Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The story behind the unquoted quotes!

On being asked about the ICC rankings (where some of our cricketing icons were nowhere in the top despite being among the highest achievers!), the Ogilvy & Mather Group President Piyush Pandey -the Creative guru quipped "that's research for you"!!

Research is a funny business. One often starts off with some hypothesis and attempts to gather a 'true representative sample' to evaluate them, before arriving at a conclusion. So you often get what you want to hear, and go ahead with the story-often not entirely using the quote in the context meant but more in the larger interests of the 'theme' being presented :-)!

Today I had a few calls regarding a quote of mine in regarding the plight of some trainees who had agreed to a bond . While it did carry the message, here is what I thought I had expressed:
-"It is a sad reflection on our education system that even after qualifying as a professional, one's vocational skills aren't exactly marketable to the industry. The last few years have seen companies 'catch' students  almost 2yrs before graduation, with offers-and so, the onus is really on the corporates teaching the trainees on the job. So the 2 lakhs bond could be construed accordingly. Especially since there is no concept of lifelong employment these days!!"
-To a pointed question about my impressions on Satyam charging 2lakhs-much higher than others..and more pointedly in contrast to Infy (50K) and Wipro (75K), I quipped that the fact that Infy & Wipro too 'charged' didn't make them any holier! It was a relative measure-whether a person had committed one murder or more, each one is still a murderer!!
-What are my feelings about the bunch who seem to be running the risk of losing the money, my response was " there is no free lunch anywhere! Higher the reward, the risk is always higher. The 7000 candidates really had choices-no one really forced them to sign the bond with Satyam. If they were good enough to get other jobs, I am positive they walked into the deal with their eyes open-(maybe even dreaming about the higher salary, foreign trips and a better deal in the dowry market!!) "

Last week I was featured in a very brief clip on Headlines Today TV-on the now still high TRP Satyam topic-about the 'sentiments of the employees seeking greener pastures'-even as the management was trying to arrest the flight of customers in the light of the horrid scam.There were rumours of renegade teams-and most quotes were driving home the point.

The clip did come a few times during Friday-even as I expressed the balancing opinions:

-"As a recruiter handling senior management positions,( GM and above levels), the number of people who reached out to me, was a significantly smaller number..a few dozens! Typically this is a bunch who otherwise would not be like to be known looking for jobs. I admire Satyam for having over the years been able to attract and retain, some very smart people-and it is a hallmark of the culture that quite a few have been with them for over a decade! When I interacted with them, it was more a shock or disenchantment with the turn of events in the last 3 weeks..than anything else.The disbelief that it actually happened. So while they did keep themselves aware of the opportunities-they prefer to 'wait and watch' -rather than pick up the first offer and rock the boat! "

Its nice when the media does present all sides of the story -and leaves the reader to analyse! We would probably have less people retracting on their quotes!!

Unlike the print or TV media, where the reader/viewer is left with no choice but to passively receive the news/information being dished out, on the internet, the reader can actively seek out a balanced picture of whatever he or she wishes to know! Incidentally, I got to know through a close pal of mine -who works with a leading international news agency, that their company generates more revenue from the Googles and Yahoos-than all the print /TV media put together!

Well..would we soon see the 'push from the traditional media' in India lose out to the 'pull of the internet' ??

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