It’s funny how ridiculous some claims are of the companies we buy products of. Let me tell you my personal experience with Tata Docomo (a network which always connects, pun intended).
Docomo had just come with new campaign starring Ranbir and it touched all the imp points a customer looks at while choosing an operator. I was impressed, the plans were also cheap – and I got into the trap. Then started the chain of events which has one by one shattered all the claims made by the company.
- Claim – A network that always connects: I stay at a place which is very easily accessible but still my Docomo connection is not available. Leave aside the availability of connection in a basement, I do not even get network on first floor my building! No wonder I miss so many calls on a daily basis and in many cases when I call, there is a call drop. You know my wife actually says “kya baat hai” to taunt me if I am able to receive or call somebody successfully without me or the other person having no issues of voice clarity and call drop!
- Claim – call to our customer care when you need – This actually means call them when you need but do not expect them to pick up the call and solve your problem. There are waiting periods in excess of 3-4 minutes many times I have called.
- Claim – if there is a problem in the bill, we will pay you – In reality, it means – you can point mistakes, but we will argue with you and show you its actually your mistake. Let me explain by example – when I took the plan I ticked marked unlimited SMS pack, but was surprised when in my first bill I was charged for SMSs, I argued with them it’s a mistake – but the customer care said – its not a mistake, its not activated, so its your mistake ! I even told them checkmy hard copy of the form I filled, they said its not possible. Now I am not sure what kind of mistakes should we point out ? addition mistakes ? multiplication mistakes in the bill??
- Claim – roaming is free/ easy – This in reality means roaming is free on Tata Docomo network and we as a company do not have much network of our own, so you invariable will have to pay roaming.
- Claim – great customer care service– Every time I get an SMS from company asking weather I am happy with service, I have replied no. The reply comes “we are sorry, our customer care executive will contact you shortly”. They usually do not contact, even if they do the discussions are very fully in nature. Read this (a bit dramatized):
- Customer care: Sir this is call from tata docomo, you have indicated that you are not happy with the services. Can you please tell the problem?
- Me: I do not get any network, not at my home, and also at most of other places. Call drops too.
- CC: Sir, we are sorry, but our records show there should be network at the place you stay
- Me: Not sure why it is your network angry with me then?
- CC: Sir, we are sorry, any other probs?
- Me: Are you kidding, what other problems can happen in a phone not connected to the network!
- CC: Sir, we will look into the problem. Thanks
They repeat the same thing – we are sorry! And you know what, nothing happens.
One thing they do very well is to remind you of bill payments and they are very fond of asking how I am going to pay my bill? Cheque, card, cash ? I get really frustrated here, how I am supposed to tell them in advance how I will and even if I know, why I should tell them? But they keep asking this again as part of their so called “customer care service”.
So when I saw Ranbir again with new ads, I got really frustrated and decided to post this about Tata Docomo, a network which never connects. I am just waiting for some time and then plan to change to a new one, thanks to MNP!
I was looking at Google analytics of my site and to my surprise, Google is not including Jammu and kashmir as part of India. It shows it as hatched portion while rest of India is in orange. Am I missing sth here or Google knows which others do not!
I am not sure from where Google has collected this information, but as a company which believes in “authoritative content” should have looked into maps released by Indian Govt. (or maybe it was tough for ppl in Google to Google and find it out????? ) and used them. Also they should have atleast tracked “Google News” where every alternate day Indian Govt. re-iterates that Kashmir is part of India!. Nevertheless, for reference of Google team, I have Googled one such map here – http://gisserver.nic.in/atlas/
The analytics map is pasted below. I would request all readers to circulate this to as many ppl as possible to make sure this changes and Google explains why they have done this.
Frankly, I did not believe that I will live to a day to see such a thing in my lifetime. India, though growing by leaps and bounds has been degrading from inside, thanks to the rampant corruption and I as a common man could just see and get frustrated. Year 2010 was year of scams – 2G, Food, housing and what not and the anger and frustration among the common has been growing since then. Thanks to one man, Anna Hazare, who gave a face to this discontent that Indian Govt. has agreed to make major amendments in the bill due in parliament soon.
What’s remarkable is this – all over the country, small cities, metros there was such an enormous support for the anti-corruption campaign without “any political party” being part of it! Do watch the videos when the Anna’s fast was broken – there were celebrations all over, children, youth, old, – the common man was all over and it was such an emotional scene to witness.
The politicians were stunned with the support of the campaign that they did not dare say anything against it. No blood was shed; this victory was achieved by a social activist deciding to “fast”. This brings to another important aspect, suddenly I as a common man have gained confidence in Indian democratic system. Suddenly, I believe that things can change for good and believe that we “the common man” are the ones who choose the Govt. and these ppl. better listen to us.
I must agree that a lot needs to be done to ensure the bill gets passed, but the fact that the movement got so much support from all it was just amazing to see a billion people marching ahead with just one aim. I am thrilled today and want to congratulate each and Indian. This is truly a great day for all of us!
After so many years, I decided to take local bus to travel in Jaipur, it was awesome re-living all those past memories!
First of all there are two types of local buses in Jaipur – Govt owned (the ones who never arrive) and the private ones (who are always there to pick you up, but never move). Having defined this lets move to the journey.
