to improve the ease of doing business in India. The potential in the semi-urban and rural pockets of India is great. Portuguese businesses have a unique opportunity now to enter into tie-ups with companies of Indian origin.

Globally, the largest pool of educated manpower willing to work hard is available in India. History has taught Indians to live harmoniously together, despite wide-ranging diversity in terms of religion, languages and castes. These are unique strengths which can be effectively leveraged by businesses in Portugal.

Companies which want to do business in India would do well to (a) Identify their key strengths which would be of relevance to India, whether in the field of infrastructure, renewable energy, farm productivity, leisure and tourism, etc, (b) Take the help of experts who can put them in touch with reliable business partners in India, and (c) Be clear and patient about the characteristics of the market segment they identify to cater to.

3. “Surviving in the Corporate Jungle” mixes humour with management. Why do you think it should be read by Portuguese managers?

Management concepts are universal in nature. When you wish to motivate your team members, it does not matter whether you are in Porto or in Mumbai. When you are down-sizing, the challenges are the same, irrespective of whether you are in Lisbon or in Delhi.

Portuguese managers who follow one of the effective habits popularized by Stephen R Covey – KEEP SHARPENING YOUR SAW – would greatly benefit from the managerial wisdom of India.

The messages conveyed in the book are serious in nature. Their packaging is not. Profound truths conveyed with a dash of humour, I believe, have a better chance of being effectively communicated.

I believe the upcoming book can help managers in Portugal and elsewhere become smarter, in other words, more effective.

4. Why did you decide to become a founding member of the Portuguese start-up CEO WORLD?

We live in times when the world is shrinking faster than ever. We are at the cusp of a new kind of ‘Industrial Revolution’ which is knowledge-driven. Call it a ‘Binary Revolution’, if you will. Technology is making information more democratic in nature.

Start-ups which enable sharing of management practices across the world serve a useful purpose in the society. Moreover, when we share challenges and discuss possible solutions on a global platform, we gain in terms of empathy and expand our consciousness. We are then making a small but significant contribution towards global harmony, much like a small group of violinists which is a part of a grand orchestra.

For example, one of the platforms CEO World offers is that of Peer Groups. Here, I get to share my current challenges with CEOs from all over the world on a video conference platform. There is no conflict of interest, there is accountability, and there are no travel costs involved. As and when one is visiting each other, one can take the discussion forward.

Peer Groups have been in operation since the last 60/70 years in such countries as the US, Canada, AU, NZ and UK. But the novel idea being practiced at CEO World is that of virtual peer groups which are global in nature. This is a disruptive concept led by a Portuguese start-up.

5. What are your plans for the future and how do you envision your relationship with Portugal?

As a person who suffers from ‘Professoritis’, the plans are for an enhanced level of engagement with the management institutes and associations in Portugal. Another book proposal is on the drawing board. Given support, I would love to do a book comparing the managerial styles of CEOs in Portugal and in India.

It would also be exciting to connect with Portuguese companies who want to have a better understanding of the Indian culture and market and vice versa. Perhaps I can make a modest contribution towards building more bridges between our two countries. This gets aligned with the mission of CEO WORLD: of decreasing the gap between cultures and bringing about a better understanding between the two populations.

(Source: Vida Economica, February 26, 2016)

You can buy the book here.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-2-0

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-3-0)

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Netizens who have made the cardinal error of following me on any social network could be forgiven for imagining me as a dashing speaker, blogger and author.

Not a Jeeves in the realm of Management

Snapshots, videos and blog posts would inevitably depict me as a managementPGW MuchObligedJeeves expert dishing out sage advice with an impish sparkle in the eyes, often misconstrued as indicating supreme intelligence. Seasoned observers would notice a receding hairline and imagine me to be an intellectual cove. Perhaps a head bulging out at the back, much like that of Jeeves, would lead many amongst my followers to conclude that I would have minted millions by this time, squeezing the last penny out of some Bertie-like super rich but mentally negligible bosses I would have assisted in a long career.

Well, nothing could be father from the truth. Those who wish to dig deeper into the subject of who I am would be startled to find that the responsibility of depicting yours truly in such a flattering manner falls squarely on the illusory sophistication and the veneer of respectability a lesser mortal gets imbued with, when behind the façade of social media.Panjab_University

An error of judgement

Fondly known as ‘AKB’ to my friends and colleagues, I am a management graduate of what I would prefer to describe as the pre-Jurassic period of management education. Delhi University is to be squarely blamed for dishing out a post-graduate degree to me in Physics, way back in 1974. The University Business School at Panjab University, Chandigarh, also appears to have made a singular error of judgement in awarding me a MBA degree in 1976.

