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BW Businessworld

Courage Of Ones Convictions

It takes immeasurable courage to stand by ones convictions specially when the stakes are high.

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She looked distraught as she sat across his desk.

“Namrita, you can take the month off if that helps,” he said.

“That is really not an option Ajay. It’s been six months since the US company acquired us and I need to complete the integration,” she replied.

“I thought you were upset about the legal notice from your husband filing for divorce and custody of your daughter,” said Ajay.

“That and a lot more,” she replied. 

“Want to talk about it?” he asked.

She started sobbing. “I heard that once the integration is completed, the leadership team here would be replaced. If that happens it will only strengthen my husband’s arguments that I can no longer support my mother and my daughter. I will die if my daughter is taken away.” 

“Listen Namrita, no leadership changes are happening. Now please focus on your work and I will speak with my lawyer friend about your divorce case. Cheer up!” He waited a few moments and then walked her to the door of his office.

Old linkages

The US parent announced dual reporting for all vertical heads from India. Ajay was re-designated as India Centre Head and he along with his team were invited to the US to meet with their respective global function heads. 

The meetings were quite stressful for all except Ranjit, the head of sales. Surprisingly he and Bob, the global head of sales, seemed to get along like a house on fire. The two of them had worked together earlier at another company. 

On their return to Hyderabad, Namrita met up with Ajay’s lawyer friend and felt at ease that her case was in competent hands. 

Good things rarely last 

A lady working with Ranjit filed a sexual harassment case against him. And as per policy, Namrita conducted a quick enquiry, and filed her report with Ajay and with her global HR Head. 

What happened next truly her shook up! 

It was a US number.

 “Hi Namrita, this is Bob calling from USA.”

“Hi Bob.”

“I saw your report holding Ranjit guilty. He says the allegations are false!” 

“ This is not the first time Bob.  Twice before he was let off with warnings,” said Namrita.

“The past does not interest me. I want you to drop the matter.” 

“I am sorry Bob. That would set a terrible precedent,” said Namrita.

“I don’t think you hear me. Ranjit is critical to my plans. Either you drop that case now or your successor would do it soon,” shouted Bob.

“It is out of my hands Bob.” Namrita felt the ground sinking. 

The final test

Namrita informed Ajay about the call from Bob. 

“Why don’t we let Ranjit off with another warning?” he asked. 

 “How can you even suggest that? Our employees, especially the women, will lose faith in our company and in me. I cannot allow that to happen. Not on my watch.” 

Ajay had never seen her this emotional and his admiration for her only grew exponentially.

 “Am really sorry I made that suggestion Namrita,” he said.

Ajay sent a detailed report to the US Chairman cautioning him that the company’s reputation could be badly tarnished if employees took to social media. 

The matter was closed with Ranjit being asked to leave.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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corporate affairs corporate Courage Magazine 19 June 2021

Jayaram Easwaran

Author, Consultant, and Independent Board Director at Jindal Stainless

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