Gaurav H Luthra; IIFT Alumnus: No Sir No Madam, a Change for Good

Gaurav Luthra, the founder of What’s Up Life ( carries a glaring attitude towards No Sir No Madam cause.  What’s Up Life is one of the largest online lifestyle media platform present in 5 cities right now namely Gurgaon, New Delhi, Noida, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.  What’s Up Life is a local lifestyle channel and Page 3 redefined.  It is an editorially curated discovery guide for dining out, party, leisure, and events around you.

Gaurav is an alumnus from the famous Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT); he started his professional career working in a telecom company.  However, his zeal to be an entrepreneur made him quit his job on the day of confirmation.  Wherein he started a real estate and investment company for the keen interest that he had in the sector.

Gaurav follows an open culture in his startup.  As an earnest follower of first-name theory, the company never shared a designation on visiting cards since beginning.  This avoids the categorization of people based on designation.  Ostracism of this removes barriers in communication.  No Sir No Madam removes the hierarchy.  Therefore, employees can share their innovations freely and confidently.

Gaurav mentions, “In startups, it is much common to apply No Sir No Madam tradition.  However, it is different with big corporates.  They still expect formal salutation from juniors as a mark of respect.”  Senior people, especially, at higher position are not very comfortable with this theory.   As, they have been addressed as Sir/Madam from the beginning of their careers— adds Gaurav.

He agrees that in government organizations, Sir/Madam trend is apparently prominent.  Specifically, the clerks take these salutations audaciously.  Though, he mentions — in service industries this culture cannot be avoided until we find a good substitute for it.  India with a very diverse culture has many alternatives to avoid Sir/Madam tradition.  No Sir No Madam will reduce the communication gap initially and finally, increase the efficiency.

Gaurav recalls a time when in restaurant industry the person on duty such as waiters use to be afraid to go to higher authorities.  Although with No Sir No Madam culture now they can share what they wish to.  For a change in culture, we need to create a system by communicating with people.  Even providing them alternatives of showing respect can be a way.  “By addressing people with names, an instant bond is created” shares Gaurav.

Gaurav states “I might not address a Government Official as ‘Sir’; yet, to a police man, I have to say Sir to get things done without much delay.”

Vocalizing about blue-collar employees, he mentions that it depends on person to person how they treat them.  Consideration of a person in this case also presents their morality.  Personally, he feels much connected by invoking his helpers as “bhaiya” or “aunty.”  Mr. Luthra is even comfortable to be mentioned as “Gaurav” by them.

No Sir No Madam tradition should be taught to the next generation.  This should be implemented in the education system to the great extent.  To take this from grass root level would be the right way.  Awareness should be created from grass root level, as children are the future of our country.

Gaurav concludes, “This culture will begin from personal implementation only.”  Change starts from one.  As Paulo Coelho said, “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”

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