Professors who had the misfortune of educating me came in several sizes and shapes. The brilliant ones could never come to terms with the singular absence of common sense in my thought processes. The mediocre ones had no other option but to feel frustrated at not being able to detain me at any level of my educational ladder. The poor ones were so indifferent that I often landed up studying the subject myself, thereby gaining more interest in those subjects.

An expert at Mismanagement

If an expert in the field of management were to put my escapades under the microscope of academic rigour, she could be condoned for recommending my appointment as a Dean of a School of Mismanagement at an Ivy League institute of international repute.Tata logo

The fact remains that several top corporates in India and abroad have had to bear with my unique style of mismanagement for over thirty-five years. The ones which have suffered in particular are such companies as Tata International, Hidesign, and HCL.

My entrepreneurial endeavours in the realm of market research and HR have left many of my had-been-clients shaken but not stirred. A benevolent client once rued how happy his company had been if I had done my own market research better and if only they had not availed my (dis)services.

A number of start-ups have seen me in the stellar role of a promoter-director. Records would show that many of these sank without a trace. I was blessed with a flair for visualizing lofty goals. I always attempted flawless planning and backed it up with miserable execution. My lack of attention to detail often left my customers exasperated.

From delegation to abdication

While in a career, I always followed the policy of focusing on the peripheralHIDESIGN_LOGO_withouttag targets, whereas my team members took care of the Key Result Areas. With me, the art of delegation often evolved into sheer abdication. Needless to say, companies were often happy to see me packing my bags and leaving.

My travels have taken me far and wide, but those who know me well are still not too sure if I have yet understood the work culture and ethics of different countries and continents.

I do believe I attract people with my positive vibrations, but I have played no role in the recent confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves by physicists. I might sound like a global manager, but have not been successful in cross-cultural validation of any of the management theories and concepts.

The perils of those who receive my services

Having hung my boots in the corporate world, I am now working with some NGOs in the field of Management and Spirituality. One can only wish these outfits well.

I am aware that I happen to be an active blogger whose tardy progress in the blogosphere is being watched with little interest by any of my occasional followers.

Yes, I am passionate about movies. Many movie directors are delighted at not having been approached by me with any script of a likely blockbuster. This way, their careers are not likely to go bust any time soon.

Of ‘Wodehousitis’ and ‘Professoritis’

I am happy to be suffering from “Wodehousitis” and “Professoritis” and do notHCL logo seek any cure for these ailments. A scholastic attitude and a habit of “keeping my saw sharpened” have made several University departments and educational institutes invite me for sporadic guest lectures, only to repent later.

CEO World in Portugal has recently made the mistake of making me an Editor-in-Chief of their blog site. Vida Economica of Portugal has even gone ahead and taken the risk of publishing a book of mine in Portuguese.

The corporate world heaves a sigh of relief to discover that my activities are now mostly confined to Pondicherry, India. This ensures that I would spend the rest of my days on this planet in a high-spirited state of bliss, leaving them free to run their own businesses the way they like.

The Association of Ineffective and Morose Managers

If ever your luck were to run out and you were to step out of your virtual world and get to meet me in person, and also have the misfortune of spending some time with me, I would not be surprised to receive a frantic call the very next day, pleading with me to immediately assume the position of the President of the Association of Ineffective and Morose Managers.

Wish you all a goofy April Fools’ Day!

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Surviving in the Corporate Jungle

BookFrontCover

This is in continuation of two earlier posts, providing a short introduction to a book by yours truly. The Portugese version of the book is getting launched in Portugal shortly.

The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto.

The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

What is the book about?

This book is a compilation of some tactics you can use to not only survive but also do well in the corporate jungle. It is intended to amuse, entertain, and educate. It is a light-hearted take on the art and science of management, from the jaundiced perspective of someone who is still learning it!

It offers quite a few gems of wisdom meant for managers and entrepreneurs of all hues, sizes, and shapes. They could be the aspiring kind, the practising and the tired kind, or the retired kind.

Glum Chief Executive Officers, hassled by the harsh slings and arrows of managing a business, upon leafing through some of its contents, might get motivated to look at the sunnier side of life.

Nail-biting aspiring managers may understand how to successfully navigate their way through the corporate jungle.

Entrepreneurs, whether of a social or an unsocial kind, could find some clue on getting out of the blunder-prone world they frequently find themselves in.

We live in exciting times. An information overload saps managers’ energies faster than the time it takes to gulp down a cup of their favourite tissue restorative. Thanks to rapid strides in technology, newer challenges keep popping up in all areas of management.

The rigors of corporate governance keep snapping at the Chief Executive Officer’s heels at a much faster pace. Issues of gender diversity keep giving Human Resource honchos sleepless nights. Hapless managements, pre-occupied as they are with their aim of delivering better value to their stakeholders quarter after quarter, continue to miss the woods for the trees.

