Do we promote customer-centricity in Indian culture?

In organizing the PMP boot camps in the past few months, I found that what the customers really relish is the focus on their needs with an attitude of gratitude. Even if there are minor issues in terms of the actual service, they are OK with an apology and course correction.

I lived in the US for four years and really enjoyed being a customer. The variety of products, restaurants, cinemas etc. to choose from, the value I got  for the money and decent service etc were quite addicting. I lived in Japan for 3 months and that experience was better than even the US experience. If customer is treated like king in US, in Japan customer is treated like God. Along with the latest products, the courteous service (sans tips) was really touching.

I was wondering if we promote such customer focus and customer-centricity in Indian culture? We may tell our employees to wear a tie during customer visits and add an accent to become more communicable. But as a culture, do we build accountability in our children to own up if they make a promise; Does your family understand the give and take between you and your company / your customers; and so on. How do we teach it to the next gen?

As an ardent lover of Indian culture and heritage I want to believe that we do have customer focus as a value and so I looked in our books how it is represented. I found it in the name of “gratitude” (nandri in tamil and kruthagynatha in Sanskrit). There are many quotes and stories in Tirukkural, Ramayana and Mahabharatha which emphasizes the attitude of gratitude and the gory hell one will fall if one fails in his duty of repaying a help. Unfortunately in recent times, India is not guided by the values from these books. In my opinion, corrupt politicians corrupting our people in the name of adult franchise is the primary reason we are loosing those values.

What do you feel? Do we have a culture conducive for customer focus and quality culture? What can we change for good?

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This author published 109 posts in this site.
Ganapathy Subramanian, Founder and CEO of MS Academy has a B.E degree from CEG Anna University. After 20 years in IT industry, he left a senior management position to pursue and lead his dream project - Management Scholars Academy. In his successful IT career, Ganapathy has been VP-HR at Polaris FT Ltd and Director-Projects at CSC India Pvt Ltd. He has designed, developed, and deployed many innovative leadership training programs, PM competency diagnostics frameworks, and performance management systems for project managers. These programs helped the corporates build PM competency and excel in project management practices. Ganapathy has traveled extensively in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore as a consultant for AT&T, Lucent, Citibank, CSC, Unilever and Visa. Ganapathy has been a mentor to many project managers in CSC, Polaris and now to hundreds of PMs through MS Academy. He has coached many PMs to appear and get the PMP certification. The reason MS Academy's PMP training program has become so popular so quickly is that the trainers give personal time and attention during and after the boot camp and guide the PMP aspirants step by step towards their goal. Please visit or contact for further details.


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July 14th, 2010

Yes, i agree that we need to be more customer focussed, friendly when we interact with them. We should pass on the feeling of togetherness when we talk/interact with them so that they get the “comfort” feeling towards sharing their problems. Most of the problem will be solved once we know the actual requirements of the customer. Not all of them will be able to elucidate their requirements clearly. Thus, it becomes the job of the vendor to understand it and help in solving the same.

It would be become easy for us to understand their problem if we approach them openly and listen to their requirements and this is what customer focus would ideally strive to acheive.

July 22nd, 2010

Hi Ganapathy I do agree with the basic but disagree your opinion “corrupt politicians corrupting our people” . After 20 yrs out of country and living in chennai for the past 1year. What I noticed is in very generic human value context we lost it somewhere. I’m regularly noticing this in my office commuting inside campus. The speedlimit is written & kept @ variou locations and most of the IT professionals(atleast 40%) definitly visited & stayed in US/europe/Japan/Singapore etc but still we’ve no courtesy of slowing down while pedestrian crossing(less crowded area inside campus). These pathetic situation definitly not from corrupt politicians rather we corrupt ourselves. Another example, this happened when I was waiting to buy school uniform at my kids school, even after reminding few times to stand in a queue simply they’re adament to follow common sense of simplifying the work of issuers and frustration of other waiting parents. This is not a crowded place which I’m talking, it’s elite people’s place where they pay lacs of rupees for their school fees. Moreover all these parents are either NRI or Rich person.

Above is my observation but still I’m looking for some root cause for this happening and trying to help the society to find solution.

Another interesting event on politicians and/or govt officials follows here. Everyone of us aware that some body forged the marksheets for medical/engg admission. I still don’t understand, Is it difficult to compare the physical marksheet against the database where they’ve centralized mark list. We’re proud to say, India is no “1” in IT service provider and we’ve plenty of IT workers but we don’t care about our back.

Beleiving that things may change slowly and let’s be a part of that.

Asokkumar Christian

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