Supriya Saboo: I Do Not Believe in Sir/Madam Culture

Supriya Saboo, Director, Masterstrokes Advertising Pvt. Ltd, (http://www.masterstrokes.in) ardently upholds No Sir No Madam ideology.  Masterstrokes Advertising assists their clients by providing effective and purposeful brands, apps, websites, and overall consumer experience.

She has received her bachelor’s in fine arts, design and applied arts from the University of Delhi.  Belonging to a middle-class family background, her parents wanted her to settle down and not pursue her career.  However, with an ambition to follow her dreams, she asked for a grace period of one year.  Supriya set out to build her business with a fear of getting married before testing her potential.  This fear made her cross every barrier and write a success story of creating an empire worth 50 crores (approximately 10 million).

Supriya does not implement any decree in her company.  She mentions, “I do not impose any rule onto my employees.  They can address me as they want.  However, I suggest them to refer me by my first-name.  It is funny that some of them still address me as ‘Madam’ even after eradicating salutation mandate.”

She confesses that no salutation custom helps in being more receptive with her employees.  Initially, people are scared and adhere to ‘Sir/Madam’ tradition.  However, with time, they get accustomed to the company’s culture and follow the first-name addressal.  Abolishing such hierarchical barriers let the employees express their ideas without any hesitation.  This helps in building a cordial environment to work in, she adds.

It is often noticed in some corporate companies, that people still follow the salutation diktat.  Supriya surmises — I do not understand why one needs to address a senior as ‘Sir/Madam’ in a professional arena.  We all work in the company for the same objective.  People need to realize that respect is earned by your talent and hard work, and not by your age.  In some cases, senior executives are adamant about being addressed with a salutation.  This is totally unnecessary, Supriya advocates.

In private sector, ‘Sir/Madam’ custom also sets a basis for others to judge you.  People judge on the way you refer to your seniors.  Whereas, an individual should be judged on the basis of his or her potential and contribution.  Moreover, a lot of time is wasted on trying to please senior managers.

Outside the private sector, salutation decree pre-dominantly exists in government offices.  People have to comply by the order set by bureaucrats and ministers.  Supriya states that she is afraid to refer officials by their first-name as they might feel offended.  Individuals usually heed to their authority to get their work completed.  She talks about how she saves the name of government officials in her phone with a prefix of ‘Sir/Madam’ attached to it.  “I do it so that I do not forget to address them with a salutation and have my work rejected.  This has happened in the past; hence, I take precautionary measures,” Supriya enumerates.

Furthermore, she emphasizes on removing salutation implications that are imposed on blue-collar workers.  It should not be necessary for them to address their employers as ‘Sir/Madam’.  However, Supriya voices — people from low-economic sections also need to be educated on the importance of respecting one another.  They need to be made aware about the responsibilities that come along with No Sir No Madam doctrine.

To inculcate the habit of addressing everyone by their first-name, she suggests that it needs to be enforced at the school level.  She gives an example of her school, where she had to refer her seniors as ‘Sir/Madam’.  Such practices need to be exterminated for the mental growth of the students.  This would also help in uprooting the notion of exercising salutation fiat from their minds.

She recommends — Conduct seminars in corporate offices and government sector to spread more awareness about No Sir No Madam movement.  Supriya also urges to notice the positive effects of this genial philosophy by implementing it in our daily life.

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