This story is unavailable.

Manas, after reading your article and the quasi-official and official responses on this comment thread, my overall impression is a) your problems and issues in being available for the interview (online or otherwise) were genuine — anyone who has ever worked in any form of company or business would have faced these issues at some point (if not many points) in their careers; b) The quasi-official and official responses merely serve to prove your point re the ‘sarkari’ approach where there is always plenty of CYA in play and it’s never the system’s fault, always the ‘customer’s’ fault. Their responses reek of ‘we said this’ and ‘you were aware of that’ and ‘it’s not our fault because blah’, in short, everything except a simple, ‘We’re sorry we failed you as a potential customer. Here’s what we can do to fix it in the future.’

I’ve seen this diametric opposite of a customer-centric approach not just in companies that ‘know’ that they have customers (i.e., the usual commercial establishments, companies, stores, etc.) but more importantly and tragically in those establishments that do have ‘customers’ but don’t recognise them as such (educational institutions, the actual sarkar, municipalities, the cops, etc.)

If I was asked to point out the single largest failure of Indian society and, dare I say, culture, it would be this inability (‘reluctance’ is too mild a word) to recognise a ‘customer’ and to provide true customer service. We’re always looking for a way to show why something can’t be done rather than how it can. Making our own life easier rather than figuring out how to make the customer’s life easier.

Gandhi recognised this years ago and his oft-quoted statement about the customer being the reason for our existence is on plenty of walls throughout the country. For all the good it does, it might as well be hung facing the wall.

I hope, Manas, you face better experiences on in life and that you in turn treat your ‘customers’ better. All the best!