Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lessons from India

As my father always says, "In India, it's not know-how but know-who that matters." I had a first person experience with this when I needed to get a router installed at home so that I would be able to work wire-free.

I have a Tata-Indicom broadband connection that requires you to courier a form with cheques for the router and paying all current dues before they can start to process the application. So I did this on 15th of May. And then nothing happened. June, July went by with no calls from technicians, then August came and I got a bit irritated at the delay, so I called the chap who had installed my system a year back, who said he hadn't even received the order and therefore couldn't do anything about it. He did give me the number of the area incharge though. So I called him and emailed him the entire details, with cheque numbers, dates, people contacted earlier, forms filled, etc.

Another month went by and still nothing happened, expect his avoiding my telephone calls. Getting really fed up, I took my mom-in-law's advice and tried to find the number for the MD for the company and after a couple of hours searching, I called and spoke to his personal assistant who was extremely helpful and quite surprised at my experiences. So I dashed off an email to her again with all the gory details and as a backup, I also sent it to another senior official whose name I had found on the company site.

Would you believe it, I got a call back within an hour from 2 separate officials with the company, both very keen to sort my problems out. My router was installed the very next day and 2 other pending issues were also sorted out stat.

So the moral of the story is that if you want to live in India, especially if you want to live in Peace in India, its not important what you know but rather who you know. If you want any work done, go right to the top, as that's the only way it'll get done.

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