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Empathetic Listening: Dignity to prisoners

Published in Business India   |   10 - 23 September 2018

Customers are the reason our organisations exist. The hard reality is that customers pay our salaries. When demand is greater than supply, the customer is easily forgotten. We are reactive to customer complaints.

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Amoebic Works of Art
Pot holes in Mumbai: A Quality Perspective

Published in Business India   |   13 - 26 August 2018

At a recent Mumbai First governing board meeting, I was pronounced ‘guilty’ for not improving the quality of pot holes in Mumbai! I sheepishly smiled. The board was right. Yes, Mumbai First must do something. So, I reflected on the fundamentals: Who defines quality? The ustomer – in this case, the citizens of Mumbai! What is quality? Fitness for use.

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Who is the Hidden Customer?

Repost: This blog was originally posted on 30 September 2015

Quality is about delighting your customer. Delighting through product and service features that satisfy the customer; as well as that are delivered to the customer without deficiencies. But hold your breath. The definition of customer has evolved over the past three decades.

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Customer Rebellion: Mother Earth is the ultimate customer

Published in Business India   |   16 - 29 July 2018

The industrial system – what we make, buy, and use – sits within a larger system of nature. this industrial system includes, amongst others, a wide range of products such as automobiles, tvs, laptops, mobiles, buildings, power plants, and so on.

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Cost of Poor Quality: Why should a taxpayer support inefficient processes?

Published in Business India   |   18 June - 1 July 2018

From early June, there has been much said about our national carrier, Air India. Almost all have been critical about its operational inefficiency, as well as interference of politicians and bureaucrats. The Economic Times suggested ‘Try bankruptcy for Air India’s sale’. Capt G R Gopinath added ‘The government is scaring away bidders for Air India. It has to seriously rework its strategy’.

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Quality: Looking back. Looking forward

Published in Business India   |   21 May - 3 June 2018

In the days when historians assumed that history began with greece, the greek historian hero-dotus recorded the first known reference to cot-ton grown in india. he wrote: "certain wild trees bear wool instead of fruit, which in beauty and qual-ity excels that of sheep; and the indians make their clothing from these trees."

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Heroic Leadership & Legitimizing Process Incapability

Published in The Smart Manager   |   November-December 2017

On a Sunday afternoon, I received a long-distance call on my landline, from the Vice Chairman of a tractor manufacturer in North India. He was calling from his factory, where he, his wife, and the surviving workforce had locked themselves in, a few days back.

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Partnering with the Phantom

Published in Indian Management   |   November 2017

Is quality popular? In theory perhaps. Not in practice. Is quality a fully delegable responsibility? No. What are the challenges to muster support for a specific quality initiative? The key one is that upper managers believe that quality improvement projects offer lesser tangible rewards than other proposals.

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OT ot ICU Gurney Race

Published in Indian Management   |   October 2017

ASEAN has extraordinary hospital facilities, in a few cities. Some could qualify as global benchmarks. The reputations of these hospitals are further reinforced when they have won their country’s Performance Excellence Award.

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The Drunk and The Ugly

Published in Indian Management   |   September 2017

Quality management involves problem-solving. This is akin to the problems tackled by the fire departments in our cities. A couple of decades ago, a premier hotel in South Mumbai caught fire.

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Stretch your Goals - Cover Story

Published in Indian Management   |   April 2017

The early Greeks, Romans, and Indians did not worry about uncertainty - the very idea would have been foreign. They believed that everything was predestined. In India, we called it, and still do, karma.

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Building a Quality Culture

Published in JetWings   |   February 2017

Motivation is concerned with human behaviour. Managers succeed when they employ the forces of human behaviour to achieve results. In order to manage for quality, managers must acquire an understanding of what are the actual motivators of human behaviour in the organisation relative to the attainment of quality.

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Indian Ethos - Peels and Meals

Published in aWEshkar   |   September 2016

Once upon a time officers had separate canteen facilities to that of workers. Two decades ago the Earthmoving Equipment plant of a major auto unit in South India was no exception. A large workers’ canteen was operational, on a three shift basis, on the ground floor and a neat compact officers’ mess was designed for the floor above. The latter was also the regular venue for entertaining national and international visitors.

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Building Quality Culture

Published in The Smart Manager   |   July - August, 2016

A strong company culture defined by its values, beliefs, and behaviors, has a profound impact on its products and services. More so in today’s VUCA world, where to stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge, it is critical for organizations to build a culture that focuses on quality. Suresh Lulla, author of Quality Fables, elucidates through significant examples how creating a culture of quality is imperative to driving success and productivity.

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Focus on Quality - Cover Story

Published in Indian Management   |   July, 2016

At the end of World War II, Japan emerged a shattered nation, with negligible natural resources, damaged factories, and no buying power. However, the citizens of Japan had a great desire to survive, and succeed.The Emperor of Japan invited industry leaders to explore all options available to the proud nation. They looked around, globally, and ultimately it was the model of Great Britain that they chose to mimic.

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Indian Ethos - Customer First, Always

Published in aWEshkar   |   March 2016

How often have we seen posters in organizations shouting messages such as “Customer First” or “The Customer is Always Right”? How often, as acustomer, have you actually experienced this claim?

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Multitasking: Only when done right

Published in The Smart Manager   |   Jan-Feb, 2016

Think of a craftsman. The craftsman that built the Taj Mahal, Konark Sun Temple, Pyramids of Egypt, etc. What attributes do you associate with this craftsman?. The craftsman understood customer needs; translated these needs into design; benchmarked design features to be best-in-class; defined the process/activities/tasks to achieve this design; and finally delivered outputs that delighted the customer.

