a case of an
By Prakash Waknis
A case of an introvert, but,
highly talented employee who
has to deal with colleagues
who are 'man-eaters' and how
he stands up for himself
ultimately turning into a swan!
t was the year 2000. Kiran was 32 then. Kiran was an
electronics engineer by profession; Kiran had joined
Procon India Limited, a respected name in electronics,
both consumer and professional 10 years ago as a
video engineer. Known for his skills in repairing CTVs,
Kiran completed his training in the various product
repairs departments at the service headquarters of the
company in Mumbai. When he was offered a posting at
Kolkata, he was not very keen on joining and he was all
set to resign. The fact is that Kiran hailed from Pune,
which is 48 hours away by train and thus he would have
a lot of inconvenience in travelling. However, his seniors
persuaded him and reluctantly he reported to work at
As he reported, he got the first taste of Kolkata and its
people…very sweet as the "Roshogulla", very humane,
very emotional and very co-operative. As he started
work, he discovered one more thing...he was on trial.
The first CTV given to him was being repaired for the
last one year! A lot of people had tried their "hand", with
As Kiran sat down, he mused, "What am I doing in
this place?" But, as he applied himself to the job, he
forgot everything. He was back to his college days and
slugging it out. Suddenly, he heard his name being called.
"Keeron da, kee holo. Badi jaben na to? (Kiran, what's
happening? Aren't you going home?)" His colleague
Biman Shome was talking to him. "Yaar, it's 7 in the
evening. Let's go home". Bimanda as he was known had
helped him to find a house on Hazra Road, near
Maharashtra Nivas and also had introduced him to some
Marathi speaking people. Biman was assistant manager,
service. Kiran told him "Give me 10 minutes. I am
almost done". Ten minutes later he switched the TV on.
Normal sound and picture was seen. Biman hugged
him. "Tusi great ho, paaji (You're great Sir!)" Bimanda
had a habit of switching to Punjabi, when he was happy.
From that day onwards, Kiran became a very popular
figure in the department. He had earned his spurs.
Kiran developed a reputation for solving the most difficult
cases. Very often, he was called to other regional service
centres located in metro cities to assist/train the video
By nature, Kiran was an introvert. He was a man of
few words, shy and would get into his shell at the
slightest provocation or a raised voice. He was happy
when he dealt with products/machines (in his self
appraisal sheet, he had stated this). Interaction with
humans petrified him. An angry or agitated customer
would create a "flight" response from Kiran. He would
seek help from Bimanda.
In due course, and deservingly enough, Kiran earned
his first and then second promotion.
As an assistant manager now, he was required to
deal with people which comprised his peers, and his
seniors (in his own department as well as others
departments like development lab, marketing and
product management, and QC (Quality Control). He
was a part of what was known as "product and market
support group" in the service department. He was
responsible for creating and printing service manuals
for the new CTVs and MTVs (MTV stands for
"Monochrome TV" or black and white TV in common
parlance). In his capacity as assistant manager-video
product support, he had to interact with a large number
of technical, commercial and techno-commercial people
in the company. People from lab were purely technical.
Marketing and product managers were technocommercial, with more focus on commercials. People from finance, admin and logistics were pure commercial.
While the first few meetings were just to get
introduced and get...