I have been in the corporate world for over 2 decades. And then I got out of it.
Looking at it from the outside gives me a great perspective of the world. Having
been in it for this long, also gives me the right to be judgemental also, and I
think that the corporate world in general and Corporate India is specific is
The rate of growth in corporate India is astounding. If you are in the corporate
world in India, this is the best place to be, as nowhere else in the world will
one find the vibrancy, opportunities to excel and growth prospects, like you
will find in India. But in spite of all this, it is amazing how dumb corporate
Corporate India is populated with the brightest minds in the world, minds that will flip
any situation around and deliver success and growth. These minds are better
than the best in the world. And if this bright mind is contributing to the
'dumbness' of corporate India, it is because this 'dumb' mind is ignorant.
I am talking about their capability to look after themselves, look after their
These bright minds are so intelligent and sharp enough at delivering profits, growth,
innovation, etc., but they do not show the same intelligence about their own
being. It is sad to see how ignorant they are about themselves, their state of
health, and what constitutes good health. And the penalty is severe....death.
In the last 18 months, corporate India has lost some gems, all in the age band of
40 to 50, an age when one is most productive.
What precipitates this is the fact that companies tend to shy away from ‘forcing’
employees to look after their health, saying this is a personal issue. Their
role seems to end when they give their employees a generous insurance policy,
and a mandatory free medical check up once a year. There should be nothing personal
about health, when it comes to employees. Their health should be of deep
concern to companies.
The airline industry demonstrates this, by insisting that all pilots should be in
good health to fly aircrafts. This is because pilots carry a huge
responsibility, and they need to be in good health to carry out their
responsibility. The question s we need to ponder is this: are pilots carrying
more responsibility than senior management personnel of companies?
And it is very clear that senior executives in corporate India are ignorant of what
constitutes good health. They get clean chits at their medical checks, even
exercise every day, and think they are in good health, and this is what happened
with Ranjan Das of SAP. These senior folks do not realise that they are more
than just a bag of fluids, tissue and bones. They are a mind and a soul too,
and they have no clue about the role played by their mind and their soul plays
in their existence. And for a super intelligent corporate world – this is dumb!
Corporate India has to start to wake up to this very urgently, and put in measures to
ensure that these senior executives look after their body, mind and soul. Looking
after ones health should become mandatory, should be built into the KRA’s,
should reflect in promotion and increment discussions, and should become an ‘official’
issue and not personal. This is one of the ways CEO’s will demonstrate responsibility
to their shareholders and to the employees, besides the families of the employees.
And the ultimate beneficiary of this approach will be the companies, their
share holders, employees and the families.
So will corporate India stop being so dumb, and realise that they can move towards
this win-win-win situation. I truly hope so.