Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Monday, 8 April 1985

CAN YOU LOCK YOURSELF

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

8 April 1985

To:

Dear Friends

Can you lock yourself  "out" of your own  house -  even when you are holding the "key" in your own hands ?
This is  what seems  to have  happened at  IIL (International Instruments Ltd.) Bangalore, one year ago.
The owner of the company  Mr. Krishnan apparently believed in the  Gandhian  concept  of  "Trusteeship".  So  he  made  all workers share-holders of the company.  He must have thought,
"... if the workers own the Company  (even partially), surely they would work very hard and keep it competitive"
But that did not happen!
The  workers  paid  themselves the  highest  wages  (for  the instrument industry) - you see, they "owned" the company!
Material plus labour - cost added upto 81%. Many departments became uneconomical - sick.
So  when   the  Management  decided   to  close   down  these departments  (I suppose, to save  the rest of  the Company!), the workers went on a "sit-down" strike!
That  is what  I call,  "locking yourself  out of  your  own house."  it is, like punishing one's own self!
But let me  tell you one thing.  Competition does  not give a damn  whether  you  own  the   company  or  you  are  a  paid employee'. If you cannot compete, you are simply finished!
And much  as I would  like L&T-ites  to think that  it is the society -  the Nation -  which ultimately owns  this company, all  that  philosophical talk  of  "ownership"  is completely meaningless  unless we are  productive -  enough to  face the competition and sell our products in the market.
And   most  unfortunately,   when   we   are  facing   severe competition in Switchboards,  Dairy-products, Chemical plants and  many  other products,   I find  some  employees  raising petty, selfish issues  and obstructing productivity!   I hope they  will   read  this  article   and  cooperate   with  the Management  in making  ourselves competitive.   No  company -not even L&T - is beyond the threat of competition.
Educating   employees   and   persuading   them  to   give-up unproductive  practices  are  important  responsibilities  of management.
But then no  one can save a person who wants  to lock himself out of his own home!

H.C. PAREKH

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