- journalist - Chandrani Palit
- You were in the Public Relations department of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), how was your journey in SAIL?
I joined SAIL as a Management Trainee (Administration) after clearing the All India Management Trainee Selection Test of SAIL & was posted in various administrative wings of SAIL including PR department.
More than 3 decades back, a woman in a corporate sector was not very common and every moment was a challenge. But, amongst those challenges, the most difficult, according to me, was to make myself acceptable amongst the male colleagues – whether they were bosses, peers or subordinates. Proving myself to be as competent as my male colleagues, whatever be the job, was a stupendous task, especially during the initial days of my career. I had to work very hard and tried to understand the issues from the grassroots level, never hesitating to learn even from my subordinates if necessary.
Cultivating a good interpersonal relationship also played an important role in the progression of my career in SAIL. Once I could project myself as a person who is approachable irrespective of the gender factor, eager to help both in official and personal matters and who did not hesitate to confront untoward situations, I found acceptance from all quarters.
- What are the events you have attended while working for SAIL?
It is not possible to account for all the events that I had the opportunity to organize or attend during my more than 3 decades long career in SAIL. Notable amongst them had been numerous international Seminars & Conferences, Exhibitions, Industrial Fairs etc both within India & abroad & Training Programs organized by SAIL & other reputed Organisations.
After being trained in the UK in a Company-sponsored Training Program on Communication & Presentation Skills, I was the official Anchor person of SAIL in a large number of events including many VIPs. I have anchored –
- Series of Prime Ministers’ Trophy Teams’ visits to SAIL plants which included many dignitaries
- Programs of Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Pranab Mukherjee to name a few & also many other VIPs
- Among these events which one/ones is /are more memorable to you?
- Organising & anchoring the inauguration of our prestigious office building in Kolkata (Ispat Bhavan, Chowringhee) which was inaugurated by Ex Steel Minister Late Santosh Mohan Dev which got a lot of Media coverage.
- Organising& anchoring meeting of Steel Minister Shri Ram Bilas Paswan in Ispat Bhawan, Kolkata with representatives of SAIL & other PSUs
- Representing SAIL& anchoring in a Mega Event organized in Mumbai in the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, Harsha Bhogle, Lalit Modi, Rajdeep Sardesai and many other VIPs including SAIL Chairman.
- You got the opportunity to come in contact with many reputed personalities and to work with them. Please share some of their names as well as the experiences you had working with them.
Though I have had the opportunity of meeting a large number of dignitaries of the business world and bureaucracy in the course of my career, they cannot be termed as reputed personalities. Moreover, these were professional meetings and discussions were about business issues and business ethics do not permit the disclosure of their names and other details within the purview of this interview.
5)Now at present, you being a professor, what advices you want to give to those who have aspirations to join as PR in companies?
Public Relations profession has a glamour factor associated with it. This is however only an icing on the cake. The new entrants should realize that a lot of hard work needs to be put in to gain a foothold in this profession. Cultivating good Media Relations, composing proper Press Releases, publishing House journals, maintaining sustained relations with the internal & external Publics – all these need continuous and dedicated efforts on the part of the PR personnel to build a favourable image of the company.
- Being a teacher, do you have any memorable incident involving your students?
I started my career as a Teacher in a school and later in a college and I had always loved to interact with the young students. Later, when I joined SAIL, I have worked for many years as a Training Manager and my students in the Training programs were Adult Learners. It was a totally different experience because interaction with them meant taking into account their Egos, Attitudes, Experiences et al. But, without hesitation I can say, I could overcome those hurdles & each one of those Training Programs became wonderful learning experiences, both for them as well as myself.
- What type of bond do you share with your students?
As explained in Point 6, I always strive to match my wavelength with my students taking into account their levels of learning, their backgrounds, their linguistic abilities etc. And, when I teach, I leave my Ego behind because I believe that unless a two way communication can be built up between a teacher and his/her students the process of learning can never be complete.
- Please say a few words about your point of view on the education system of India.
It is quite unfortunate that the Education system in general, is inadequate to provide inputs to students who are interested to enter the corporate world. Job oriented courses are the need of the hour. Moreover, students should be equipped with basic Communication Skills, both written and verbal, so that they are equipped to face interviews.
9 )Any message for the students
PLEASE read MORE to enhance your knowledge base. To know more do not depend on Google search & Wikipedia. Those are all superficial knowledge. If you are requested to write on any topic please do not Copy & Paste from existing materials on the Net. You may always consult those but try writing on your own to give that unique, special touch.
10)Any message for LaughaLaughi
Frankly speaking, I was not aware of this licensed media organisation and would love to know more about it. All my best wishes for you.