Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
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Life On The Cutting Edge

Education, designation, seniority-nothing's proof against the wave of retrenchment sweeping corporate India

Life On The Cutting Edge
Life On The Cutting Edge
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Ashok Jain, erstwhile ceo of Cadbury Schweppes India, is also coming to grips with the new reality. One December night, the bedside phone rang. It was his boss calling from London. The company, he told Jain, was selling its soft drinks brands outside the US to Coca-Cola. The size of the business was too small to carry along. Even as the caller hung up, Jain wondered if he had heard right. He lay awake tossing and turning all night. The early morning papers, however, only confirmed the worst. Jain has since been trying to roll with the blow by holding workshops for Schweppes employees in Mumbai where they are being trained in how to seek opportunity in the crisis of joblessness.

After working for 11 years in the liquor industry, when iit-iim alumnus Rajesh Srivastava got a break as vice-president of dcw Home Products, he grabbed it as an opportunity to build brands from scratch. In the thumping success of the Captain Cook brand, he saw personal recognition. But victory proved shortlived. One evening, a phone call from a journalist friend informed him that his company was being sold. Not that Srivastava had had no inkling. In office, colleagues had been cranking out resumes without even bothering to hide it from others. But nothing prepared him for the emotional dislocation of the family and people around him. 'How will I play with my friends if we change our house?' asked seven-year-old son Kautuk. 'Is it true that saab's company no longer exists?' inquired driver Raju, worried that the axe would now fall on his own job. Even the maidservant was curious. 'How come saab is home for lunch?' 'Is everything alright?' was the unspoken implication.

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