So, you want to be a CEO?

It isn’t always wine, roses, and golden parachutes.  Here’s a cautionary tale from the Times Online: CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers

Lalit Choudhary, 47, the head of the Delhi-based operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian car parts maker, died of head wounds on Monday after being lynched by scores of employees he had dismissed…. Mr Choudhary was holding a meeting with more than 100 former staff to discuss a possible reinstatement deal when the attack occured.

Note that later news reports indicate that many attackers weren’t workers, which explains the senselessness of an attack during reinstatement negotiations. 

As you might imagine, Indian business leaders are worried and outraged (story here).  Of course, the effects on foreign investment are potentially dire.  The outrage comes from the fact that some in the Indian Government refuse to condemn the attack.  In fact, the Labor Minister sees it as a “warning for management”.  A warning to do what…get out of India?

Hat tip: Scott Berkun (here)

SAP, India, and Innovation — this article understates the impact

It isn’t that this article by Navi Radjou of Forrester is wrong (here), but it misses at least three areas in which SAP leverages India’s talent and mind-set  Sure, what Ranjan and the SAP India team have done (and are doing) is impressive, but the impact of India and a globally adaptive approach are far more widespread:

  • Solution Development: I won’t belabor this, but many key parts of the SAP solution portfolio are developed in India.  The various SAP Labs sites in India moved quickly from coding functions, to designing modules, to delivering entire solutions.
  • Global Services Delivery: Jan Grasshof’s team is much more than a simple “me-too” outsourcing shop.  I was in Bangalore last week and saw the sophistication and speed with which they could bring value to the table.   A great example — coincidentially with Nokia, also in Navi’s article — was when SAP Global Delivery both supply chain expertise and rapid prototyping to accelerate an implementation. 
  • Management Development: My organization’s management program includes one week in Bangalore, a measure of how integrated a global mindset has become in our way of working.  SAP sends executives and managers half-way around the world so they can feel, taste, and touch what this new business world is all about.  We also have exchange programs — even within projects — to ensure better, more consistent communications and understanding among our various teams.

Is Malaysia’s democracy slipping backwards?

After all the optimism about political “opening” in Malaysia earlier this year, it was sad to see the various articles on the latest charges against Anwar Ibrahim (WSJ editorial here, link to Washington Post “Anwar Ibrahim” federated search here).  A few comments:

  • It is striking that the government felt it could roll out charges essentially unchanged from the 1998 playbook.  Ominously, the former PM, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, was sure that the government wouldn’t repeat the mistakes from the 1998 prosecution.  The less-than-twenty- years in prison mistake, perhaps?  (I can’t provide the link, The Straits Times [heh, heh…] is subscription-only).
  • The leader of the Malaysian Bar felt compelled to reiterate that the burden of proof was on the government (here).
  • The Malaysian Star online has no specific stories on the Anwar alibi (home page here), while the foreign press had a number of articles (here and here).
  • Remember that Malaysia is a relative liberal Muslim country…one of the comments on Queerty was shocked, shocked that sodomy carries a 20-year sentence (post here).  Being out often has more, let’s say, permanent consequences in an Islamic country (which, to be fair, one commenter pointed out here).

Finally, I’m in India and it was very interesting to see what Google Ads selected to place on Queerty’s banner: at least two India-based marriage sites and (100% profile screening, BTW).  What a great “How I Met Your Mother…and Father” story that will be, never mind the potential series spin-off…

India Observations: Newspapers here give value for money

Even the Times of India isn’t content to deliver simply national, international, sports, and business news.  It stretches to give you news you can really news — fresh updates on all your Bolly and Hollywood stars.

Real value for money here: it is like getting the Washington Post and National Enquirer on your doorstep every day.  One difference though, the star’s pictures are almost uniformly flattering. 

Not that I would know myself, that’s what other people have told me about the Enquirer, anyway :-)

India Observations: What’s here that’s missing from China

It smacks you in the face as soon as you turn on the TV, especially with the trust vote (aka, vote of confidence, oops, I meant “no confidence” vote) looming over the Singh government.  Which is exactly the gaping void in China: substantive political debate that would lead to a change in government.  Individual pols may get in trouble, some political topics are debated, some appeals are heard and even answered.  However, there is never any questioning of the leading (and permanent) role of the Communist Party.

Funny how reassuring and familiar the chaos of high-stakes — if not exactly high-grade — parliamentary debate can be (plenty of coverage in the Times of India here, with a highly-annoying old school blizzard of pop-ups if your blocker isn’t on).

Another familar sight: jailed and hospitalized legislators shipped in for a knife’s edge vote (here and here).  And oddly reassuring too…I’m convinced that corrupt politicians are less dangerous than the so-called “incorruptible.” 

Put me down as a vote for old-fashioned human frailty over an inhuman devotion to ideology.

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