Monday, September 16, 2013

Help others to help yourself.

If you help someone then you don't have to feel great about it, neither you should expect thank you thank you  or that generosity from that person every time you meet him/her nor you should expect help in return from him/her. If you are helping some one then you are not helping him/her, actually, you are helping yourself. Help others to help yourself.

I am a believer of above lines which are given to me as a gyaan by one of my uncle. If you do good things then good things will come to you, its kind of law of attraction, it depends on you what you want to attract to yourself. 
Well, not going in to deep of this philosophy I personally believe that we should help others in whatever way we can, some times people feels that others are taking advantage of your help or may be your friends or dear ones may say to you that other people asks for your help because they don't want to do things by themselves. Well, this is true sometimes, I think it depends on every individual i.e. how to identify/sense that who is taking advantage or who is actually taking help, but you are not gonna loose anything to offer your help.

As I said, I am a believer of this philosophy and this belief turns into reality this year. I can never forget those series of event that took place in the month of Jan 13. As I have to move to Sweden in the month of Feb 13 I was specifically looking for a Swedish currency (SEK) travel card and I had two options, either to take it from HDFC bank or from Axis bank. Having a good experience with HDFC bank I decided to take this card from them and that was the time when my trust with HDFC bank broke and built again. What happened that day is mentioned in my below email which I sent later on to the manager of that HDFC bank employee as a token of appreciation.


Dear Sir,

With due respect I would like to grab a chance to share my recent experience with HDFC bank executive's in concern to the Foreign exchange department.

This whole experience is from date 10-Jan-2013, I had to travel to Sweden and I was looking a Visa based SEK Travel card which HDFC bank provides. I did a lot of research on SEK travel card and compared travel card provided by other banks with HDFC but I found HDFC SEK Travel card more cheaper so I made my  mind to go with HDFC.

Although, I am not a HDFC bank user but as my father is I have always seen him more then satisfied with the extensive good quality of services provided by HDFC bank to him. Moreover, my father is an extremely satisfied customer so the same trust passed on to me which made me to choose HDFC bank with blind faith.

As I am talking about my trust, this was broken on 10-Jan-2013 but later saved by Mr. Vipul Awasthi.  

I went to the HDFC bank's Indirapuram (Ghaziabad) branch and the customer service executive told me that this branch does not deal in Forex so I should go to the HDFC bank's Vaishali branch. I went to HDFC's Vaishali (GZB) branch, there the lady in the Foreign exchange department told me that I should go to the HDFC's Noida Sector 18 branch to have the SEK card. I asked the lady executive that why should I go to sec-18 branch as this product (SEK travel card) is on the shelf product and as says that I can purchase this card from any branch by just walkin to it then she told me that HDFC's Vaishali branch is not the Forex branch and sector 18 branch is specialized Forex branch for this purpose.

To my aggression that lady executive asked to me to leave my number so that I can be contacted by an HDFC executive for this matter. I was contacted by Mr. Vineet and I was astonished and disappointed  when he told me that any kind of Travel card can not be issued to a customer who is not having any account with HDFC bank. When I asked Mr. Vineet to cross check this information he talked to me rudely and said that whatever information he is giving to me is correct and the HDFC bank website is not updated. When I told him that whatever he is telling me is not true then he gave me the number of Mr. Vipul Awasthi and asked me to contact him.

As I was in urgent need of HDFC SEK card I contacted Mr. Vipul with the hope that he may help and trust me Sir, Mr. Vipul came to help me as a savior that day. He told me that I have been misguided and any HDFC branch should arrange the card from other branch if they are out of stock of any Travel card. He asked me to wait at HDFC Vaishali branch and promised me to call back with in half an hour. 

Since, I don't have time to wait I went to the HDFC's Noida sector 18 branch and there also the lady executive told me that SEK card is not available with the branch and she don't know which other branch might have it, in fact she told me that HDFC bank do not provide any SEK card, the bank has never launched such card, she provided me the contact details of some Money exchanger from where HDFC's Noida sector 18 branch get its currency conversion.

I again contacted Mr. Vipul and explained him the whole scenario, he asked me to wait for 5 minutes and he talked to Mr. Ajay Tiwari at Noida sector 18 branch to help me out. There after, the SEK card was issued to me in the same branch whose executive was denying the existence of such card in the market.

I was even more impressed with the customer service of Mr. Vipul Awasthi when he himself took out little time from his busy schedule to keep following up the status. He contacted me to confirm whether the card has been issued to me or not, by that time it was not issued and he again followed up the whole issue and scolded some other executive keeping me in the conference call.

I must say employees like Mr. Vipul Awasthi can never let faith of bank's customer down and sets example for other employees for delivering highest customer satisfaction.

If Mr. Vipul has not come in to the picture that day then I surely have loosed my trust and faith with HDFC bank and have purchased the SEK travel card from AXIS Bank.

I am sorry to write such a long mail but the intention was to let you know how customers are misguided by the bank executives and how helpless they can feel in the era of competitive banking. Such small things and misguiding results in lose of customer which is not good for a premier bank like HDFC.

I hope some sort action can be taken against those executives.


Well, this whole experience left me with few questions:-

1. Who was Mr. Vipul Awasthi?
2. Why did he helped me as a unknown person?
3. What he is benefiting from all this?

I only had answer of question 2, may be because I have helped some one known/unknown some time and I got the return that day. 

