We got talking about Children and how we are struggling to take the right decision for our elder son, once he clears his 12th exams. Mr Sonu said that we must not hesitate to put him in a good college and send him away. He said that we must however not let the family bonds weaken in anyway eg. sometimes if the child wants to visit home during a holiday let him come and meet the family and not worry about cost etc. How true because most of us always take extra efforts to plan a child's future but ignore his present and thereby affecting his and family's future.
Driving back, we fondly remembered how Mr Sonu and his Father Mr LG Mirchandani related with each other at Onida and gave each other space, respect, understanding, patience and empowerment. A model relationship between a parent and a grown up child.
I remember Mr LG, as he was fondly called, calling me one day and handed over half a sheet of a neatly typed paper( He was extremely cost conscious) and told me.." Beta(Son), always ask yourself these questions before you start any project for your company:
- Is it ethical and law abiding?
- How does the project fit into the stated mission and vision of the company?
- Why are you doing it?
- When do you have to start and when do you finish?
- What resources and skills do you require?
- Would the company support it till the end?
- Where will it take the company?”
I was just 21 at that time, like most MBAs and found them pretty simple questions to answer. Time and experience has taught me that these are not easy questions to answer and also that not many understand the full implication, magnitude and each stake holder’s involvement to answer each question, even after many years of experience.
I was abroad when Mr LG passed away and even today his voice asks me the above questions whenever I take up any new project in the company I work.
Shobha remembered how on her first official air trip Mr Sonu did not let her pick up the briefcase and carried it for her. A small gesture but it still stands out after 20+ years, because not many bosses care to demonstrate that they care. Many bosses also forget that the employees not just look at inspirational vision and mission statements from them but they look at them every day, every morning for cues. Bosses set the tempo and the mood everyday. The employees pick up all verbal and non verbal signals and if they are not appropriate on a particular day the productivity goes down massively on that day. I myself am guilty of this behavior however I would like to believe that the frequency of such behavior from me has gone down over the years.
I also remembered of what Mr Sonu said to me just before I went abroad. He said “ Rajeev..just remember that there are only 2 types of individuals in this world - the Creators and the Destroyers. The creators take their families to the next level. There are many who believe that they are preservers. However, no one can just manage. Sooner than later everyone’s actions turn them into creators or destroyers.” It left a deep impression on me.
We cannot thank Mr Sonu enough but for Shobha and myself he will always remain our ‘Dearest Boss’.