While driving in the streets of Bengaluru (or anywhere else in India, for that matter), it is common to see vehicles coming down the wrong direction in a 4 lane road that is divided by a concrete road divider. Often, it is to “save” on a precious few milliliters of fuel because the option of following the rules would force them to travel a few kilometers more. Auto rickshaws, taxis, bicycles, mopeds, motorbikes, cars, buses and even trucks are guilty of doing this. For an independent observer, it can be quite startling to see how little these vehicle drivers care for their lives as well as others’! As it is driving in India is an exercise in alertness and road awareness and all those who drive down the wrong side of the road, be it in city traffic or on the highway, endanger their lives and those of others in their endeavor to save a few Rupees.
The Indian consumer’s mindset is completely price driven. Coming from a colonial past and the era of License Raj and a closed economy till 1991, we are extremely price conscious. Tales of customers opting for a toothbrush and toothpaste that are 1% cheaper than the alternative abound. In this scenario, changing the mindset to value quality is challenging. Switch to the IT industry and we have a similar situation playing out with senior roles often occupied by older people with a mindset of the era that they come from. Not all of them are receptive to new ideas and the new approach to work. Even emails came about in the late 90s or early 2000s.
I have noticed the supercilious attitude towards change and resistance towards any new ideas brought about by a younger leader. How, then, can this mindset ever be changed? I do not have an answer to this question. I can only hope that when I am in those shoes a little later in my life, I have the humility to accept a new mode of operation and believe that newer methods can yield better results than those that I may have used. Acceptance and humility can go a long way in accomplishing goals and delivering results.