Naveen Kumar Meena, Founder of ToRoots encourages the No Sir No Madam culture to create a positive influence within the country. While pursuing MBA, Naveen started a non- commercial venture with his friends in 2011 known as CollegeKhabar. However, his journey as an entrepreneur primarily started with his company ToRoots in 2015.
The company provides a platform for enterprising people in villages to with a curated panel of travel bloggers, travel experts, and photographers to co-create and market Experiential Travel packages.
Naveen had been introduced to the No Sir No Madam culture when he got recruited by a mentor, during B- School. His employer insisted that Naveen must address him by his name. Naveen recalls that at a certain point, the executive stopped responding when regarded as Sir. This made him aware about the culture and quickly adapted with it.
The culture now has become second nature to Naveen. He follows it in his company and encourages other members to do the same. He believes that “Respect does not come from calling anyone as Sir or Madam.”
Rather he thinks it creates a divide among all the members in the company which can eventually affect the productivity. Therefore, he constantly tries to build a discrimination-free system within his company which he hopes the society will gradually follow.
In start-up environment, Naveen states it is more important to the team to be cohesive. His team deals with all personal and professional problems together like a family. The members are never hesitant to ask for help when they need it due to the absence of hierarchy. While he once was posted in Gurgaon for a company, he saw major difference in his own team and other teams of the same company. The absence of such friction will be a promising impact in the workings of the company.
Naveen affirms that he has seen the Sir/Madam culture to be more prevalent in the public sector than in private sector. He states that government employees do no cooperate as much on being regarded by their name.
This creates fear of authority among public, which can never result in genuine respect. Naveen thinks respect can be gained only through honest work, which would in turn result in mutual respect.
Naveen believes that education is the most important factor in everyone’s life. He states that by the age of eight, a human mind is developed and shaping it henceforth is important. Teachers play a crucial role in molding the minds of children in a positive manner.
Naveen adds that students in India should address their teachers by their name, like many foreign countries, to bring in change. In India, the concept of pride and respect is cocooned in several taboos. Naveen understands that it would take a long time to entangle free from such negativities.
However, he is positive about the approach taken by No Sir No Madam. He thinks that the initiative taken by the organization is commendable and can bring gradual change. This change can be brought by educating all sections of the society.
Naveen considers that respect should come from the heart and should not be fabricated. People with higher authority should provide everyone equal respect. He also hopes that citizens will consider themselves accountable and would adopt No Sir No Madam culture for country’s better development.