If you ask any person who has ever visited Chennai even once, they would definitely talk to you about the auto-rickshaw experience. It has become such a common sore point to even residents of Chennai. A recent guest reconfirmed through his experience that things have not changed much over the years. An auto-rickshaw man asked him for 200 rupees for a short haul of less than three kms.
If you ever dare to actually get into a conversation with any auto driver as to why they charge such exorbitant prices, you will hear reasons ranging from seemingly logical arguments such as petrol price rise, traffic diversions, traffic congestions to the most irrational arguments such as cost of a meal in Saravana Bhavan Hotel, lack of enough travellers, increase in cost of living etc.
Though personally we use a particular auto rickshaw man in our area extensively and have had extremely good experience consistently over years, such experiences definitely remain only as an exception. Hence when the need arose last week with our regular driver not being available, I decided to do a particular shuttle by the public bus service, rather than get impacted by ‘the auto rickshaw’ experience. Since it was not the peak hours of the day I was able to get a much cherished window seat and watch the city pass by (!)
At junctions where auto stands are typically located I found a common sight of a bunch of auto men chatting up. What also struck me was that many of these auto stands actually had a name. To my further surprise I found in my short journey more than three of them having the name ‘Good Will Auto Stand’. This got me thinking.
Many of these auto drivers may have been coming to the stand for many years if not decades – atleast once in a while they would be wiping this board and also decorating it during functions and celebrations. Why didn’t it strike them to even consider why they or somebody before them could have named the auto stand as ‘Good Will’? In their job as auto drivers what is the meaning of the word and how does it apply to them? If only they attempted to understand the meaning and its relevance to their job the reputation of Chennai Auto Rickshaws; would have been very different.
My thought process extended these questions to business as well. Almost every business house has a fairly well written Vision, Mission and Value Statements. They are normally beautifully framed just like the auto stand name board. They are also cleaned often, decorated and maintained regularly. All employees of the company pass by it almost every day. Just do exactly that Pass By.
As business owners have you taken enough effort to disseminate the intent behind these statements? As an employee have you taken the effort to understand how this impacts the way you execute your responsibilities? If indivuduals at corporate take conscious steps towards understanding and imbibing the guiding principles in daily work – wouldn’t the company and collectively the industry be percieved with more respect by their customers?
Are you thinking enough on these lines? Doesn’t this deserve your priority attention?