All I could have given to Mr. Vipul is my sincere thanks and the above appreciation mail to his manager. I don't know if there was any action taken against those executives who were misguiding me but my purpose was solved by a unknown man.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't be so formal.

You may have noticed that most of the time we say in formality "come'on yaar don't be so formal" but we sometimes mind if one does not say things formally or considers that person as rude if they say things directly which they actually mean to say instead of saying it in other way around with a nice wrapping of words so that the recipient don't feel bad.

There may be culture difference, since we adopted all these mannerism and formal words like sorry, thank you, excuse me from British we expect the same things from others, at least from those who are just acquaintances. 

What I mean by saying all these, about what and whom I am saying these? May be those are the questions in your mind, so, I am talking about some of my work culture experience which I gained by working with my Swedish colleagues. 

 I have observed following things which they say and I will compare these with our way of saying (with all my so called learned Indian corporate ethics of never saying no directly).

Situation 1: When you want some information from a colleague who is doing some other work.

Me: Hey!! Did you get a chance to look at that mail which I sent to you?

Colleague: I don't have time for it and I am very busy right now.

How I would have said this 

Me: Hey! Yes, I looked at it from the very top level but to answer your question I need to collect some more information. Do you mind if I come back to you on this before EOD today as I am occupied in this task?

Situation 2: When you go to a colleagues desk to ask some thing and they are working on something.

Colleague: (After they sense that you are coming towards them or you are sneaking around) Give me a minute. (They say it and continue doing their work with out looking at you).

What I would have done in this situation

Me: (After sensing that somebody is around to say something and before they say something, look at them) Hey!! (and listen to them/their question, reply it quickly if you know the answer already and get back to the screen or if you don't know the answer, say) do you mind if  I come back to your desk with the answer .

Situation 3: In a meeting, you are explaining to your boss about your plan to do a particular task.

Boss: I don't care how you do it. Do whatever you want.

How I would have replied if I were a boss

Me: Hmm!! that sounds like a plan, let me know if you  need any information or assistance from me and keep me posted.

Initially I felt rude but then I come to know that in Swedish language there is not much formality like English and may be what they are trying to say in English is completely different from what they are trying to meant in Swedish.

I guess I will come to know about this later part when I will be proficient in Swedish but the thing to note is that you can really reduce the amount of words to say if you don't care how the receptor may feel :D 

***Disclaimer:By this post, I am not implying that Swedish work culture is like what I am representing here but it is from my so far work experience while working with Swedish colleagues in an Swedish software firm. ***

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When you find Gandhiji randomly..

We all know very well that where we can find Gandhi ji these days (at least not in the morals and ethics of people), may be in government offices or I believe I am not wrong to say in the wallet or pocket of every one in the form of currency.

I am not going to write about any random encounter with Gandhi ji like Munna bhai but what I meant to say from this catchy title is what would you do when you find some money randomly when there is no one to claim it ?

If my memory is not wrong then I have not found or been lucky in past 10 years to find money on the road or any other places when there was no one to claim it but I do remember what I did when I found it and my actions were different according to my age.

I finely remember that I found Rs 20 while playing outdoor when I was in my childhood, me and my friend went insane on deciding how to spent this money. It looked to us that we can buy lots of candies, chocolates, cold drinks, red color rubber ball for our cricket matches, funky stickers to stick them on our school notebooks, wo lambi waali pencil with the palm cap and many other things. But, we were not aware that we could actually buy few of them from our long list. We settled for two red color rubber ball for our cricket matches and chocolates for rest of the amount.

As I increased numbers in my age count with passing years I got a gyan funda from somewhere that "Jo aapka nahin use rakh kar koi fayda nahin he... agar aap use rakhte ho to aapka hi nuksaan hoga".
Believing this from a fundebaaz or I should say getting scared of loss I donated rs 100 in the donation box of a temple with the belief that when it neither belongs to me nor to any one else then it belongs to god.

Later, I started believing that god does not need money and god will be happy if I help some body with this money who is in actual need. So, the next time when I found Rs 100 again, I gave it to a beggar and made his day. That guy looked at me like I am very rich man and started doing salaam, giving me blessings. While he was doing all those beta...bhagwaan things I noticed that other beggars are coming towards me with the gleam in their eyes and hope in their hearts "Arey koi gaadi waala bada sahab aaya he aaj to.... usko 100 de diya to hume bhi de dega"  but their facial expression changed from raised eyebrows to narrow eyebrows when I picked my bicycle and ran from there. (Kya perception hota he logo ka... cycle waale ko koi kuch samjhta hi nahin he).

And the last when I found Rs 500 I was in first year of my graduation and my philosophy was changed again "Instead of giving hard cash to poor buy them a meal" so I kept those rs 500 separately in my wallet and whenever I saw any poor guy begging for food I bought them some meal and learnt that rs 500 is too much to spend if you start buying cheap meals from road side vendors. 

Its been 10 years and I am still on that last philosophy.

Till 2012 before leaving India I had one time meal in Rs 10 from a road side chole kulche waala, not sure what is the condition now but I feel rs 500 are too much if you have to buy some one this 10 rs meal or 5 rs Parle G biscuit which reminds me one of my experience with an old lady in Congiri or emotional atyachar