•31/05/2009 • Leave a Comment

The more some companies try to change, the more they and their people remain the same.

Almost a decade ago, I made a presentation to Indian Society for Training and Development at its National Convention at Udaipur, India.

In the chair was the Executive Director of a Public Sector enterprise, since privatized. He was not amused!

The presentation also addresses why training does not work in so many companies.



Exemplary Leadership – Karambir Singh Kang

•22/01/2009 • 1 Comment

Karambir Kang accepted the special awards-Corporate Citizen on behalf of Taj employees, in the presence of group CEO Raymond Bickson.


Karambir Kang

“This recognition is not just an honour for the staff of Taj, but it is also the recognition of the true spirit of India.” He said

“For any employee of our hotel, no amount of training could have prepared us for the ordeal we underwent. We were all ordinary people—be it at the Taj, Trident or Cama—with extraordinary courage, who went beyond the call of duty,” Kang added.

More on this a little later.

Ugly Customer Service

•20/01/2009 • Leave a Comment

Here are some of the ugliest customer service experiences I have had.

I will point fingers and name names and hope that these companies and individuals learn…

I shall also try to draw conclusions from my experience of organizations and figure out what could have gone wrong and what the possible lessons are for anyone engaged in customer service.

A glass of water on board American Airlines

•19/01/2009 • Leave a Comment

I was a new diabetic who did not know that diabetics can sometimes feel terribly thirsty. Our American Airlines flight left the aerobridge on time but then stood still a little away from it. The engines were shut off. No explanation was offered. A co-passenger said that they did this so the flight could not be declared ‘late’ and passengers could not ask for a refund.  

After an hour, I started feeling thirsty. Having waited  as much as I could, I pressed the call bell. An unwilling and grumpy stewardess refused to give me anything to drink. This after I told her that I was a diabetic and was feeling extremely uncomfortable. The flight took off two hours late and I got something to drink only when it was my turn. Nearly 90 minutes after my initial request. Fortunately for me, my problem was thirst and not a lowered blood sugar level. The latter could have killed me and if her attitude was any indication, the crew would have let me die.

I am sure that there were some safety reasons to back up her behavior. But I also think that she could have asked the pilot and given me the water,  if she had really wanted to. As a customer, my feelings were that there were perhaps some racial overtones to this incident. Another possible reason: cabin crews had been laid off and their wages cut. Most American airlines seem to have an ageing, demotivated, disgruntled workforce at the frontline. Their behavior leaves much to be desired and poor service is the norm. The pleasant exception is Southwest Airlines,

I have since taken to carrying food, water and glucose on board. I take an empty bottle and fill it at the airport after the security check.  

In case you have feedback for  AA service, you can use this link.

Good Luck!

I did not call or write because I have done so before and have come to believe that it is a waste of time.  I try my best not to fly AA, though this is difficult to do since they have a stranglehold on certain routes within the USA.

What can be done about service on airlines in the USA?

  1. The US government needs to practice what it preaches on free trade. They need to allow airlines across the world to compete for a share of the US skies
  2. I feel that if any airline tries to use service to gain a competitive advantage, the bottomline will certainly benefit
  3. Younger, more enthusiastic staff needs to be employed
  4. Staff members that do not serve well should be let go. Complaints from customers should be used to dismiss some staff. All it will take is a few exemplary dismissals. Improvement will immediately follow
  5. Frontline staff need to be trained repeatedly

Flying in the USA is not cheap and paying passengers deserve the best!

Self service is not service!

On starting a blog

•18/01/2009 • Leave a Comment

Why do it?

It could

  • Be a log of life’s events, thoughts, opinions, comments – a sort of ongoing chronicle
  • A way to share them with others

How to get started?

I think one has to ‘just  do it’. Many things in life are like that. Getting started on a project automatically helps us build some momentum. Some things that we do not know get figured out on the way. Learning and planning are important but the final piece is the commitment demonstrated by starting out.

And so here goes!

Hello world!

•17/06/2008 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!