grey matters by lindash


									                         GREY MATTERS !
                                 Fortnightly Mouthpiece of Voluntary Executive’s Forum of India
Volume 1 No 23                                                                                        Tuesday 30th May, 2006

                     Gray Consultancy                                      5. ROLE OF CONSULTANT :-
                                                                           In the 21st Century, with the globalization and liberalization,
                        By Y.H. Gharpure                                   there are tremendous changes taking place in the Industry,
                                                                           Trade and Commerce and it has posed challenges where
1. INTRODUCTION :-                                                         consultants can play a major role. There are problems,
Any senior professional sometime or other during his career feels          problems and problems. The larger the economy, larger are
an itch to be his own and be a consultant. In any case, or                 the problems. Thus as per the study of largest economy in
retirement, this becomes a distinct possibility. No wonder there is a      the World (USA) 10 years back had indicated that every year
poem.                                                                      in USA, there are 700 new companies started, 170 companies
                                                                           go bankrupt and 100 become millionairs. No wonde, there are
Breathe there an executive with soul so dead                               400000 consultants in USA to help these companies in new
Who never to himself had saidn                                             start up etc. The global consultancy business is worth US$
Carrier life becomes so repurgant.                                         120 billions.
I think I will quit and become a consultant
                                                                           6. MAJOR AREAS OF CONSULTANCY :-
2. CONSULTANCY PERCEPTION :-                                               There are six major areas in which consultant can operate viz.
Perception of a consultant varies as perception of everything else in      Men, Materials, Machines, Money, Marketing and Methods.
the world and the following strategy illustrates.                          Let us look at each of these areas and identify the role of
This is story told on the eve of end of last millennium when the Y2K
problem was very much alive. God called Yelstin, Bill Clinton and
                                                                           i) Men :- With the fast changes in the technologies, newer
                                                                                skills and techniques are required and proper selection
Bill Gates and informed that the word is going to end at millennium.
                                                                                and training of men becomes necessary i.e Human
Yelstin felt bad because of the existence of God and because the
world was ending. Bill Clinton felt good that the God exists but felt           Resource Development.
bad that the world is going to end. Bill Gates felt good that he is        ii) Machines / Technologies :- Newer Machines, newer
one of the three people called by God and also felt good that there             technologies etc. are introduced faster than one can
won’t be any more Y2K problem !                                                 imagine and in the IT sector, the memory of the chip is
                                                                                doubling every one and half years. Consultancy is
                                                                                therefore required not only to improve existing facilities
On the lighter side, there is also a definition of the consultant as the        and processes but also to upgrade technologies.
person who takes your watch, looks at it, tells you the time and                Consulation for the thrust of R & D is also required.
keeps the watch for fees!
                                                                           iii) Materials :- From Materials’s Management, Finished
                                                                                Product Managment etc., it has changed to supply chain
The word “consultant” comes from Latin word “Consular” meaning
Consult. The job of the consultant is to investigate and diagnose
the problems, recommend prescription and help implementation               iv) Money :- The entire success of companies apart from
successfully to cue. Gray Consultancy to my mind is restricted to               various other financial management, has boiled down to
the only first two viz. diagnosis of problem and recommendation of              working capital management.
prescription.                                                              v) Marketing :- The emphasis is now on marketing rather
                                                                                than selling. Internet and E Commerce has brought in
3. COMMERCIAL CONSULTANCY :-                                                    new dimensions.
In the modern times, formal commercial consultancy was started in          vi) Methods :- Strategy Management, Structural changes,
1881 by Arthur D Little and the company today is the largest                    organization design, systems managment and other
commercial consultancy organization with turnover of US$ 3                      issues require application of newer methods.
Billions. There are equally large consultancy organizations like
Anderson, Earnest & Yong, KPMG, Price Waterhous, Mc Kinsey                 The consultancy as a whole deals with above and many other
etc. The last one has over 3000 professional consultants with a            issues not only to diagnosis and prescription but also
turnover of US$ 500000 / Consultant. Gray Consultancy is not               implementation for achieving better results.
about such consultancy.
                                                                           7. CONSULTANCY BASIC :-
4. CONSULTANCY IN INDIA :-                                                 While new challenges are posed due to globalization,
Formal Consultancy can be traced in India to year 1910 when Mr.            liberalization etc., the fundamental approach remains the same
P.C. Char started consultancy in Structural Engineering. In 1918,          viz. asking questions such as WHAT, WHY, WHEN, HOW,
Birla Brothers started consultancy. The Government of India itself         WHERE & WHO. The process starts with data collection,
started its own consultancy organization viz. National Industrial          data analysis, working out a proposal, implementing the
Development Corporation in 1953.            As per Consultancy             proposal, reviewing the results and taking corrective action.
Development Center, there are 1200 consultancy in India today.             This is the consultancy cycle.
