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LEAP of faith with Asian Paints

Komal Tiwari, Management Trainee, HR Image

“So how do you feel about going to Rohtak,” I was asked post the ER/IR induction session at the first floor conference room in the Vakola office, “I am excited”, was my quick reply belying inherent fears I had since the day I got to know that my base location for the LEAP stint was Asian Paints plant in Rohtak. I was curious nonetheless about what awaited me at the city which they call the Jat heartland, more so after reading and seeing enough and more about the recent agitations that had ravaged the city.

Before I describe my journey to the place I now call “home” for all practical purposes, let me give you a glimpse of the highlight of the three day HR specific induction at head office- The ER/IR session. This session was arranged for all the non-sales MTs and we were on time to get an insight on what to expect in a plant set-up or so we thought. The session began on time (punctuality is a virtue at AP and some of my fellow MTs learnt it the hard way right on the first day of our induction program at Taj Santacruz…!!), we were informed that a union leader would be addressing us shortly. Well post undergoing grueling law courses at b-school anything related to union or the mention of it really raised my enthusiasm sky high!! Enter a tall menancing looking young man who appeared to be straight out of a typical Bollywood flick…

“Get me a better chair”, he pointed to the session coordinator; a chair (high back, cushioned) was immediately moved into the room to where he stood. He glanced around while seating himself and asked us for our introduction. “How many of you have been posted at plants”, he asked,” I along with a few others raised our hands…”You have been posted at a plant”, I was asked again, “Yes”, I said….”Why do you post girls at plant, I have told you hundred times not to, it is difficult for us to deal with them”, he whined to the session coordinator and her Manager…(”Ok so that was very comforting”, I thought to myself). The coordinator tried explaining to him” It’s not like that…girls do an equally good job at plants”, the union leader didn’t look convinced and ignored the explanation.

He explained to us how union works for the benefit of the operators and how it forms a bridge between management and operators. He explained how “ Company hai toh hum hai”, meaning that operators should not arm-twist the company beyond a point and vice-versa. He also described in chaste Hindi the welfare activities for the operators in some detail. All was going well, when suddenly he pointed to one of the MTs seated right in one corner near the window, ” Kya naam hai tera”… “ Haan tujh se hi baat kar raha hoon” he reiterated while we were busy figuring out who the person was…the MT (all those who were present will remember his name…but I will call him “X”) finally realized that it was his day under spotlight today for all the wrong reasons… ” Tum so kaise sakte ho “ (how could you sleep during the session)…you know how far I have travelled to take a session for you people!!”, he refused to take session any further and demanded that the Sr. Manager be called. The coordinator obeyed and so we had Sr. Manager in less than five minutes time trying to reason with this angry young man. “ Apology letter chahiye mujhe”…” Kaun se plant mein posted hai re tu”, his rants continued, “ Khandala Sir!!”, “ I am posted at Khandala”,replied MT X…”Accha join kar tu wahan par phir dekhta hoon”…”Teri himmat kaise hui sone ki”…All of us were dumb-founded by what had just transpired in the room (I was thinking of my days ahead in quick succession)…The union leader left the room when he got the assurance of an “Apology letter” and we heaved a sigh of relief. This was followed by a presentation on the 5S of ER and our company’s stance on unions etc…we all tried absorbing but it was difficult given the high voltage drama we had witnessed few minutes back. Finally the ppt came to an end and we cleared our queries and doubts (I asked about how it was at Rohtak J) finally the session was over but the uneasiness was not, while we were preparing to make a dash for the green tea (yeah people drink a lot of this liquid here, it’s supposed to make you lose weight after consuming vada pav in the evening snacks), Chief Manager asked us, “So what do you think of your interaction with the union leader”…(”well finally the moment of truth!!...thanks for bringing up the difficult question Sir!!” I thought to myself), we all explained to him the different observations we made about the session…” How did you all react when a fellow MT of yours was being cornered?”, he asked us, “you all didn’t support him”, …well he was right, we were too scared to do that (and some of us were busy thinking of future :-P)…that was the lesson of the day and for time to come…you do not abandon your team member in distress!!...that was enough food for thought for me to again slip into fast fwd mode…when this happened…

“You all realize that the person you just interacted with was a union leader…all right…but just one more thing…he was one at our plant in Bhandup which was closed down…currently he is our TSO in Mumbai…he had dropped in to give you a “feel” of union and went overboard with it…hope you enjoyed the show guys…!!!...and you Mr. X keep that apology letter for another day…!!”, the Chief Manager spilled the beans…

Wow…there was an instant applause…what a show!! has better suspense than many a Bollywood suspense thrillers…!!...I was amazed at what we went through in the last 2 hrs. The coordinator and her Manager were smiling thoroughly at us…and we could not do anything but appreciate the session we just went through…hats off!!...will never forget the session…thank you Central ER/IR team for this nothing like anything we had seen before experience….

So let me come back to where I started, my journey to Rohtak…well the rest of the induction at HO passed peacefully and before long I was travelling on NH-10 (yeah the very same one on which Anushka Sharma got screwed in the movie by same name) on my way to Rohtak. But as they say, “God’s plans are better than any dreams that we might have for ourselves”, Rohtak turned out to be warm and welcoming place with people who are as helping and supportive as they can be. I can safely say this that from a new recruit who had no clue of what to expect I have made a LEAP to being a new recruit who is expecting great things to happen as there is  great scope of work that lies ahead…Thank you AP for the journey so far!

P.S. Special thanks to the LEAP 2016 organizing team for the very well executed induction.

Signing off with a lot of hope…

all comments(1)


    Ashvini Verma

    Ashvini Verma

    34 days ago