Article (June-2018)


Competence alone?

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine


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Power Pack Corporation is a MNC doing its business of electric generation equipments and engines in India. They have acquired one manufacturing facility in Maharashtra and produced indigenous products to cater the needs of Indian market.
PP Corporation as popularly known has its corporate office in Gurgaon. The office has IT, Finance, Marketing and Sales and HR departments. Kanwaljit Singh head of finance known as CFO sitting in corporate has its own leadership style. He has next line of one General Manager - Finance and then four Dy. Managers responsible for different functions. Out of these four Dy. Managers one was qualified CA, another was qualified cost Accountant and rest two were MBAs in finance. Below these four Dy. Managers two each were having executives with B.Com or M.Com degree. This was official reporting structure of finance department.
But Kanwaljit Singh used to encourage one executive out of four to report him directly on all matters as what was happening in the department in his absence and who was doing what. This executive named Ratan nicknamed as Narad Muni in office  was reporting to Viplav, CA Dy. Manager who only joined last year and was youngest in the department in terms of length of service. Whenever, Viplav asked him on certain tasks given to him, Ratan used to avoid, overlook and disobey him on many occasions. His reply used to be that he will brief the CFO boss and you need not to worry.
Two days before Viplav asked to work on certain MIS reports that were to be sent to HO Japan, but when Viplav asked him about the progress, Ratan's reply was shocking. He said, don't give me orders, I am not your subordinate. I will do only what boss CFO will tell me. Viplav felt humiliated as it was an open conversation and Ratan tone was also not conforming to the office decorum.
Viplav went to CFO and reported the matter about Ratan's attitude and behaviour. Kanwaljit said, "He will see to it and talk to Ratan and will take reports from him". But even after two days there was no revert from CFO to Viplav though he called Ratan and what conversed between the two, nobody knew. After two days, Viplav wrote an e mail to CFO :
"Dear Kanwal san,
As I reported about the behaviour of Ratan four days back, he has consistently been refusing to listen to me. He says openly that he only values Kanwal san and will listen to his instructions only and nobody else.
I request you Sir that pl. take him out from my reporting and put else where you feel appropriate.
I assure you that no work will be suffered because of his absence in my section.
With warm regards

Kanwaljit Singh slept over this mail. He continued to meet and discuss all matters with Ratan. Viplav stopped giving tasks to him and took over all his responsibility. Everybody was keen to know the outcome but nothing apparent happened.
Since it was month of March, Viplav received the performance evaluation request in respect of Ratan from HR. He responded to HR and CFO that since he hardly reports to him functionally and was not aware what he did during the year as he was not reporting to him, so better would be that his evaluation should be done by the person to whom he reports. 
CFO did not like this conversation of Viplav. He called Viplav and asked what was going on.
Viplav : It would not be fair Sir, if I evaluate Ratan whereas I am not aware what he did whole the year and he also practically did not report to me.
Kanwal : But only you can evaluate him since he in your reporting line as per organisation chart. 
Viplav : Then I will write what I know about him and his conduct.
Kanwal : Ok. Do it. 
Viplav informed Ratan to be with him next day for evaluation discussion. When Viplav reminded Ratan of discussion next day, Ratan refused to come for discussion and said, write whatever you want. You are not the GOD. I will talk to Kanwal san.
Viplav assessed his performance and evaluated him. He commented "Ratan refused to join performance evaluation discussion. Needs improvement in behaviour and conduct. Below expectation in performing though know his job."
After few days, on coming to know about the remarks of Viplav from Kanwaljit Singh, Ratan came to Viplav seat and said, how dare you to write this nonsense about me without my consent.
Viplav replied with calm and said, "Ratan, I requested you twice to join discussion, but you refused, I wanted to discuss and share my observations but you did not allow that to happen. Now I wrote what I felt. There is nothing to shout about."
During appraisal discussion with Kanwaljit Singh, Viplav responded, when asked about the expectations, "Sir, I should be promoted as promised to me last year at the time of joining. Moreover, as far as job competency is concerned, I don't think, I have ever let you down. You also agree on my performance aspect."
"That's fine. There is nothing negative about your capabilities and competency. Rather you have streamlined the department and cleared all pendency. You exceeded our expectations." Kanwal Continued,
"But there is no point in promoting CAs. They just get promotion and leave. They only look for their career and not the organisation. Look at me; I am here since last 12 years. Ratan is here from last 10 years. I want retention. The person you replaced was also CA, worked only for two years. The moment, I promoted him, he left within six months."
"What about Ratan"? Then Kanwal sought Viplav's opinion.
He replied, "It is for you to decide Sir, because whole the year he was reporting to you functionally and administratively, so what, if I was passing his expenses bills as mere formality. I am not aware, what he does and did. I evaluated about what I knew only."
"Ok. Viplav let me give a thought and decide about," Kanwal concluded the discussion.
After about one month, HR informed Viplav that he was given a raise of 13 %. Ratan was promoted to assistant manager with 27% raise. Others also get raise between 13% to 18 %.
Viplav could not sleep overnight. He was trying to recollect as to what went wrong. Was it the hard work  with commitment and staying long hours to clear the pendency and putting all processes in line was wrong or was his straightforwardness or inability to become "yes" man of his CFO boss was wrong  as Ratan was successful in "managing" boss in spite of poor performance?

Questions for Discussion
1. What went wrong with Viplav? What corrections he should make for future?
2. Analyse the leadership style of CFO Kanwaljit Singh?
3. What is more important in organisations for an employee to grow? Flattery or competence or playing politics?