We have all read and heard so many things about the late S.P. Godrej, but a thought came to my mind while I was attending his 2nd Death Anniversary Jashan at Primary School on 20 May, 2002, to share my real experience of him with readers of CHANGE:

That stare has been frozen in my mind’s eye ever since 1992. It was more eloquent and expressive than a thousand words.

I was waiting for the lift on the ground floor in Plant-12 to go to the 2nd floor for official work. Suddenly, an elderly gentleman with a load of files and papers in his hand appeared behind me. As I was a new member of the GODREJ family, I could not place him. Nevertheless, I offered to give him a helping hand. "No, I will manage," he said. As he began to climb the stairs, he gave me a bewildering look, which I failed to read then.

It dawned on me pretty late what that bewilderment could be about! It was probably a simple straightforward probe, "You, young man, what is it that stops you from climbing up the stairs? Real age or false vanity?"

When I enquired of the driver later and came to know that he was none other than the Chairman of our Company, Mr. Sohrab P. Godrej, I could not help but salute him in silence.

I said to myself, "In this world with inverted ratio of values, we need to follow in the footsteps of such great leaders who leave the footprints of their towering personality on the sands of time."

Nariman Bacha
Personnel Administration (Plant-11)



This refers to "The Secret to Duck Shooting" based on Lee Iacocca’s Autobiography of July-August 2002 issue.

Two of my favourite authors on the subject of Business and Marketing Management have been Peter Drucker and Lido (Lee) Iacocca, both of whose writings have made a great impact the world over. In fact, Iacocca’s second book, Talking Straight, has more to reveal of his "marketing genius" and depicts the most pressing concerns of his life and that of others.

Much of what Iacocca said about his dealers in his autobiography applied so much to G&B dealers over the years when we were in service. This is what he had to say:

"It’s the dealers who have always been the guts of the car business in this country. While they have a working relationship with the parent company, they’re really the quintessential American entrepreneurs. They’re the ones who represent the heart of our capitalist system. And, of course, they’re the guys who are actually selling and servicing all the cars the factory’s turning out.

"Because I started out by working directly with the dealers, I knew what they were worth. Later, when I became part of management, I worked hard to keep them happy. If you want to succeed in this business, you all have to operate as a team. And that means the home office and the dealers have to be playing on the same side.

"The dealers are really the only customers a Company has. So it’s only common sense to listen very carefully to what they have to say, even if you don’t always like what you hear."

Talking of his Executives, Iacocca writes:

"Over the years, I’ve regularly asked my key people a few basic questions: ‘What are your objectives for the next ninety days? What are your plans, your priorities, your hopes? And how do you intend to go about achieving them??/font>

"The best way to develop ideas is through interacting with your fellow managers. This brings us back to the importance of team-work.

"I’m a great believer in having executives spend time together talking ?not always in formal meetings but simply shooting the breeze, helping each other out and solving problems."

It does make a lot of sense what Iacocca narrated in his Autobiography. He is always Talking Straight.

P.D. Muncherji