Moin Jafri: First-Name Habit Improves Communication Whereas ‘Sir/Madam’ Culture Restraints People from Sharing their Views
Moin Ahmad Jafri, the director of TechIndia Software (https://www.techindiasoftware.com) understandingly encourages the wide spread awareness of No Sir No Madam drive in India. TechIndia Software is an India-based online marketing and IT services company. They provide comprehensive web-based services such as, online marketing, web designing, web development, software development, and dedicated link building.
Moin is a Bachelor of Technology. He has spent the majority of his career working for various companies as an online marketing analyst in the field of digital marketing.
He conveys, “At TechIndia Softwares, we follow first-name culture. I think communicating with peers on a first-name basis enhances communication and generates sharing of ideas. Whereas, ‘Sir/Madam’ custom restricts people from expressing their views and opinions. Moreover, ‘Sir’ is a title, which people achieve when they have accomplished something major in their lives. Addressing people at a workplace with salutations is totally unnecessary.”
Moin shares the unpleasant experience he had when his career began. He articulates — after graduation, I was working in a digital media company, where they had under graduates working for them. It was shocking to me, that I had to refer these under-graduates employees with a salutation just because, they had joined the company before me. I left that company as I never enjoyed working there. The workplace culture was very hierarchical and constrained me from working at my full potential. In addition, my peers would get upset, if I addressed them by their first-name.
However, he later joined a company where the employees adhered to No Sir No Madam ideology. Moin narrates, “I remember, upon joining, my CEO had sent me a welcoming letter. Out of habit, I replied saying ‘Thank You, Sir’. I was amazed to see how prompt he was in informing me to address him by his first-name. I later realized that they followed No Sir No Madam tradition in their company.” In continuation, Moin opines that a lot of companies have now started adopting first-name custom. However, a significant number of Indian companies remain uneducated about the benefits of no salutation environment of the workplace.”
Furthermore, he shares his interaction with public sector officials, who consider ‘Sir/Madam’ greeting as the ultimate form of respect. Moin visited a public bank regarding some work. On entry, he only stated his purpose of a visit to the official and was waiting for his turn. Although, the concerned officer ignored Moin. Consequently, he approached the manager to address this issue and have his work acknowledged. The manager too snubbed Moin. In the end, he had to change his tone and refer the officers as ‘Sir’ and had to plead them to get his work noticed.
Such practices continue to carry on in many government offices across India. People have to subordinate themselves in order to get their work observed by bureaucrats. Moin ventures that government employees are able to misuse their position in this manner, as they know the public is dependent on them. Subsequently, they take advantage of this fact to boost their ego. He mentions — there needs to be some sort of monitoring that would keep these office-bearers in check. Instilling No Sir No Madam convention in the government sector would definitely reduce such malpractices.
He contemplates upon the status of blue-collar workers in India. Moin states “As a human being, everyone is entitled to equal respect. Therefore, it does not make sense to discriminate people because of the work they do. Every individual holds a certain important role in society or in an organization. Without them, the functioning of any firm can totally disrupt. Ergo, we ought to give them the regard they deserve.”
A lot of Indian people subdue themselves to salutation edict because of lack of awareness. Thus, Moin advises No Sir No Madam theory should be a part of curriculum in schools and colleges. This would prepare the students with respect to the corporate culture and be self-aware of their dignity. As Dan Brule quoted on the essence of awareness “Awareness allows us to get outside of our mind and observe it in action.”