Stories and anecdotes that bring out work ethics

How many mistakes are okay ?

Genuine or deliberate ?

The inauguration of a cattle feed plat and Boriavi near Anand on 31st October 1964 (Sardar Jayanti) by the then PM Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri led to the formation of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965. This plant was constructed by the Projects Division of Kheda District Milk Producers Union Limited ( Amul).

It took a year or two for NDDB get going. Engineering Division was the first functional and technical division of the NDDB. However, NDDB took up in a very short period, thanks to the guidance and support of the Projects Division of Amul Dairy, three turn key projects to build cattle feed plants for the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation in 1968/1969. These three plants of 100 MT per day capacity each were to be located at Linch Boriavi, Mehsana, Rajkot and Surat.

The plant at Linch Boriavi was being constructed for the Mehsana District Milk Producers Cooperative Union Limited. Shri BC Batt was the General Manager of the Mehsana Union. 

One site Engineer was posted by NDDB at Linch Boriavi. Weekly visits by Shri BC Bhatt during the construction phase of this project were very educative as it provided him with an opportunity not only to take Shri Bhatt around but also converse with him and learn about the operations of Milk cooperatives in Gujarat as also how the management of cooperatives handled tough situations.

One day while walking alongside Shri Bhatt the Site Engineer asked “Sir how do you handle situation arising out from a mistake on the part of an employee? “

“First time one makes a mistake, we check if it is a deliberate or a genuine mistake. If it is a genuine mistake the concerned person is told to see that it does not happen again. If it is deliberate mistake he is warned not to repeat it”.

“If the person makes a mistake second time we again check if it is genuine or deliberate. If it is genuine he is warned not to repeat again as it would lead to losing his job. If it is a deliberate mistake he is sent home.”

“If the person makes a mistake third time , he fails and he is asked to go home”

This was a lesson in management philosophy that the Site engineer learnt at a very young age.

Contributed by a former NDDB employee who 
wishes to remain anonymous

Moral Commitment

Commitment is for ever

Some nineteen years later after handling the turn key execution of cattle feed plant at Linch Boriavi, the site engineer of 1976 was heading the Gujarat Region of NDDB. Mr. BC Bhatt was then the Managing Director of the Mehsana Milk Producers Cooperative Union Ltd.

We received a cheque for Rs 10.6 lakhs from the Mehsana Union. On checking up at our end the accounts team found that there were no dues from the Mehsana Union therefore came to the conclusion that this amount can not be booked into NDDB accounts. 

As luck would have Shri BC Bhatt turned up at a meeting in NDDB Anand. At the end of the meeting, we asked him the reasons for the payment of Rs 10.6 lakhs. 

His reply was “You see, when we agreed to set up NDDB, all the milk unions of Gujarat had committed to pay 1% as service charges on equipment purchases. We recently bought and installed a 20 MT per day powder plant at our Dairy. This cheque is 1% of the cost of that powder plant. There was no written contract or agreement for it but we had morally bound ourselves to fulfil the commitment.”

1969 Contributed by a former NDDB employee who 
wishes to remain anonymous

Happy Diwali

Everyone has a right to celebrate Diwali so clear dues of suppliers – Secretary NDDB

The festival season is in full swing and the mood celebratory. People are looking forward to the Diwali holidays which are two weeks away. We are walking home and it is time for debriefing on the day. The talk is about people planning their Diwali holidays and the hard work they are putting despite sleeping late celebrating Navratri.

We  agree that Diwali must be celebrated by all big, small, project executors as well as suppliers. “So how will your team make it possible?” Further, “All must get their dues cleared. So that all can celebrate.”

In the coming years it became our practice to ensure that all dues are paid by Diwali so that all can celebrate.

1976 Contributed by a former NDDB employee who 
wishes to remain anonymous


Never seen people like you !

A weekly meeting took place in the board room with the heads of all teams. The accounts team leader informed that there were some suppliers who have outstanding amounts since long with us. The team decided to clear all these dues and inform all the creditors the details of the dues and request for claims to enable payments.

One of the creditors happened to be Vulcan Laval now Alfa Laval. 

A week later the Chairman of Vulcan Laval ( India) called the Head and wished him and after some small talk told that they have received a letter informing that some tens of thousands of rupees are due to them and that they could raise a claim. When informed that the NDDB would like all creditors to claim their dues and receive payments. His expression was “ I have never seen people who ask their creditors claim their dues so that they can pay them”. Adding further “ What kind of people you are ! Never seen people like you!”

1984 Contributed by a former NDDB employee who
wishes to remain anonymous


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