I was sitting with one of the 16,000 Vee Pees of a big bank…when he got a call. One of the kids had gone to meet a very big client and had goofed up.

The client called the Vee Pee and said something…obviously not very complimentary..so the Vee Pee asked for the boy and said “Just leave the client alone and come here immediately’. Then he turned to me and said ‘what a bunch of useless guys these business schools are turning out’ .

I burst out laughing. I pushed a plain paper towards him and said…please for heavens sake write down all the products that your bank sells.

He could not write beyond 9. He had missed out Forex card. He had actually missed out a lot of things…the kid was taught about 2o products – CASA, mutual funds, life insurance, general insurance, brokerage account, demat account – the works.

I told him I know how this ‘training’ happens. The kid has just joined and he is put in a 3 day pressure cooker training. He is taught about 20 products, the back office document, the process for making the voucher, how to, when to, why to, why not – of the bank, ….and in that excitement he is also taught many other things. Yuck.

This happened long back and this man has now retired. His bank did not believe (does not would be more appropriate) in training or even in a good process in recruiting. There is a huge demand for Relationship Managers (call them by any name, these are the kids facing the customer) and  so recruitment is done at a very fast pace.

There is just not enough time for training – if you have 1000 branches you need about 5000 RMs – and the 1000 Branch managers.

Kids are picked up from 100 odd management institutes, some BBAs are also taken and put through the grind. I have a lot of sympathy for the kids.

On the other hand I think the kids are a little lazy. They should not be seeking jobs in Indian companies. Go abroad. Go to the Middle East, go to China, go to Europe – the world is waiting for decent kids who can speak a little decent English and are willing to work hard. Indian corporate sector is not too willing to train you, so they get you and expect you to perform from day one. Go to Australia, New Zealand, Germany – the job opportunities are balanced with an awesome weekend time to be spent with family. Nobody who is there is regretting. If somebody is regretting it is the locals there – saying these Indians are working too damn hard.

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