How does one retain one’s sanity in such challenging times? Surviving in the Corporate Jungle (A Backpacker’s Guide) is an endeavour to present to you some basic secrets and techniques of managing a business successfully and happily. You will pick up some aphorisms, some in-depth analyses, and some tongue in cheek comments.

The format of the book is that of a ready reckoner, with topics arranged in alphabetical order. Each topic gets covered in a short and crisp write up. Each topic gets a page all its own, thereby making the book easy on your already frayed nerves.

About Liberty Seguros, S. A.

Liberty Seguros has over eight decades of experience in the insurance business. They rely on the dedication of each one of our 510 employees to find the best protection solutions for Portuguese households, individuals and for micro, small and medium-sized companies.

The company has 31 business offices, called Espaços Liberty Seguros, and 7 branch offices distributed across the whole of Portugal, that give support to the insurance agents, their strategic allies, through whom they offer a broad range of products and services designed to ensure their customers enjoy safer, better protected lives.

Liberty Seguros is governed by values of Solidarity, Team Spirit, Dedication, Work Commitment and Responsibility to the Community.

Introducing Vida Economica, the book publishers

Vida Economica is the best source of information for Portuguese companies and professionals. They have an experience of more than 80 years on delivering news that their readers can use. Vida Economica is the first business weekly in Portugal.

Their activities include special interest magazines covering most important subjects for business as books. Their book portofolio has more than 300 titles with some of the best-sellers on economy and management.

Statutory Warning

This book does not guarantee solving any of your problems. Yes, it could help you to gain a fresh perspective on the challenges you face in your career.

Mandatory Declaration

No animals were harmed during the writing of this book.

You can buy the book here

(Related Posts:
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-2-0)

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Surviving in the Corporate Jungle
BookFrontCover

This is in continuation of an earlier post, providing a short introduction to a book by yours truly. The Portugese version of the book is getting launched in Portugal shortly.
The launch event  in Porto is planned on the 2nd of March, along with a talk on “Work Life Harmony” at the  Catolica Porto Business School  of  Universidade Catolica do Porto.
The launch event in Lisbon is planned at Universidade Europeia on the 3rd of March, 2016, as part of an event titled ‘Passport to India.’

Why the reference to a jungle?

One, it is fashionable these days to talk about environment and sustainability. Two, in many ways, the type of organizations we work in and the kind of people we meet there, many parallels can be drawn.

I believe there are three kinds of organizations: the Circus kind, the Zoo kind and the Jungle kind.

Whatever the kind you work for, you get to see Lion King bosses who are the lords and masters of all they survey. Mentors who keep an eye on the quality of work that you do, much like a giraffe would.

Colleagues who are like enchanting deers, always willing to support you. Subordinates who are snakes in the grass, waiting for an opportunity to back-stab you. Customers who are as prickly as a porcupine. Suppliers who are as cunning as a fox.

Fed up with a company? Change over to another one. You would still find people there with similar traits. Only the names and the faces would change. In other words, there is no escaping the jungle!

Some bouquets

Those who deserve bouquets for what they have unwittingly contributed towards the conception as well as the delivery of this book:

My friends, philosophers and guides: They continued to egg me on to write a book of this kind – late Prof. S. P. Singh, Ashok Kalra, S. P. Krishnamurthy, Vipin Dewan, C. S. Dwivedi, Prof. R. P. Raya, and a few others.
Thought leaders, like Peter F. Drucker, Philip Kotler, J. R. D. Tata, C. Northcote Parkinson, Laurence J. Peter, Ratan Tata, Sharu Rangnekar, Stephen R. Covey and many others.
Hapless souls who have undergone the trauma of going through and commenting upon the rough portions of this book: Miguel Dias, Founder, CEO World, Jose Antonio de Sousa, President & CEO, Liberty Seguros, Jack Jacoby, Executive Chairman, Jacoby Consulting Group Pty Ltd, and a few others.

Those who have worked so very hard on the illustrations – thereby making the book a wee bit livelier.

Vida Economica, the publishers, who showed the courage to pick up a whacky manuscript from an unknown first-time author.

Quite a few others who have burnt the midnight oil, acted as proficient midwives and taken me through the labour pains of the editing and publishing process, ensuring that the baby got delivered.

The souls which play the role of my immediate family members in this life, without whose support this book would not have seen the light of the day.

Special thanks are due to my soul-mate and the very young ones, without whose support the book could have been finished in half the time it actually took to write.

Few brickbats

If any brickbats are to be hurled, those have to be unerringly directed at the author of the book. However, before flexing your muscles, please be so kind as to check if he is covered for such exigencies by any insurance policy issued by Liberty Seguros.

You can buy the book here.

(Related Post:
https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico)

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