Mr. Pogolal De, CEO of a public limited company, is currently busy shopping for new clothes. After all he has to look at his best at the prize giving ceremony. He has been invited by a national daily based at Mumbai, as a nominee for their annual function. Every year the newspaper felicitates the best CEOs who have demonstrated exemplary contribution in their field of work. The newspaper also had a TV channel and they had regularly started beaming the prelude and promos of the “much awaited awards function”.
Mr. De is excited and so is his small family consisting of his two sons and almost dwarfed rather midget wife. “Dwarfed” in the sense that she is only 4’8” tall and does not in any way match the stature of the nearly 6’ tall Mr. De. The Des have become “NRB” meaning “Non resident Bengalis”. They have adopted the local custom and tradition. Sometimes “Pogo “as affectionately called by his proud mother, sits with an “esraj” or listen to the songs of Rabindra Nath Tagore. “You should not forget your roots”, he often tells his sons, but who cares.
Mr. De is a Chartered Accountant by profession. He always tries to speak Queens’ English but unfortunately his “roots” doesn’t allow him to copy the immaculate intonation of Queen’s English. After hopping many a company he finally descended on a steel company. His bosses are happy as he is giving results. And what exemplary contribution Mr.Pogolal De had done as a CEO? As per the prelude of the TV channel—- Mr. Pogolal De had conceived and executed the idea of connecting the plant to the harbour by building a bridge thereby saving lot of money for the company. Imagine what the company engineers were doing?
Pogo and his family came to Kolkata for the big day a well twenty days in advance. It was more like athletes coming for the Olympics well before time so as to acclimatize themselves for the biggest sporting event. Pogo again went for a shopping spree. He and his sons brought Kurtas; wife brought traditional Bengali “Dhakai Jamdani” saris. They would have to look and feel like true Bengalis at the show. This is what they thought would win them some brownie points. Pogo’s proud mother started campaigning for his son well in advance The newspaper had designed a SMS voting system whereby the nominee who garnered the maximum number of votes would win the “coveted” prize. The people will vote for the “greatest CEO“of India.
The D-day arrived. All the action was captured “live” on TV. Mr. Pogolal De uttered something which common people couldn’t decipher and comprehend at all. After all common people seldom understand Management jargon. So, Pogo narrowly missed the mark. He just got a plaque and a chance to meet some “extremely beautiful” film and TV actresses. Next morning, Pogo was roaming in the local market only hoping someone will recognize him and start a conversation but no one came forward. His childhood friends intentionally avoided him. Pogo had overtaken them in every sphere but what has he done for them and the unemployed youth of his locality. With a heavy heart Pogo boarded the flight back to his adopted home.
Many awards are conferred by government agencies, different institutions and companies which make a mockery of the whole thing. People strive to get awards, which help them to enhance their social status and fame. Liberal doling out of awards to the wrong people robs the very purpose of these awards. The best example is Dr. Chitranjan S. Ranawat who did a knee operation on Atal Behari Vajpai — the then Prime Minister of India and immediately gets a Padma Bhushan award. He was not awarded before for his services in the field of medicine. Similarly, cash awards are given to those employees who are close to their bosses. This sends a wrong signal to deserving individuals who really toil and sacrifice their lives often neglecting their families for the organization.
Organizations exhibit the same zeal in gunning for this award and that!
They are in the mad Search for Fame not prepared to work silently In Search of Excellence.
Sitendu De is the author of this post.