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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Response to Mohit Chandra's Open Letter to India's Graduating Classes

Mohit Chandra, who is a partner with KPMG, considers himself to be the guardian angel of Indian recruiters and has written a gem of an open letter to Indian Graduates and would be Graduates, which in turn, was duly published under the India Ink section of the New York Times.
Although, some of the points, raised by Mr. Mohit Chandra, are valid, but his chosen style of expression reeks of "Oh! I am holier than thou!" attitude. Plus, the article lacks intellectual depth and is like all and sundry rants that we get to hear from the “phoren returned” crop, who, it seems know everything about India and Indians. While it might apply to the entire sample size that author had access to, although, I would doubt that too, it is sheer slander of the population with the good skills, mindset and ethics too. His is not a balanced evaluation of the ground realities, and even he fails to do anything but preach. In the scope of the entire article, he has not, for even once, tried to show a way out of the perceived problem areas and shortcomings. But then, Chandra’s way is the fashionable path these days!
Below, I have tried to respond to each of the points, as has been mentioned by Chandra in his article. I would suggest that before further reading this piece, everybody should read the piece written by Chandra, the URL for which has been provided at the start of this post.
It’s true that there's an urgent need for improving the communication skills, especially among the freshly minted graduates, who had studied in the vernacular medium up to the 10th standard. But, and it’s a big b-u-t, English is a foreign language and we, the Indians cannot be expected to have native level proficiency over the language.
What does one mean by a cliché like “out of the box thinking”? Can Mr. Chandra coin a better term than "out of the box thinking" to represent the essence of "out of the box thinking" in a better manner? On one hand, Indian employers expect the employees to be "process driven" and would not tolerate "any deviation from the set processes" and on the other, they expect them to "think out of the box"! Is that a joke, Mr. Chandra? Am I supposed to laugh on this? Sorry to say that it did not induce the intended laughter.
I really would like to know the number of question that Chandra would have asked during his stint in the Hindu College. Ask questions? And, who will shield the fresh graduate from the snide remarks? In most Indian businesses, if someone questions the hierarchy, s/he will have to look for another job, the very next week itself. That’s how the average Indian business operates. I have been lucky to have worked in very different atmospheres, but not everyone is that much lucky.
Taking responsibility for our career is normally what we do. By the way, can Mr. Chandra kindly specify the working hours and number of working days per week for the new employees, who were supposed to be trained? What needs to be known is whether they had enough time, stamina and enthusiasm left, after slogging it out in the office, for taking up the e-Learning training programs.
I had almost burst out laughing when Chandra mentioned the terms “Professionalism” and “ethics”. If he had broached the subject in front of the “kuttis” of Dacca, they would have told him, “Sir, please be quiet. If my horses hear that, they will also burst out laughing”. Does it make any sense, if someone talks about professionalism and ethics, when he has worked all his life in the companies, which have brought down the entire world’s economy through their unethical and corrupt trade practices? Add to that the tax frauds, the insider trading, the unpaid salaries, fake offer letters, this and that deduction at the time of leaving a job etc. etc. My question to Mohit Chandra, “Why don't you behave first and set a precedent for the employees to follow? When you ask for loyalty from the employees, why don't you show some loyalty to them in the first place?”
If I have to summarize and rate the content of the article by Mr. Mohit Chandra, ridiculous would be an understatement.


  1. উপর উপর দুটোই পড়ে গেলাম। দুঃখিত আপাতত, আমার কাজের চাপে এই নিয়ে নিজে ভাবছি না। তবে নিউ ইয়র্ক টাইমসের লিঙ্কটা পেলাম না। এটাই সেই চিঠিতো? তুমি লিঙ্কটা ব্লগ পোষ্টেই রেখে দাও, তাতে পাঠকের সুবিধে হবে Shovon :

    1. Yes Sushantada, the URL also hosts the same article.
      In the post, I have linked the original article. The words "gem of an open letter" has the hyperlink to the article. The URL is