Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The long and the short of it: D [:D]

Seldom does the precise location of two small Dots have the influence to change the underlying implication as it does in this title phrase - Whether the colon is next to it ("it: D") or next to D (":D") would create entirely different first impressions, from attempting to describe something significant to making outright pun of "it". It makes me wonder if the D in the title has virtually put the two tiny dots in a dualistic predicament of deciding between approbation and contempt (of D itself!). This protagonist in this play of characters is the dreadful D, the 4th letter of the English alphabet and a shorthand for many catchwords including D-Day, Dilbert, Drugs, Drinks, Dance, Drama, Dev D, and of course the Dot, and Deloitte. I worked at Deloitte, at Deloitte D4 for 22 months. This post is to provide the long and the short of it, the gist of my Deloitte Dot experience. The Dot after the Deloitte is very important, for some it is an integral part of the brand itself, for some others the abbreviation DD itself speaks!

Dealing with ambiguity - these were probably the first few words that I heard inside Deloitte Dot, and now this is almost a cliché. While ambiguity has been a recurring theme at Deloitte Dot, other dominant themes include clarity (lack of it), uncertainty, and Duality. Duality here is similar to the wave-particle duality of light - Depending on the observer, the work could very well be described as consulting-like or non-consulting-like, but not both at the same time by the same observer. So the place is divided into two schools of thought, those who believe this is consulting and those who believe this isn’t. Flip it around and the same picture can be described by another two schools of thought, those who believe this is s**t and those who believe this isn’t. As a result, you will find the place filled with the believers and the non-believers, the whys and the why-nots, desis and the pardesis, hypocrites and the not-so-hypocrite-but-not-yet-sincere, the well-networked and the recluse to name a few. The official line, though, is the middle line, on the assumption that such an integrated model (as its often quoted) would drag other managerial influential themes such as ambiguity and confusion into the midst of this dualistic quandary. The integrated model, the solution to this dualistic quandary, is nothing but a supreme art of management rhetoric. Indeed, rhetoric is the therapy just as networking is a way of life at Deloitte Dot.

Something as simple as research gathering and structuring can be expressed in completely contrasting ways as in the below dialogue:

Believer: I understand that Deloitte Dot has provided you with ample opportunities to bring exciting things to the table, like, building intelligence and landscapes?

Me: Well, part of the work involved searching for and collating necessary information via secondary research

Non-believer: Basically, he was asked to do s**t, except that maybe, he is flushing it out rather than flushing it in!!

In short, just as the D in the title had put the tiny dots in a dualistic predicament, so did the D (or the DD) bipolarize this tiny world – two worlds which are mutually incompatible, in terms of what they believe, say or speak.

(While my work at Deloitte Dot has at times caused some dismay, in general, I have had no feelings about it either way. This ambivalence attitude had left me less affected by either of the schools)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


What is competition about? The desire to excel or the desire to beat everyone around you? Do both mean the same? I am not sure. Probably why I decided to write this post. I love this materialistic world, because it offers a myriad of pleasures that you can not resist. On the other hand, it drives me crazy, because I am under constant pressure to perform, to deliver, to show off, to exude confidence even when I am feeling low. Human beings are a rare species. We are ingrained with some thing called competitive spirit, which means no matter what we do, irrespective of whether we like what we are doing or not, we are still driven with a passion to be the best. I wonder why none of us has any desire to be at the last. I have not known a single guy who has the desire to be at the bottom in any field. Its funny, because I have underestimated the human competitive spirit. Its far more manipulative that I have ever given it credit for.

Now lets look at a hypothetical world, where people become happy if they stand last. Irrational? probably, but just imagine for a moment. All people at the bottom of the field are gonna make merry and all those at the top are gonna cry. Things suddenly start to become extremely simple. You don't have to do anything to be at the end. Because, while there can be only one 'first', there can be many 'lasts'. People don't do anything, people stand at the bottom and everyone is happy. Its a win-win situation. Isn't that utopia? Everyone is happy. In this real world, there is definitely lot of progress, because people try to compete with each other. But sadly, there is only one winner, and only one utopian!

And, by the way, I did not make any attempt to make this post any better than what its intended to serve.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Choice and nationality

Of late, there has been considerable debate among the sports fraternity, about the dedication of Indian cricketers to the game and to the country itself. While I do agree with the majority opinion that most of them are driven by self-motivated interests, the debate threw at me some questions befitting a much larger picture. Many eminent writers would have written many articles on patriotism and whether it is or is not required for a person to serve the nation. I have of course, never read much about it, but have chosen to delve upon it today. Considering myself to be a naive thinker on this topic, I expect my arguments to be quite rudimentary.

In this post, I choose to address the question of nationality. How are two nations actually different? Lets consider the simple case of two adjoining nations. Are they different because of the boundary lines or are they different because the people under the two nations are loyal to their respective governing bodies. For example, consider India and Pakistan without any governing bodies. Is it then, possible to distinguish an India from a Pakistan? Does the boundary matter in such a case? Its the same with any state. Two states are different only because the people within each state are loyal to their respective governing bodies. So the only way a governing body exists is because of the loyalty of the people to that governing body. This is actually quite obvious, but probably the line of argument isn't so. So for the sustainability of a governing body it is necessary that the body ensures that people remain loyal to it, and hence invoke the principle of patriotism. After all if there wasn't a concept called patriotism, the governing bodies wouldn't exist. So in other words, when one says that their country is great, they are actually praising the governing body. This is quite ironical because in general, even in cases where the governing bodies are democratically elected, they are often criticized. So, there is a constitution to which all citizen repose faith in, and thereby convince themselves that they are actually praising the constitution rather than the governing body when they shower praises on their country. In line with the arguments given above, it is my opinion, that it is absolutely necessary for a governing body to motivate the people whom it governs to be patriotic to its nation, solely for its own survival. This does not mean, that a particular person or a group of persons are driving this notion, but rather it is the whole system that drives it purely because it has to sustain. It is the indeed the oxygen to the governing system.

It is therefore in my opinion, sensible to love people around you, but it is probably not necessary for people to be (madly) passionate about the nation. The problem of course, comes that if one is not passionate about one's nation, he/she would be passionate about some other nation, purely as a matter of choice, complicating matters of governance.