Piran Elavia: Do Not Let Anyone Compel You to Follow ‘Sir/Madam’ Culture

Piran Elavia, the founder at Kipepeo (http://www.kipepeo.in) discerns the necessity for No Sir No Madam drive in evolving India.  Kipepeo is a socially inclined enterprise which believes in bringing about a sustainable world through the medium of tourism.

Before incorporating Kipepeo, he worked at Reliance Retail Ltd.  After getting tired of the monotonous routine, he decided to take a break.  He volunteered for a Non-government organization (NGO) work in Sikkim.  Piran, on returning home quit his corporate job.  He was inspired from this experience.  Hence, he conceptualized Kipepeo.

Piran, being a believer of first-name practice, has also inculcated the same in his office.  He does not like addressing someone as ‘Sir/Madam’.  His employees do not have to accustom themselves to any mandate while working.  He opines — Respect comes from within.  Just because an individual address you with a salutation, not necessarily mean that he/she respects you.  He also confesses that No Sir No Madam ideology helps people to connect better and feel at par with each other.

While he was working in Reliance, he noticed the prevalence of Salutation custom.  Piran states, “Everyone used to refer to executives as ‘Sir/Madam’.  We used to be afraid that we do not end up offending the senior managers.”  People widely associate respect with a salutation in the corporate sector.  Those who oppose No Sir No Madam culture are generally egoistic, he adds.  Such people need to be made aware about the positive effects of the first-name system.

Piran enunciates — If employees are liberated from salutation compulsions, they will feel more comfortable.  Moreover, it would assist employees in connecting with their seniors and work more efficiently.

Even in the Indian government sector, ‘Sir/Madam’ tradition is exercised rigorously.  Officials feel insulted when a person addresses them by their first-name.  Piran voices — Bureaucrats compel you to refer them with a salutation.  People do not object to it as they are at the mercy of such officers in their work.  This happens all across India, and it is vital that such practices should be eradicated.

Furthermore, Piran enumerates on the situation of petty job workers in India.  Laborers are disregarded and discriminated on the kind of work they do.  He reminisces, for his start-up work; he once had to work with a local community.  The people within that community treated Piran as he belonged from a royal family.  Those people considered him as a celebrity as he belonged from a big city.  People living in small villages believe that they are inferior to the town folks.

Similarly, people holding blue-collar jobs are treated very poorly.  However, they hold a significant position in the society.  Without them, we would be the ones doing all the hard work.  Hence, Piran mentions that everyone should be treated equally irrespective of their work.

Salutation decree is ingrained into people since the British rule.  Nevertheless, it is time that we let go of customs set by them.  This can be achieved by remodeling the structure from grass-root levels.  Piran advocates, No Sir No Madam ideology should be taught to children in schools.  It would have a huge impact, if kids are educated about showing respect without cohering to any salutation.

Piran surmises — bringing this socially beautiful change will take time.  However, it is important to implement it.  I have no doubt; it would be easier to implement first-name habit into kids.  As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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