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Peels & Meals (3 of 3 part series)

Published in Indian Management   |   November, 2015

Once upon a time, officers had separate canteen facilities to that of workers. Two decades ago, the earthmoving equipment plant of a major auto unit in South India was no exception. A large workers’ canteen was operational, on a three-shift basis, on the ground floor and a neat compact officers’ mess was designed for the floor above. The latter was also the regular venue for entertaining national and international visitors.

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3 C's - Chairman, Carpenter, Consultant (2 of 3 part series)

Published in Indian Management   |   October, 2015

The Vice Chairman of a quasi-government tractor manufacturing company was distraught. I had just announced the start of Qimpro. Facing each other, he and I sat on crates in my office, as the carpenters banged away. That was twenty- five years ago.

The visiting leader explained that he had taken on the challenge to compete with international brands of tractors in India, five years back.

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Quality-Cost Connect (1 of 3 part series)

Published in Indian Management   |   September, 2015

Multinational banks are known to invest in excellent infrastructure and executives.

The lowest designation for a new campus recruit two decades ago, in India, was nothing less than Vice President. Salaries matched the designation.

The self esteem of these freshly recruited students was always at a zenith. They were the prize catch for the most popular campus recruiters—multinational banks.

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Quality Fables SeminarNeed for Quality

Quality Fables Seminar, Kuwait   |   March, 2015

Professional Veteran Suresh Lulla emphasizes the need for Quality through high density nuggets on Vision, Change, Innovation and problem-solving

March 26th 2015 – Vigor Events, in cooperation with Gulf Lead Consultants; hosted the “Quality Fables Seminar”

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How to Fail? - A Prescription for Management Consultants

Published in Consultants Review   |   2015

Management consultants deliver reports. But do they deliver results?

Management consultants are manufactured. But do they have experience and wisdom of an advisor or catalyst?

Management consultants are a cost to clients. Each should aim to become an asset for the client.

These are some of the fractured equations that mar client-consultant relationships. In the process, clients become cynical about consultants because most of the executed assignments in India fail to deliver tangible results.

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Such a Long Journey

Published in Tata Review   |   July, 2014

In the days when historians assumed that history began with Greece, the Greek historian Herodotus recorded the first known reference to cotton grown in India: “Certain wild trees bear wool instead of fruit, which in beauty and quality excels that of sheep; and the Indians make their clothing from these trees.”

Arab travellers in the ninth century India reported: “In this country they make garments of such extraordinary perfection that nowhere else is there like to be seen … sewed and woven to such a degree of fineness, they may be drawn through a ring of moderate size.”

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The Pathway to Visible Leadership

Published in Business India   |   May 13-26, 2013

In every management sphere, leadership holds the key to setting the direction for organizational change and influencing people to follow that path.

Different people talk about leadership from several different perspectives. Many think leadership is all about being the first, biggest or most powerful individual in a team. Some view leadership as a series of specific traits or characteristics while others see it as a blend of certain skills and knowledge. Very few view leadership as a process that places emphasis on social interaction and relationship wherein individuals are influenced, inspired and guided to achieve their personal or collective desired goals...

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Quality Improvement - The Elixir for Hospitals

Published in Express Healthcare   |   March 5, 2013

Not long ago, the concept of quality simply meant the absence of defects from a manufactured physical good.

To address this challenge, the Quality Council of India (QCI) took on the responsibility....

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Right Brain Structured Innovation

Published in Business India   |   October 14, 2012

Business differentiate themselves from other players in the market through the innovations they bring into their products and solutions.

Business in the 21st century is driven by innovation. Organizations that are better aligned with their customers’ needs and preferences, and introduce product and service innovations accordingly, will dominate the market and drive industry trends. Research indicates that organizations that foster a “right-brained” work culture focused on creativity, intuition, passion, beliefs and fun, are more likely to generate innovative products and service concepts, define breakthroughs in industry trends, and deliver better financial results...

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Combating Terrorism

Published in Business India   |   June 10, 2012

Businesses are out of the governmental realm, and have little protection from terrorist activities.

Any impact on businesses, affects the society at large, and it is therefore important for them to take an active stance in countering terror activities and advances...

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Good Corporate Citizenship

Published in Business India   |   April 15, 2012

How a company conducts its business to have a positive impact on individuals and the society.

Good corporate citizenship is about finding ways for society and business to work together. It is about an integration of ethical, economic, philanthropic, environmental and social values into the everyday running of a business in a seamless way. Corporate citizenship activities take place all over the world but the regions that are mostly focussed upon are Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa...

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Leadership and climate change

Published in Business India   |   February 19, 2012

Climate change has become a significant agenda for both the government and the corporate sector in the present decade. Climate affects all of us – and the recent forecasts on the worsening global weather conditions (climate change) and their potential to unleash unprecedented catastrophes is a significant cause for concern. Drastic climate changes can be disastrous for the delicate balance of our planet and can impact every aspect of our lives including our livelihoods, businesses and more importantly, chances to continue existing in this world.

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Strategic Management Thinking

Published in Chemical World   |   May, 2010

Thanks to the rapid changes in industry and market trends, the employment market is full of opportunities for top talent to move up the corporate ladder. Increasingly, the customer too has a plethora of options to choose from. Given this backdrop, it requires an organization to be nimble and creative in how it strategically puts into play constantly evolving systems, processes, technological, product and organizational innovation that help it take on these challenges...

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The Zen Of Health Care

Published in Business India   |   July 4-17, 1994

Few services affect the lives of people so directly and personally as those offered by health care professionals. For this reason, particularly in the developed world, quality has always been a primary concern in the health care field. Quality determines how successfully we prevent and treat physical and mental illness - key concerns affecting the lives and well-being of patients and their families.

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