Ridhi Singhai, the founder of TintBox is an ardent believer of No Sir No Madam.  TintBox — Think Inside The Box — is India’s first and only brand of beautifully designed borosilicate glass products with protective silicone sleeve concept.

Ridhi Singhai, an engineering graduate in information technology (IT) landed a job in the same field.  However, she found the job mundane and uninspiring.  Moreover, being a mother, she was concerned using plastics, especially for our items of nutrition. 

Ridhi Singhai decided to create a better alternative for plastic boxes as she could not find a suitable option.  That is when she came up with the idea of TintBox.

She voraciously supports eradication of Sir/Madam culture from our society.  Ridhi opines — No Sir No Madam is a much-needed initiative in today’s India.  It is a simple idea that will help in eliminating a disparity within our society especially in corporate sector where the hierarchical ladder is vertical, and the gap is huge between two people of not very different positions.

In addition, if you want to build a strong relationship with anyone, it has to be formed on an equal ground.

Ridhi gives an example of her professional life.  She shares “My first job was at TCS.  I found it absurd when we were informed of the No Sir No Madam policy that they practiced in their office.  I have been habituated to address seniors with a salutation since my schooling days.  Therefore, this notion was completely new to me. 

However, I noticed a lot of benefits while communicating with my colleagues on a first-name basis.  Removing a salutation barrier made it easier for the new employees to approach anyone.  Additionally, I still continue to share a cordial relation with a lot of my colleagues from TCS till the date.”

Having experienced the positives of No Sir No Madam ideology, she instilled the same in her venture as well.  Ridhi remarks that not having a salutation custom makes it easier for employees to express themselves. 

Employees hesitate to share their opinions when Sir/Madam edict is imposed on them.  People need to understand that salutation mandate is counter-productive for the organization and must rid themselves of it.

Apart from the private sector, Ridhi highlights the dominance of saheb/Memsaheb culture in government offices.  She enunciates “My father worked in the government sector, and I have seen the implications of Sir/Madam tradition first-hand.  My father had a colleague, who was also a friend for many years. 

They used to address each other without any salutation.  However, my father’s friend got promotion, and now he had to address his friend as “Sir” which totally changed the dynamics of their friendship.”

In addition, she shares an instance of her husband who lost his driving license.  She narrates — My husband approached the concerned officer to apply for a new license.  He had to wait for 4-5 hours before his turn came.  After that he had to verify his documents, which her husband was sure that he had carried all the paperwork needed, with him. 

However, the officer kept insisting that he should complete his documents, which annoyed my husband.  Being irritated, he approached to a senior officer and told him about his scenario.  The senior officer too was not ready to help until my husband changed his tone and started addressing him as “Sir”.

This is the case in every government office in India.  Bureaucrats make the lives of citizens difficult just because they are in a position of authority.  Their desire to be addressed as “Sir/Madam” blinds them off their responsibilities.

As a social tool, No Sir No Madam also focuses on uplifting the less-privileged people of society.  Ridhi strongly utilizing No Sir No Madam doctrine can help in abolishing the taboos and prejudice related to the lower-economic demographics of our society. 

She voices “Blue-collar workers are equal citizens to this country.  They work hard as compared to us and even for longer hours.  We might not be able to change their lives overnight but the least we could do is give them the respect they deserve.”

Educating everyone about No Sir No Madam on a large scale can only be conducted through our education system.  Therefore, Ridhi also shares a similar opinion and recommends following No Sir No Madam teachings in school. 

She ventures — we have had Sir/Madam diktat imposed on us since the first day of school.  Even in my colleges, along with the professors, we had to refer to our seniors with a salutation as well.  Therefore, kids should be able to grow up in an education environment that is free of disparity and one that encourages expressing themselves.  No Sir No Madam culture can definitely help in achieving that.”

She concludes by recommending everyone to instill No Sir No Madam habit from home, by teaching kids the idea of mutual respect, and also practice it ourselves.  In continuation, the top-level executives within an organization should implement it in their offices and liberate their employees of unnecessary salutation custom.

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