Is Mumbai a Hatchery for Problems?

Mumbai - Hatchery of Problems - Qimpro

Sporadic and Chronic Problems

The job of a manager is to solve problems.

Problems surface in two avataars: Sporadic and Chronic.

In the case of a sporadic problem we need to treat the symptomatic evidence of the problem.

On the other hand, in the case of a  chronic problem, we need to treat the root cause(s) of the problem.

Sporadic or Chronic Problems?

Managers are challenged with a flood of problems. So how can they classify problems as being sporadic or chronic?  They need different treatments.

The difference is best explained by the following conversation, at an English cocktail party:

He: You are ugly.

She: You are drunk.

He: I may be drunk Miss. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly!

This conversation is traceable to Winston Churchill and his lady friend. Rather rude, I say!

Dr J M Juran, the Quality Guru, interpreted this conversation as an experienced Qualitist. Simple. And to the point.

  • Drunk = Sporadic
  • Ugly = Chronic.

Mumbai: Problem Hatchery

This makes me think. This makes me worry. How did an efficient and effective Bombay become a hatchery for problems after being christened as Mumbai?

Currently, the chronic problems in Mumbai are erroneously “solved” with sporadic bandaids. This is simply not acceptable.

According to me, the key chronic problems in Mumbai are:

  1. Flooding
  2. Roads pockmarked with potholes
  3. Parking indiscipline
  4. Slums.

Can you think of any more? Please share.

BTW: The Churchill conversation went further…….

She: If I were your wife I would poison your coffee.

He: If I were your husband, I would drink it!!


  1. Teach Problem Solving in schools
  2. Teach Housekeeping in schools
  3. Teach Safety in schools.

7 thoughts on “Is Mumbai a Hatchery for Problems?”

  • We apply Quality Management in industry, small or bi. BMC also has to have its quality management system in place and where citizen are represented as customers . There has to have management review and findings put up to higher level including CM and on web site for public.

  • It’s a mirror to our own behavior as ‘Mumbaikar’. If we can learn to have civicsense lot of sporadic problems could be solved. For the chronic, PDCA and an honest governance would be the key in my view. Thanks.

  • Wish any govt official read the series of blogs you wrote on Mumbai problems……… would enable them to think and act different

  • Nothing much to add except I believe we are not yet rid of the colonial mindset when it comes to governance. Somewhere governance has come to mean “policing” and “public service” has been forgotten. How this happened is not something we want to know. How do we change this? Now, that is a chronic problem to solve. However, the pre-requisite to solving this problem is that government and citizens start respecting each other.

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