Ranjeet Kumar, CEO, and Co-Founder of Applicate acknowledges the boons of No Sir No Madam thesis. Applicate offers a product aimed at the front-end. It aims to transform the sales, service, marketing, and distribution functions of organizations with large teams.
After receiving his MBA from Delhi University, he spent the majority of his career in the private sector. Ranjeet was the Vice-President at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd., before commencing Applicate. He along with his colleague, Deepak Rawadi, realized the potential for a tool to maximize productivity. This is when they quit their jobs to embark on creating their company.
Ranjeet follows No Sir No Madam doctrine at his workplace too. His employees do not cling to any formal greeting. He believes in creating an environment where his employees can work without any inhibition. Ranjeet opines that respect should be given based on merit and not just because of someone’s age. Furthermore, first-name culture inculcates equal-footing in a company. It is important for everyone to feel equal and express their views or counter-views for growth.
However, even after creating a cordial and salutation devoid environment, some employees did not exercise first-name practice. To deal with this problem and inculcate a casual culture, he started imposing fine onto people who utilize salutation.
Having vast experience of working in private organizations, he is aware of the salutation decree exercised. While working in Coca-Cola, it was a culmination of both the customs. Some executives would encourage first-name greeting. However, there were some managers at the same time who would get offended by No Sir No Madam practice. This created a lot on confusion for Ranjeet. How and when to deploy first-name addressal.
In Indian culture, people judge each other on one’s behavior. It is imbibed into Indians to respect elders. This purveys an individual’s submission in order for everyone else to feel regarded. Somehow, this notion is exercised by government officials too. Ranjeet enunciates — bureaucrats feel entitled to be addressed as ‘Sir/Madam’. I always make sure to refer them with a salutation, so that they do not decline my work. It is a sad state of an affair that this is how our public offices operate.
Even pondering about the blue-collar jobs in India, a salutation diktat makes it difficult to propagate parity in society. People disparage laborers and consider them as inferior. Despite being independent for 70 years, we still follow and believe in such discriminatory taboos. It is essential to abolish such a supposition to reduce differences in the society. No Sir No Madam can help in achieving the same as it preaches equality and mutual-respect.
Henceforth, to eradicate such irrational beliefs, it has to be tackled at the grass-root level. Ranjeet states — Children in schools ought to be educated about No Sir No Madam drive. They should be taught how to show respect without adhering to any salutation.
It is also important to remove ‘Sir/Madam’ edict in colleges. In some colleges students are expected to refer their seniors as ’Sir/Madam’. These customs make people associate respect with salutation. Hence, it is vital to eradicate such vain traditions.
Ranjeet surmises that No Sir No Madam movement can have a bigger impact if people in higher designation exercise it too. People are generally inspired by leaders and therefore, would embrace this change. He also suggests carrying out campaigns regarding No Sir No Madam cause would help people know about the new culture.
“Overall, educating people and spreading awareness about the benefits of first-name custom is the most effective way to remodel Indian system,” he concludes.