Monday, February 21, 2011

Time is fast running out .......

Time is fast running out - lose no time to crucify non performing independent business heads of BSNL - emulate Azim Premji’s swift action of axing non performing top management of wipro. 

Azim Premji pioneer of software industry in India lost no time in axing CEOs of WIPRO for their non deliverance and non performance. Quick he was to respond that if top managers are not agile and up on their feet, they have to be shown the door. And the time he gave them to deliver was reasonable enough- nearly three years. The reason that Software wizard attributed to major management shakeup is repositioning of Wipro as software leaders that they were some time before. In stark contrast, independent business heads of BSNL are safe in their saddles despite being in a state of complete decision making paralysis for the last about three years. 
Giving credit to his rivals TCS, Infosys, Cognizant etc for adopting pragmatic business strategies, software expert minced no words to acknowledge that early visible signs of downturn of Wipro, even though the growth of the Company did not decline in real terms, prompted him to act as swiftly as possible in effecting major leadership changes. With market opportunities again exploding, what we need is an agile and different leadership to position the Company as leaders in the field and where we really missed out was our lack of agility to move fast enough in comparison to our competitors candidly acknowledges dashing Azim. It is important to be the leaders and that is what keeps the organization and its employees up, Wipro Chairman asserts.
What are the priorities of the new leader- to perfect act of execution, have in place right strategy, the right geography, right customers, prioritization of customers, grow them better, mind them better, give more value to them and execute lot of areas in the Organization where we are not executing.
Compare swift action of owner of Wipro to that of BSNL. Four years of continuous and unprecedented downfall in all areas of telecom business, owners of BSNL are unmoved. Independent business heads of BSNL in Commercial mobility and Consumer fixed access have performed miserably and not a single head are rolled.
While Wipro Chairman has done exactly what Sam Pitroda has recommended for revamping of BSNL i.e major overhaul at the top management level to allow major structural and other critical innovative reforms to be carried out smoothly and quickly to put BSNL back on the track, owners of BSNL have put this sweeping change on the backburner. Rolling of heads at the top would have led to indiscriminate and badly needed axing of incredibly huge non performing stuff down the line to make the Company leaner and efficient. Unless non performing top managers are axed for their total and continuing failure to deliver on all business fronts, nothing is going to percolate down in terms of fixing accountability and a performance based mechanism. Making loud noises about introducing performance related mechanism is beating about the bush unless crucifixion of innumerable non performers at the top takes place.       
How can a commercial Organization operating in a fierce competition go ahead when independent business heads of the Company have miserably failed on all the fronts? Business head of Consumer mobility(CM), for instance, a potential business organ of the Company failed miserably in successfully launching 3G services despite huge strategic first mover advantage because there was absolutely no thought process, no planning, no ground preparation, no coordination, no strategy, no team effort- the disastrous outcome was expected. Wimax has met the same fate. Procurement mechanism for 2G is frozen because of lack of application in the process, small procurement issues for leased lines and sale of bandwidth are lingering on for years. And there is no end, excuses to justify failures galore.
Switch over to another potential business area- consumer fixed access – ambitious CDR instead of resolving complex convergence billing issues has frozen billing resulting in huge revenue losses. Private operators have enormously benefited by introducing CDR billing pattern and vendor for both BSNL and private service providers is same, TCS. NGN continues to be a nightmare since we are unable to finalize mechanism for procurement of NGN for the last more than five years. No long term strategy to capitalize on potential broad band segment. And the shopping list is endless. The question for custodians of BSNL is how long and how far.
 MOC&IT and other top functionaries of the government entrusted with the crucial job of nurturing a healthy state owned telecom Company need to hit at the root of the problem i.e bringing in highly talented and competitive professionals to lead the Organization. Crucifixion of existing incompetent, non delivering business heads is the need of the hour- Azim premji lost no time in axing non performing CEOs. Owner of BSNL i.e MOC&IT has lost the will to act against non performing top brass of BSNL.
Sam pitroda’s blue print for revival of BSNL is something on which the owner of BSNL must act upon as speedily as possible. The starting point of revival of BSNL would be giving a very dispassionate and serious thought to introducing “Management Structure” envisaged in the road map. This will mark the beginning of other implementing other massive restructuring plans to make the whole organization vibrant and a force to reckon with in telecom business. Azim premji has shown us the way, let MOC&IT and his bandwagon of policy makers follow the suite?                            

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