A Public Company in Trouble

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Altaf Shaikh

 Raman Khanna, a young manager, who has an engineering

background and has also successfully completed an Executive management course from the prestigious Synthetic Institute of Business Studies, Amritabad, - with a specialization in strategic human resource management, now works for an eminent manufacturing company – Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Boregaon, as the HR cum Factory Manager. Raman Khanna’s passion to contribute to India’s growth was the single most important factor in his choice of a job. RCF is a 150 year old PSU, manufacturing railway wagons and containers, catering to the diverse needs of the Indian Railways.

 RCF has a turnover in excess of Rs.16,000 crores but has been in

the red for the last 42 years. Many factors are responsible for the sad state of affairs at RCF - prime among them being:  The very narrow product line,  Single customer for its products (Indian Railways - which

always drives a very hard bargain and leaves very little margin for RCF) and  A very active trade union the activities of which have resulted in the loss of several man-days on account of strikes and goslow tactics.

 Abdul, the foreman of the fabrication plant has been with RCF

for the last 20 years and now reports to Raman Khanna. Abdul had been a promising trainee at the time of joining and had proved it by rising up the ranks to become the foreman in a short span of 7 years. Raman Khanna found Abdul to be a highly skilled foreman with very good insights into the production process. Abdul took an immediate liking to Raman Khanna’s style of functioning and had a lot of respect for his credentials.

 Raman Khanna, while analyzing the performance of

RCF, found that there was a considerable difference between the production projected and that achieved, even after accounting for all the strikes and go-slow tactics indulged in by the union.

 Raman Khanna broached this topic with Abdul during lunch

time at the cafeteria...
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