As its been so many years and I had no idea which buses goes where and the faint numbers and text on the buses written and re-written over and over again also did not help. So I asked one of the person standing on the bus stop (okay – so there are not many “specific bus stops” here like Mumbai, bus stop is where people start standing in good numbers!!!, convenient) he jerked his head and out came the golden number “bus no 1” and then what happened was something never happens in real life.. I saw bus No1 coming to the bus stop!!! I regret, why I didnot asked him todays lottery number, I tell you the odds of getting correct is higher than what just happened!!
This bus No1 was a private bus, let me describe how a private bus looks like – just double a Nano car in very dimension and you get these buses. A person can barely stand upright, the seats are minimal, but every corner is used – a thick mat is there on the engine along with a spare tyre to sit comfortably (kids literally enjoy it). Another peculiarity is nothing works in them except the basic stuff. But they are very safe because of their inherent incapability to reach more than 30-35 km/hr speeds. Another aspect is the bus conductor, they are master salesman, and they do not tell where the bus is going but ask you where you want to go and will then instantaneously plan a multimodal trip to help (J)reach your destination through their bus route!!
As the bus stopped, I hopped in, I am used to Mumbai buses who stop for a fraction of a second, but I soon realized that I would have been able to get in after 5 min too or asked the conductor to wait while I had my tea or samosas . Okay, so as expected, there was no space to sit, but bus was relatively vacant (I have seen crowd in Mumbai buses). But my attire was sort of a shock for people inside; a few old men kept staring at me for some-time. But before I could get used to the stares, bus started, you can understand the smoothness of this act by the fact that I almost fell on my back, the oldies were smiling. Inside the bus, it was business as usual – there was a black colored sponge (hang on, it was initially brown but subsequently became black) and my fav. Spare old type inside which two children were sitting. The bus journey is never complete unless you hear those old pirated songs played on cassette players. The songs were all from Raj Kapoor’s movie. I started to remember my school days!
Using my knowledge of physics, I calculated that I will reach my place in 30 min, but I forgot that those laws are not applicable in “private buses”. The driver stopped after every 10 meters, conductor aggressively asked people where they are going. We even stopped at stops where there was no one standing! My initial estimate went out of the window soon and I revised it to 45 min.
Aha, suddenly 4-5 people stood up and I got a chance to sit, but the joy was short lived. I had just taken my seat that 4 people hopped in and requested to make seat for them, soon there were 7 people sitting on a 5 ppl seat and I remembered a popular undergarment ad – thoda adjust kar lo yaar (please adjust a little bit). I was completely cramped but others seemed completely calm.
If this was not enough an old lady started smoking Bidi in the bus, suddenly bus was filled with its smoke, I told her to throw it out, but she did not understand hindi and waved her hand like politicians do when they promise during elections. Another person complained and after taking 2 more deep puffs she threw it and then gave a huge smile –all her red tobacco teeth were visible.
Meanwhile, I kept asking the conductor how far is my destination and he had the same answer – 10 min! don’t know how they manage such stuff!
At last, my destination came, I stood up and stretched my legs and got down. While I started walking away from the bus, I could still hear the conductor, our hero salesman shouting to woo commuters.
Many people, especially my juniors, will be aware of how much I adore this masterpiece by William Ernest Henley (1842-1902). This for all you people —>
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
God bless all!
At last the day arrived when I had to say goodbye to my last company. I have been at the same junction twice before but this was definitely special one. I believe the best compliment a manager can get is when his team says that he has been able to improve their performance and they have learnt from him. Of course I was fortunate to get such an incredible team which worked like a close knit group sharing responsibilities and caring about each other. I still remember instances where juniors used to come to me openly and discuss how performance of new joiners could be improved how they can be made comfortable. Hats off to all, keep it up!
According to an interesting article in Harvard Business Review bonding between team mates is one of the four key factors of employment retention which I believe is much less understood vis-à-vis others such as type of work and using pay hike. Managers who want to rule with “iron fist” please note!
Coming back to the farewell, it was a very emotional moment for me, having awesome dinner and cack session with not even with my team (past and present) but with so many other colleagues who made the get-together so special.
Once again, thank you all, God Bless!
Our economy is growing at rapid pace and according to a recent article in The Economist (cover page story), India is expected to outpace China in long run.
One of the key reasons cited in the article is the demographics of India, a young generation which will turn on tomorrow’s growth. While statistically this is fine, but realistically, there are many hurdle to be crossed.
One area where a fundamental shift is required is education – the overall education levels in India are dismal. Take for example schools, public (govt. owned) schools dominate school education in India, though they provide education at low cost, the quality of education is low – teachers are not interested in teaching, little effort for overall grooming of students, infrastructure is lacking etc.
Another example is colleges – the number of private colleges in India have increased significantly, but the good part ends there are most of the colleges do not provide quality education but only act as profit centres. The pass-out of such colleges are not industry ready – they lack communication, IT skills and most of all practical knowledge on the subjects they have studied.
There has to be fundamental shift which is required in thinking how various stakeholders in education sector collaborate to improve the situation. Schools should embrace technology and new methods of teaching to widen horizons of kids while colleges should start aiming their students industry ready by trainings internally and externally. There has been some efforts happening in this regard already. Some examples:
- Schools are using multimedia in their classes
- The percentage system has been changed to grade system
- One MBA school in Mumbai has 1 year internship for its students where the classes happen on weekends, talking to the students it was clear that they learn much more during the internship than sitting in classrooms).
- This also opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to address this gap – for example is one of my friends who has started financial training for MBA students to sharpen their skills
Steps have been taken, but we are still far far away from our goal to develop a world class education system in India.