Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 4 - 6: Business As Usual

Another day, this time I thought I would have meetings but spent mostly working on documents etc. I may also postpone my travel plans to India, originally scheduled next week, and concentrate on getting done as much as possible remotely. In fact, I realized I am better off planning a very busy schedule when I actually travel, which I was not doing for the last few months. This means I shall be in the UK for a while, at least till the middle of May uninterruptedly and would be able to organize my life and work better. I am hoping that this will impact my productivity significantly and help me turn around things much faster. [I recognize one of my big problems is the long time I take to respond to emails or return phone calls, which is partially because I am hardly at one place and I do get pulled in at different directions during a day's work.]

I had a fairly busy Tuesday, though I am not sure how much of that actually went to any of my three prime tasks, ILR, Company Restructuring and Dissertation. I almost know for sure that I did nothing for my visa or my dissertation, and whatever I did at work was more to respond to urgent necessities or expand our scope of operation rather than scaling down and restructuring. If I have to get the best out of my stay in UK, I need to reverse this and get focused on what I have to do - pick up a set of smart people to work with us, solve the cash flow issues once and for all, and give them a product basket which they can take forward. My discussions regarding the product basket did go forward, if only a bit, and I now have initiated at least three discussions that will allow us more courses to sell. Besides, I actually sent out a Product Idea for consultation to the guys in Kolkata, something that we need to have to fill a market requirement.

I am pretty keen on getting on with my visa - I have almost finished my five years in the UK and this makes me eligible for a Permanent Residence. While I did not care about this before, I am getting increasingly convinced that I can not go back to India and find a proper job in Kolkata, at least not one which will satisfy my intellectual curiosity. And, if I can't go back to Kolkata, that makes me less keen to go back to India at all. Oh yes, I know I don't want to spend rest of my life in Croydon, but then I have a wide world to see and I would rather go and spend some time in different countries and learn and absorb their cultures as much as I can. I am any way not a great believer of the future of nation states and do believe that professionals of the future should be internationalists at heart, not just by work experience, but also by their belief, their openness and their willingness of learn. I shall take myself through that exercise conciously.

I am also adding two supplementary objectives to my list now. One is improving my health, which must start with reducing my weight to some extent. I am not obese, but bordering overweight, and I guess I shall need to reduce about 10 kgs and get back in shape pretty soon. Travel wrecks havoc on my health, but this time around, I am conscious and have started working on this. I have already seen some movements on my weight scale, I moved down two kilograms after a long time and would want to stick to this. I am also trying to get back in shape, though the local Virgin Active's £65 a month price tag is way too much and I am better off trying to run a couple of miles everyday. We are supposed to have the warmest and sunniest summer for a while, which is definitely helpful, and I shall give the gym a miss and try out something myself.

Also on my list is working towards what I do post-August. I have kept myself open so far, but I definitely know that I don't want to continue with my current job/ employers. There is no problem as much and I do like them as people. But I have this feeling that they treat all employees as RESOURCES - just that, a typical anglo-saxon thing - and this does not make me comfortable working with them. I don't think they are in a position to build a people-centric organization and by implication, they will never be able to run an excellent service business. I am better off going away after settling the business in the stable path, which by itself is a bit of work, and pursue my objective to build a 'great' organization outside.

But then, building up what I do next will require some work. I have thought about going to the university for a year, which I may still do. I think I need the discipline of thinking with greater clarity, and stepping back and acquiring knowledge will give me that. There are lots of people who are trying to discourage me on this one, and I am aware that this is no easy task. But then, so far, I am quite committed to it and will start working on this in next few days.

I obviously also need to have some economic activities with the studies, and I am looking at a portfolio of work - training, consulting, selling assignments - that I can do. I have a number of opportunities to pursue in India, but I should guard aganist committing to things that I can not do. So, interesting time ahead, indeed.

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