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

Thursday, 8 January 1987

DOWN & OUT ?

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 Jan 1987

To:

Dear Friends   

                   DOWN  &  OUT  ?

In  a  boxing  match  when  you  get   knocked  down  by  your opponent, the Referee (Umpire) counts,

" One, Two,. Three, Four  .......... "

If you  cannot  manage to  get-up your  legs  by the  time  he counts "TEN", you are out.

So you are down and out  !

You have lost the game. You are the LOSER !

But  boxing is,  after all  a Sport.   You  can fight  another game tomorrow - and try to WIN.

It  is very  different  in  real  life.   When you  are  being attacked by

Competition from outside
Rising-costs from inside,

there may  not be another chance  ! There may not  be another game !

If in a business, you  are down and out, you may  have to quit the game forever !

You may have to retire permanently !

You  may be  wondering,  why all  this  sermon on  a  Thursday morning - especially when X-Mas  has come and gone !

Simple enough.

Along  with  thousands  of  you,  I  read  in  the  newspapers yesterday, our company's results for  the year 85-86.

I felt  like on the  floor of the  boxing-ring and  the umpire counting
Ten-point-four   
Eight-point-zero   
Eight-point-one
Seven-point-seven
Six-point-seven .................."
Ominous sounds.                          


In case  your  tube-light is  still flickering,  look at  the following chart :

Is the Sun of Competition melting-away Mount Kailash ?
Or is the River of Rising Costs  eroding the mountain ?

Two years  ago, when our  83-84 profitability went  up by  O.I (zero-point-one)  percent  (from 8.0  to 8.1),  I sent  you  a circular saying

" A Bulbul does not a Basant make  "   (February 7, 1985)

It was too early to  rejoice.  True enough, the happiness was short-lived.

Our profitability once again went    
·     down   (  to 7.7%   ) in   84-85        
·     down   (  to 6.7%   ) in   85-86

Can anything be WORSE than  this ?

Yes - slowing down of Productivity-Growth  can be worse .!

Because,  whereas  we may  not  have  much  control  over the company's overall  profitability due to many external  factors which  are  beyond  our  control,  we,  certainly  have   full control on our own

-    working harder
-    working smarter

So whom can be blame (except ourselves  ?) for the following ?


You will see  that the productivity of  Powai employees went-up by a small 0.4 (zero-point-four) percent during 1985-86.

And during  the same period of 12  months our Average  Salary/ Wage per unionised employee in Bombay city went  up by 9%.

(Wage/Salary :  
Includes:  BASIC + DA + ALL ALLOWANCES 
Excludes:  BONUS + EG + LTA     )
W-63 (iii)
I  am  reminded of  the  speech Shri  Ramakant  More  (General Secretary  -   BKS)  made  at   Lonavala  -  Shibir  of   Shop Representatives on 20th December 1986.

He said

"Whereas no  Union can ask its members  to accept a  reduction in  wages, it  is  absolutely essential  that  every employee works hard for  the full 8 hours  of the day in a disciplined manner and gives maximum possible output.

Translated in my language, he seemed to be  saying,

"If you want  to survive, if you want  to stop the count-down of  declining  profitability,  get-up  and   fight like   hell before the game is over."


  1. C. PAREKH

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