Amber Nigam, Founder of Kydots.ai , a Y-Combinator startup, enthusiastically upholds the No Sir No Madam culture. Amber pursued Computer Science in his bachelor’s. He is now an entrepreneur and researcher. Presently, Amber’s company is working on a problem in networking and career progression domain using artificial intelligence (AI) and Psychometry.
Amber is also an AI adviser to multiple start-ups and an NGO concerning women’s safety. He has worked on challenging problems that include Automated Essay Scoring (AES), Automatic Speech Scoring, and Question Answer Engine for the chatbot. He has recently published a paper on semantic evaluation and AES in Europhras London.
Amber Nigam promotes a mutually respectful environment at his workplace. He states that the concept had always been a part of his mind. Through several initiatives, now he has knowingly started to practice it. Amber maintains a non-hierarchical structure in his company where all are team members and not employees.
Amber indicates that cultural differences play a crucial role. In some countries, people oppose the Sir/Madam culture. When regarded with those terms, they feel old and uncomfortable. Those societies consider the first-name based communication as professional.
Students in schools and colleges are manipulated under a certain system.
When Amber hired interns, he noticed that misleading ideas ingrained in their minds. He constructed an equitable communication system for everyone. Amber’s partner who has twenty years more experience, his interns and other team members stand on the same platform. This instills confidence and motivation in every member of the company.
Amber believes that the Sir/Madam culture is age and stature dependent. He was born and brought up in the small city of Bareilly in UP, where many people blindly follow the custom. As a part of this tier-two city, Amber got accustomed to the same idea to some extent. People in such believe in a misconstrued perception of respect.
Amber adds that to avoid confrontation and trouble, people simply follow such norms while dealing with authority figures. He saw government officials in electricity bill payment offices being uncooperative. Amber asserts, “They expect the other person to bow down to satisfy their inflated ego.”
Consequently, his parents reminded him to follow the protocol on many an occasion not to infuse fear but rather as a precaution to stay out of trouble.
Amber’s mindset changed as he interacted with Professors from Harvard University and MIT. As a public speaker, he recently noticed a massive difference while he was in Gurgaon schools. Students were addressing him by his first name. They spoke confidently and were not afraid to exchange ideas or ask questions.
Amber perceives the Sir/Madam taboo to be more pervasive in the forces. There are some expectations of respect that overpowers logical thinking. He noticed that the security personnel have to salute the higher rank authorities at all times. Amber disagrees with this system and finds it demeaning and disrespectful.
We have been conditioned to this regressive system of thought. Amber observes that age or stature should not give someone an upper hand to beg respect. People need to fight for themselves and others to bring much-needed change.
Amber Nigam suggests that the No Sir No Madam initiative should reach out to not only the metropolitan cities but also to the tier two and tier three cities. He thinks that if the government takes up the cause, it can create a larger impact. Therefore, Amber thinks we should conduct sessions with the preschool or school children. Although this will not show any immediate result, it might have a greater effect in the future.
Amber concludes that we should plan to build an egalitarian society for which eradication of these taboos are necessary. One should motivate the human mind in the right direction. Lastly, he states, “By demanding respect you are simply demeaning yourself.”