Business Today

Battle-scarred Veterans

As in people, adversity can bring out the best in organisations, too. Companies with sound business strategy are defying the laws of gravity and will emerge from the ongoing recession more battle-hardened and stronger than before.

     Print Edition: April 5, 2009

Battle-scarred Veterans
As in people, adversity can bring out the best in organisations, too. Companies with sound business strategy are defying the laws of gravity and will emerge from the ongoing recession more battle-hardened and stronger than before. (BT cover, March 22 ). Having long figured that cycles of boom and bust are and will remain an inseparable part of doing business, these companies have put in place the right strategy to see them through the periods of downturn.
— Vikram Sood, through e-mail

Out of depth
Isn’t it bizarre that the government, by its own admission, claims to have no credible mechanism to verify the actual number of jobs lost to the recession (BT cover, Job Losses— Are You Next? March 8) . Under the circumstances, what are we supposed to make of the putative figure of 5-20 lakh job losses, as cited by the Ministry of Labour? If the government itself is in the dark about the true numbers, how can it be expected to address the aggravating problem of job losses in the country? It sounds quite far-fetched, if not altogether quixotic, that a government which does not even possess the means or the mechanism to find out accurately the scale and magnitude of the jobs crisis buffeting the nation should think of introducing unique I-cards for all Indian citizens.
— Benjamin M, through e-mail

In the time of job losses
Thanks to years of buoyant growth, economic liberalisation and globalisation, job seekers in India had never had it so good. High consumer spending and greater consumption ensured that industries and businesses were forever looking to meet the spurt in demand by bulging their employee workforce to boost productivity.

The times being good then, anyone with a degree and some level of competency stood a good chance of finding employment while those talented enough felt spoilt for choices. But times have turned sharply since then. The jig is up for both the employers and employees as they strain to fight off a deepening recession. As companies dig up new ways to cut costs and as employees find themselves up against increasing layoffs and retrenchment, people are suddenly waking up to the needs for multitasking and acquiring higher education and skills. On the other hand, responsible organisations are now training employees to become more “employable” within and outside the company so as to soften the blow of a job loss should it come.
D.B.N. Murthy, through e-mail

Cast your vote with caution
I agree with the message in the Political Economy (BT, March 22) that while the next government is most likely to be a coalition, its most critical task will be to do everything in its power to get the economy back on rails. Your article posits that the chances of the economy being nursed back to health would be brighter if either the Congress or the BJP wins enough seats on their own. That way, these big parties would be better able to absorb the pulls and pressures from smaller and regional parties and could focus more on economic issues. Voters concerned about the economic well being of the country, too, have an onerous responsibility to bear. They must vote with discretion and without considerations of caste, politics and religion.
Bal Govind through e-mail

Safeguarding IPRs
It is encouraging to note that India is now waking up to the challenge of protecting and valuing intellectual property rights (Protect or Perish, BT, March 22) . This newfound fervour for protecting our IPRs now extends to a gamut of trademarks across industries and businesses, including complex pharmaceutical product patents. Protecting these is sure to yield rich payoffs in the long run. It will enable India to climb up the ladder of innovation and keep abreast of the knowledge curve while also earning international respect for its value creation.
Dr Navneet Wadhwa, through e-mail

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