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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


It is certainly not uncommon to encounter entities in the corporate world who arrogate influence, power and clout to themselves far beyond the realms of credulity. In the absence of gentle reminders to the contrary, these entities traipse on in their folly never stopping to smell the coffee and are frequently taken aback by wake-up calls that befall them in an increasingly unpredictable and dynamic world.

The business pinkie that shares its shortened name with a watchable children’s flick made by Spielberg in 1982, grandiloquently announced its Awards for Corporate Excellence. Lavishly endowed with “exclusive” photos and ornately scripted, a series of articles and asides took pains to bring to the reader the importance and grandeur of the awards themselves, the care and discernment with which the Heavenly Association of Corporate Kings comprising the Jury was fastidiously assembled, the robustness and rigour of the selection process and the pride and passion of the winners.

Take a peek at cringe-inducing lines such as “Management gurus would have loved to be flies on that wall. From every corner of the world, the widely divergent jury members brought with them an astonishing variety of perspectives, viewpoints, and even fundamental assumptions. On each and every category. Best practices from West and East met, mingled and coalesced into a scintillating brew of brain power. The phalanx of wise men—and woman—challenged each other. They argued, they soul-searched—and came up with entirely new benchmarks. Over an intense two hours, with barely a break for coffee. These are men and women who make billion-dollar decisions every minute, they brought all those formidable talents to work on deciding the winners of the Awards for Corporate Excellence.”

Thus were the awards finally announced lauding a medley of family-owned businesspersons, failed statesmen and inconsequential half-forgotten side-businesses. There’s little one can find wrong in recognizing and rewarding merit wherever it exists but the alarming seriousness with which this event was presented on Monday morning was distasteful and disconcerting. All generously served with dollops of the some of the worst reportage I can remember this year. The head of the panel, proud maker of carbonated water and artery-cloggers was fawned over with descriptions such as “ was very much the man of the hour, guiding the deliberations with panache, grace, elegance and humour, combining flirtatious charm with a steely grasp of issues. We would love to give away some of the nuggets but are bound by a strict code of secrecy.” Even Prithviraj Raso was more subdued !

And the coup d’ etat, that the Jury liked to spread the cheer and did not repeat an award for three years gave the game away. The Corporate World, what a marvel,and am I proud to be part of it !

Said the rooster to its neighbour “When I crow, the sun begins to rise “. Indeed.


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