Three Obstacles

Whether to keep up the equanimity of emotions and act silently? Or to make some noises to be heard? This has been the main question that has dodged me always.

In the past, I have seen that making noises usually does not work. It only puts off people. It does not make the shouter to be one of the team members. But again to be accepted as team member even if one is docile is also sometimes a bit tricky.

We have two bosses who either do not know how to drive the business or just want to maintain the status-quo to make sure that they continue to stay in their respective positions. If that be so, why should I be hired then? The management may genuinely be aiming at increasing the business volume. CEO may have mooted the idea that he needs one more business development manager to contribute more.

What he has not done so far is to make the working smoother by opening the gateways of information. The cartel’s insecurities have kept the gate closed and even if the gate is opened – only slightly. The VP’s presence is causing more confusion. Under these circumstances, getting any type of sales support or directions or decisions from either VP or CEO has become a strenuous effort. I also suspect that the ants are being influenced by the Cartel not to be very free-flowing on my informational needs.

My instruction to M (one of the Ants) to give me the customer-wise pricing data went unheeded. While I kept reminding her politely, she kept saying she was busy and would take out the data as soon as she gets a bit free.

I needed to quote for a particular product to a domestic customer. As no transparent costing were made available, I had to be reliant on B who informs me the price for individual product before I quote to any customer. On this occasion, I was given a US dollar price on Cost and freight basis and was told to work backwards. Accordingly, I quoted Rs 145 for that item. Customer promptly asked if we can agree at Rs 125. I got stuck. B informed me that we sell that item to MNO at more than Rs 160, so further discount to already quoted lower price would not be possible. If it was Rs 160, why was I given a mis-leading basis to work out the price in the first instance? Either B was being casual earlier or he gives me a wrong information now to discourage me in cutting the price and in the process not being able to finalize the business.

VP was causing commotion differently.  A few deals were at the stage of finalization and some operational issues had to be addressed. VP was non-committal and said it can be solved only over a medium-term, so finalizing the business may not be immediately possible. I was not sure if the customer would be ready to wait.

On another potentially large business opportunity, VP kept repeating like a parrot that he would need buyer’s specifications. The buyer was not to be bothered for these paper work, as I know from my experience that he never has any written specs for his products. He had given us only the photo images of the products which I am sure would be adequate for the factory team to start working on it. But VP would not listen and this time he blamed ISO 9000 procedure for insisting on buyer’s specification.

CEO had not time for taking business decisions. He is busy meeting either advertisement sales representatives from a web portal company or home brokers for buying a property for himself, or making H (the secretary) sitting in front  of him to listen to flirt talks. My email reminders to him seeking approval for 7 days credit terms for XYZ Corp remained unreplied. After a few days, I went to his cabin personally to ask him about it. He went on with his usual irrelevancies. When I asked him specifically towards the subject, he admitted that he has sent the mail to the Finance Manager for decision-making.

B’s blocking of smooth flow of information, VP’s intransigency, CEO’s complete refusal to take decisions even if it costs only a rupee…. the three things I am confronting with!

1 Comment

  1. Geetha Rangarajan says:

    I think there is no decentralisation which is most essential for any organisation’s smooth working. The work system seems more outdated and obselete more like a govt organisation. I think they have to go to B-school and learn a lesson or two on management and delegation of work. I think your 11th std commerce book will speak of this:)

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