Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seasons Greetings from Fedex .. and power of viral videos

This morning I was intrigued to see the link to a video clip on Yahoo’s homepage.

 “It was the monitor toss seen 'round the world. FedEx has responded to a viral video that showed one of the company's drivers throwing a (now broken) computer monitor over a fence.”

With online holiday shopping and eCommerce – even in a sluggish economy – crossing allexpectations, the action by an (irate?) Fedex employee could come as a jolt to most of us. Fedex .. and UPS, DHL and other courier firms are the last mile in eCommerce, perhaps providing  the closest “human” face to an otherwise contact free shopping experience. And when an employee - even if it one of several hundreds of thousands of them in the supply chain business – goes rogue; and is caught on tape shamelessly doing so, the video is bound to go viral.

Not surprisingly, Fedex responded with swiftness and issued a statement “The situation has now been resolved to the customer's satisfaction, and we are handling the employee according to our disciplinary policies...While we continue to be surprised about the behavior shown, we know this is an aberration and is not reflective of the outstanding FedEx customer service that makes us proud around the world.”

Score +1 for bloggers and viral media and for speedy customer satisfaction response.  Season’s Greetings!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Any Lessons to be learnt from AMRI tragedy in Calcutta, India? Sure … But

It was shocking to read about the horror from the Kolkata #AMRI hospital fire that claimed 86 of 160 patients. (NYT)  Given the sense of public outrage, it is not surprising to see how the Government has formulated a “Special Investigation Team” to probe the “causes of the worst hospital fire in recent memory”.

Obituaries are being written and a lot of questions being asked by Digirati and Media and more importantly the Indian middle class, that is a key ‘consumer’ of private hospital services in India.

Non resident Indians, self included, are also closely watching the outcome of investigation though I am personally not holding my breadth on any meaningful change in attitude towards the value of individual human lives in a country with over a billion of them. Perhaps it is my personal  glimpse into human-crisis-management in India has made me a bit cynical (ref)
But I guess it is not just me. Santosh for Über Desi blog sums it up in a sentence “ Indian cities, over the last 20 years in particular, have sought to model themselves after the West; swanky malls, ritzy apartment complexes and state-of-the-art hospitals and medical care; for all this prosperity and opulence, safety and concern for human lives is still a “phoren” concept.”

If you ask most Indians and NRIs if there are any Lessons to be learnt from AMRI tragedy, most of us would say sure! But the real question is whether we have an appetite for changing the status quo. And can Indians afford the cost of safety that accompanies a concern for human life.