    The data collection could be desk research, interviewing people,           consultant due to following reasons :
    getting answers to questionnaire, having group discussions,                i) He can have the wisdom and wide vision with a capacity
    process - mapping etc. and forms the foundation on which a                      to focus on an issue at hand with a wider prospective.
    consultant thrives.                                                        ii) There are fast changes and wisdom and maturity of the
                                                                                    Sr. Executive may help him to bring about the change
    8. GRAY CONSULTANCY :-                                                          smoothly.
    There are several areas of formal consultancy which a person on
    retiremen may not be familiar and is required to have experience
                                                                               iii) Although the changes look complicated, the basis is
                                                                                    always simple and can be kept simple.
    before he can become effective even in two areas out of three viz.
    Diagnosis and prescription for doing consultancy, whether free or
                                                                               13. ETHICS :-
    other wise. These areas are :-
                                                                               Be it regular consultancy or gray consultancy, certain ethics
    i) Report Writing                                                          are to be followed and they among other things include :
    ii) Keep abrast with latest developments                                   i) Giving independent and objective advice
    iii) Being in circulation.                                                 ii) Rapid response
    We shall discuss some of these issues in detail.
                                                                               iii) Service and benefit to the client based on the
    A formal report invariably must have following chapters among              iv) Secrecy
    other things.                                                              v) Should avoid conflict
    i) Introduction                                                            vi) Should strive for excellence
    ii) About Consultant                                                       vii) In any case, should not have any axe to grind.
    iii) About Client
                                                                               14. DIFFICULTIES :-
    iv) About Assignment                                                       The gray consultant therefore has number of difficult objective
    v) Investigation done by consultant                                        to fulfil. He should not only be expert and agent of changes
    vi) Findings of the consultant                                             but should also educate and train others to bring about the
    vii) Discussions about the findings and conclusion.                        changes. He is also required to solve problems as they arise
    viii) Recommendation                                                       based on actual position. His long knowledge and experience
    ix) Executive Summary                                                      will be under test and this is possible only if he has the ability
                                                                               to attend the same in business like manner. This requires
    There could be several Annexures giving details with supporting            administrative skill.
    data and documents.
                                                                               15. CONCLUSION :-
    10. KEEPING ABBEST :-                                                      Consultancy involves diagnosis, prescription and cure. Gray
    If the Sr. Executive wishes to do consultancy on retirement, he has        Consultancy is restricted to the first two viz. diagnosis and
    to keep abrest with the developments in his profession including           prescription. Under the globalization and liberalization rigim, it
    following :                                                                is immense challenge to put ones lifetime of expertise to test
    1) Being member of the professional bodies, trade association              for the benefit of the trade, commerce and industry. It is the
          etc. as applicable.                                                  need of the hour not only in the interest of the society at large
    2) Attending lectures, seminars etc. on related subjects.                  but also to himself because only by keeping himself busy, he
    3) Books, periodicals etc.                                                 can keep himself active and relevant. It has been said that
                                                                               people do not grow old. They stop growing and they
    11. BEING IN CIRCULATION :-                                                become old. Let the Sr. Executive not stop growing.
    It is also necessary that the person keeps himself in circulation with     Professionally, do consultancy, if not for money than at least
    the people active in the field of his specialization by following          for fun.
    means :
                                                                               ENGAGEMENTS :
    i) Writing articles                                                        VEFI Meet : We meet Sunday following 2nd and 4th Saturdays
    ii) Giving lectures etc.                                                   at 9.30 a.m at Senior Citizens Club, Vashi.
    In addition, it may be worthwhile to altleast have a website of his        Next Meetings –28th May & 11th June 2006
    own.                                                                       Legal & Grievance Cell operates on 1st and 3rd Saturdays
                                                                               between 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at MLC Industries Ltd. 315,
    12. WHY GRAY CONSULTANCY :-                                                Shiv Centre, Sector 17, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400703 Tel :
    With rapid changes in technologies alongwith globalization, there is       55912155.
    paradigm shifts and retired Sr. Executive is ably suitable to act as a     Next Meetings – 3rd and 17th June 2006

Voluntary Executives Forum of India, 405, Vikas, 4 th Floor, 11, Bank Street, Horniman Circle, Mumbai 400023 Tel : 22691273
Fax : 22642410. Email :            Editor : Y.H. Gharpure
VEFI is Association of retired Senior Executives who offer their services free of charge to Industry, Trade, Commerce and Society at large. Join /
contribute to this noble cause.
Contributions/Letters Welcome.
                                                                                  For Private Circulation Can reproduce with acknowledgement

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