Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Friday, 28 February 1986

FLOGGING A DYING HORSE

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

28 Feb 1986

To:

Dear Friends

FLOGGING A DYING HORSE

The correct  idiom is  "flogging a dead  horse" but  there is every possiblity that  the horse (Scooters India)  is dead by now.
This is because  the enclosed article about SIL  is almost 18 months old.
And  as of  Dec.  31, 1985,  we have  such  93,282 dying  (or dead?)  horses in  our  country.   These are  known as  "sick units".  What  I do not  know is whether  the above mentioned figure  includes  public-sector (Govt.  owned) sick-units  or not.  Most of  these are sick in fact VERY SICK.  if you wish to know how "sick", here are some  "temperature-readings".
No.
Govt. unit
Loss in last 3 years (Rs. CRORES)
1.
Engineering Projects India Ltd. (epi)
90.0
2.
Hindustan Steelworks Const. Ltd. (HSCL)
67.0
3.
Cycle Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL)
8.8
4.
Scooters India Ltd. (SIL)
50.0
5.
Tanneries & Footwear Corp. of India Ltd. (TAFCO)
53.0
I  understand   that  the  Govt.   is  planning   to  wind-up (close-down) the  first  3 units  and merge  the  remaining 2 units with some successful public or private sector company.
From the  "Dying Horse" article, we  find that neither  Bajaj nor HMT wants to even touch Scooters India!
And no  wonder I A similar  company in America  would perhaps employ  500 persons whereas Scooters India  has employed 3500 persons'. Reminds me of Bombay Municipality!  if BMC can sack (terminate/retrench)  half  of  its  employees,  productivity would go up FOUR TIMES! (If you  do not believe me, next time stop  and count  the number of  persons  pretending to  dig a hole for a faulty telephone cable !).
And  talking surplus  labour  (?)  HSCL  has  12000!  (See following article)
How long before some of us muster enough courage to ask
"Am I my brother's keeper?"

H.C. PAREKH

Wednesday, 12 February 1986

PRODUCTIVITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).


12 Feb 1986

To:
Dear Friends                

PRODUCTIVITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT


Does  increasing  productivity  increase unemployment?  Let's look   at  the   fundamental   definition   of  Productivity.
Productivity is equal to    Output                           
manpower
Let us take an example of our famous MK-1 starter.
In 1979-80, we  used to take 167 manhours  for final assembly of 1,000 nos. MK-1 starters.
Today, we take 133.8 manhours  for final assembly of the same number of MK-1 starters.
1979 productivity is equal to  1,000 starters =     5.98                                
167 manhours
1985 productivity is equal to  1,000 starters =     7.49                                
133.8 manhours
That means with  one manhour,  we are  able to assemble  7.47 starters in 1985 as compared with 5.98 in 1979.
Therefore, rise in Productivity = 24.8%
During the  same period, (1979-85) the wages of  the Assembly Worker  (working in MK1-Final Assembly)  went  up by  282%!!!
But CPI Index went up by only  179% in the same period.
So you have seen  that Productivity - increase, means  "doing same with less manhours".
That means, we  require less men than before  (to produce the same quantity).
That means, "surplus" people.
That means, unemployment!
Seems so  simple!  Some people  (the surplus-ones)  must lose their job !!
By now, you are itching to ask!
"If that is so, why  the hell must we  increase productivity?
-      If that means throwing some people on the roads?"
The answer is equally simple.
If  we do  not throw  some of  our  people on  the road,  the competitors will throw all of us on the road !!
If our productivity does not increase  (even at the cost of a few jobs),  our cost will  keep going up and  we cannot  sell our products in the market.

And, if we cannot sell our products, we do not need anybody.        
-      the Managers        
-      the Engineers        
-      the Accountants        
-      the Stenographers        
-      the Store-keepers        
-      the Workmen        
-      the whole lot  !!
And this is what seems to be  happening in Europe & elsewhere right now.   To  give you an  example, please  see the  chart below  showing   number  of  employees  shed   by  8  reputed companies.

Name of Company
Employees shed or proposed to be shed (Nos.)
1.
AT & T's information System Division
24,000
2.
Ford Motor Co.
10,000
3.
Union Carbide Corpn.
4,000
4.
C B S
2,000
5.
Motorola Semi-Convertor Group
9,200
6.
11,200
7.
Kodak
9% of its workforce
8.
21,000
Source            :      Fortune (international) Magazine October 28, 1985

Compared  to America,  and Japan,  the European  productivity continues  to be  low.   Hardly  a day  passes  without  some European  factory  closing down   (because they  cannot  sell their expensive products), throwing hundreds  of employees on the road.
This is especially true of  the European Automobile Industry. This is why  I have made some notes from a  recent article in time magazine,  which I am  reproducing below.  Now,  I would like you to answer the question,
"How   come,   Europe,   whose  productivity   has   remained static/stagnant over the last 8/10 years, has  a rising level of  unemployment, whereas  America, which  has increased  its productivity has  created 18,00,000 new jobs during  the same period?"
Did  you  say, "  ...  increased productivity  means  losing jobs?"

H.C. PAREKH

THE FISH, THE FROG & THE TORTOISE

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

12 Feb 1986

To:

Dear Manager


THE FISH, THE FROG & THE TORTOISE

In the "Tales from Panchatantra", there is a story about 3 friends, a fish, a frog and a tortoise, all of  whom stayed in a small  pond.  One year there were no rains and the pond started drying-up.   As soon as  the  fish realised  this (it was the first  one to  realise) it slipped  out of  the small pond into a  stream which flowed out and  took shelter into a large lake.

It took the frog somewhat longer to realise the danger when some children caught it in the drying mud. But somehow it managed to escape from the hands of the kids and slipped away into the stream.

The  tortoise was  the  slowest  -  both  in walking  and  in thinking; and  did not  realise what was  happening till  the entire pond  had dried up.  He  kept on roaming  aimlessly on the caked-up bottom  of the pond wondering what  had happened to his friends who were not to be seen around.

If you wish to know what "naseeb" befell the tortoise, you must read the Panchatantra yourself.   On the other hand, you can always make a guess.

But to answer the question    

"Could PEICO or BINNY have guessed their fate?"

You will need to, read the enclosed articles/news-items.

Which raises the next question,

"If  we at  L&T  could forecast  our  fate, could  we  do something now to change it to our liking?"

H.C. PAREKH

Sunday, 2 February 1986

IN- PLANT TRAINING OF LTIT STUDENTS

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

2 Feb 1986

To:
Dear Mr.      

Sub:  in-plant Training of LTIT students


At the outset, I wish  to thank you for your interest in this matter and  for attending a meeting  on this subject  at LTIT on 10th January.

Personally  to me,  LTIT  is an  act  of faith  -  an act  of commitment  on part  of  L&T Management.   Through  LTIT, we stand committed to improve the  future of the children of our employees and the  future of L&T as a  mini-society.  What we are  attempting is  not  merely  first-rate, future-oriented, industry-integrated,  purposeful  engineering education.   It is an  experiment to bring-about  a sea-change in work-ethics and  attitudes.    If we  succeed,  this  experiment  can  be duplicated  at thousands of other  institutions in India.  So we  must  succeed   and  that  depends  upon  you   and  your colleagues.!


Regards,
H.C. PAREKH