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Thursday, October 14, 2010

SHIT: India’s framework for a goal directed behavior…


Hold on!…

Before you think that its derogatory on my part to belittle our ability lets understand what i mean by that.

We all are aware JIT – Just in time which is a Japanese inventory strategy to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process by maintaining optimal inventory and keep the associated carrying costs to the minimum. This revolves around the principle that incremental Inventory is a wasteful expense and aims to minimize the carrying costs.

What is India’s answer to this?

We are not a great manufacturing nation (some may disagree) but we seem to have a solid framework which can be adopted from manufacturing to large scale project management to traffic management to anything …. you name it.

SHIT stands for SOME HOW IN TIME. So you can heave a sign of relief now.

We need to understand that this is just a way to do things but a fine blend of attitude, technology (some times) and also a methodology to get where we want to much to the anxiety of many and “adrenalizing” / “Epinephrinizing”  the whole ecosystem.

Take for instance the way we drive around in our cities. If you have any doubts, check this out..

We seem to be living with a notion that we are the only ones on the road and have a constitutional right to cut lanes, nose ahead of another vehicle, drive in a wrong lane, pedestrian paths  or sneak through a red signal. Today i am not sure any of us measure distance between 2 places in cities in Kilometers any more. Its always measured in time. We mostly start late but reach in time. How? its based on SHIT framework.

Any large project management especially government driven projects reflect this. CWG is a classic example. The preparation for the CWG has been going on for almost 4 years and finally we completed the project and were ready 2 days before the start of games. In 48 months the only request was to complete it 30 days ahead which would have spared all the bad publicity and damage to image of the country. Yet we completed this using SHIT framework and were ready.

I should say that the overall event the opening ceremony, closing ceremony and especially the number of medals we won were very heartening. With 828 medals (272 Gold, 274 Silver and 282 Bronze) on stake we bagged 101 medals ,that’s a neat 12%. The most orgasmic and heartening of this all is the 2 medals we took in the athletics and 1 in table tennis. Agreed, if you are murmuring that China and Japan were not part of this. Still it was great to see the way Indians performed. Some of the winners had a rural back ground, very humble beginnings with no state support they have risen to world stage talks volumes about their drive and passion.

Since the event is now over, its time for the skeletons to tumble out of the cupboard in terms of the depth and scale of corruption and nepotism. I am wondering in a land where water is predominantly used to clean ourselves, how many Rs.4000/- toilet papers were used in CWG… Lets these facts (dis)grace us through the media and entertain us for some more time…

But coming back to the SHIT framework, do you think as a country we would learn something out of this and avoid those mistakes the next time. I would hesitate to vote on this that we would avoid this the next time. Why?

Since SHIT framework is just a symptom and the roots are on the following:

1. Deep rooted “Chalta” hai attitude.

2. Lack of accountability – anywhere and everywhere but more importantly

3. Our inability to take pride in what ever we are we  do which is part of our DNA for the last 300 years or so.

We can notice multiple flavors of this framework in our Public distribution System (PDS), {We are 67th out of 87 in hunger Index -  }

be it Civic management in our streets, flood and rain water management in all cities starting with Mumbai, and you can keep pointing to this framework in every walk of our life.

I am scarred sometimes that whether our DNA is embedded with this culture and keep wondering what the remedy is?

I can think of only one thing analogy…. “We Indians are like rockets. Only when our a** is on fire, shall we move”. While we agree that this true to some extent, i would be very disheartened if “Fire in the ass” is the only way out to perform.

Recently i heard Aparup Sengupta, my company MD, narrating this:

“3 people in a construction site were questioned as to what they are doing. The first one replied that he is cutting marbles for $5 an hour. The second one replied that I am constructing a building and getting paid $5 an hour. But the third one replied that i am creating a new city which shall stand here for ages. Incidentally the third guy is also getting paid $5/ hour.”

The answer for us actually lies in this. The very fact that we need to take pride in what we are doing is the panacea to get rid of this SHIT framework. I don’t how to imbibe that gene voluntarily. We may need a mutation in our genes to take pride in anything and everything we do…

May be we need a Change induced mutation… (This was blogged just after 26/11 and the effect of economic downturn was realized)

Till then


Happy reading!


1. If some one has wondered as to why I wrote CWG is a four letter word in my previous article, this blog would have answered it.

2. Lets also give a big thumbs up to all the people who were part of the CWG event organization and management. Our home minister for flawless security, Delhi administration which delivered the games with birth pangs but the event went off very smoothly, 1000s of volunteers and project staff who have been working for 4 + years now.

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