To begin with, I heard a conversation between a chartered accountant and an electrical engineer where the engineer said to his CA friend, “I do not understand why recession has become a persistent word, every now-and-then any sector of the economy goes into recession. We Indians are the most hard-working in the world. Most Indians work 10-12 hours a day to pursue a career and even neglect families. Where does our hard work go? Are we not capable, even after working so much, of keeping our country’s economy from slowing down.”
This engineer has a point. When a youth gets a job, they are so happy and grateful that I feel they are ready to give everything for the job. Though in the course of a job, there may be variations in performance, it seems that people are ready to sit in offices for long hours just to show they are sincere in their jobs. In India, after the advent of industrialisation in the 90s, every company or organisation, whether public or private, brought up the culture where “karm hi pooja hai” (work is worship) was the motto. This motto has led to the belief that sitting in offices means the employee is hardworking and sincere towards their job.
Whether this belief of putting in long hours at the office equals sincerity is true or not, but there is a point in this scenario. If employees or labourers or any person involved in any profession is motivated by their organisations to spend more hours at the office so that a lot of work can be done, this should mean more productivity or that consumers will have better and efficient services. So then, why are employing organisations seemingly failing to contribute to a rising economy? As this engineer further said, “what should employees now do to make our economy better?” Again, a valid question.
Whenever the problem of receding economy comes up, the government along with its implementation of new policies to boost the economy, also subtly puts the onus of improving the economy on the Indian people. But as an Indian or as the head of an organisation, can someone please provide a guideline for me to put in place practices so that I can contribute effectively to boost the economy?
Recently, it was reported that the telecom sector’s growth rate has slowed, that BSNL and other government-owned telecom entities are struggling. This whole situation is perplexing. If every Indian, whether young or old, are rushing to buy mobile phones and need a sim card, why are the telecom companies struggling? There seems to be no answer.
Sometimes, the economy resembles Raavan, with 10 heads that pop up like weeds what no one knows how and where from. Though one thing is very clear, this underperforming economy requires the will power of the governments to be able to make better decisions that can make the economy better. Making Indians work 12 hours a day is not going to change the economic scenario, that is for sure.
The government has to motivate industries and people to come up with solutions that can make India a developed economy. Sure, doing regular work is important but there has to be a balance in people using their brains to analyse problems to find effective applicable solutions and between routine work.
The great recession of 2008 led to the failure of big organisations in America and the tanking of economy in many countries that are still struggling, but they surely did not fail due to a lack of employees wanting to work 12 hours a day, but because of the lack of will power to do the right thing by those in power, a lack of morality, and a focus on finishing repetitive kinds of jobs.
The ball is now in the government’s court, which only they can throw to change the direction. Lack of proper and well-formed policies and procedures creates loopholes that lead to lapses in governance. It is time people push governments to come up with policies, procedures, and practices that can create a stable economy.