Behind Every Unsuccessful Man
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karnataka, India)
On 25th July 2005 at 6 pm, the wind was blowing at a violent speed with a ferocious sound followed by heavy rains and a thunderstorm in Keshavpur village. The normal life of the villagers was very difficult during that time. Tall trees, electric poles, and towers were blown over uprooted. The roofs of the weak houses were blown away. The entire village was in the dark due to power failure.
Anuj was thinking of nature’s violent effect on human life and the recent blow in his life. His personal blow was more severe than nature's outburst. The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes. He thought, in his life also like a violent storm, he would come out soon from the terrible blow. He realized that the blunders committed were avoided.
His multi-storied house "Anugraha" was safe except for some minor damages. He was sitting on one corner and his wife Anagha was sitting opposite him on the other corner. Just after the heavy rain had started, they were silent. It was evident from their seriousness that they were in trouble. Power was restored after one hour.
Five years back after completing his MBA and taking over the management of more than one-hundred-year-old family business enterprise "Perfect Garments", married Anagha in the same year. But after five years, he was terribly upset due to the heavy loss incurred in the business. Their serious conversation continued on three issues.
How the well established business was derailed?
How to set the things right?
Whom do you blame for the mess?
"Anagha, I have to accept my mistakes for the present crisis. It is nothing but my unsuccessful business venture"
"Anuj, simply accepting the mistakes will not serve the purpose. You have to apply your mind in the right direction and set the things right. The person responsible for this mess is already behind the bars. You must be optimistic and plan to regain your status"
"Is it possible Anagha?"
"Everything is possible provided you have dedication and determination"
The conversation was inconclusive.
Keshavpur is a big village on Bengaluru - Chennai national highway. The village is also connected with the railway. The place is best suited for setting up business establishments and small scale industries due to the proximity to rail, road, and availability of land at a cheap rate. The villagers speak both Kannada and Tamil.
One hundred years ago, Anuj's grand-father Madanagopal started a ready-made garments business in Keshavpur with just one sewing machine and two workers. Anuj's father Venkataramana took over the business from his father after 25 years and improved the business to 50 sewing machines and 50 workers. When Anuj took the business, he expanded the business. At the end of four years due to hard work, the business enterprise grew with 1000 sewing machines and 1000 workers. Due to the superior quality of the garment products, the enterprise got theISI mark as export quality material. This was possible after modernization and skilled workers.
Five years back, when Anuj's final year MBA results were announced, he was happy that he got a distinction. At the same time, he received the sad news that his father passed away. He immediately rushed to Keshavpur from Bengaluru and completed all the religious rites and took the management of the garment business. He was in the process of taking the business affairs, his brother-in-law Suresh, who had just passed B.Com approached him for a job. Anuj wanted a reliable person to assist him. He appointed Suresh as an in-charge of the accounts department. Anuj was able to get control of the entire working of the business enterprise in one month. After six months, he appreciated Suresh for his efficient work and quick understanding of the work entrusted to him. Anagha, the elder sister of Suresh expressed thanks to her husband.
"Anuj, do not show any favors
to Suresh being a brother-in-law. Duty is first and relationships are next"
"Your brother is sincere, hardworking, and honest. He will be proved as an asset to my business"
The garment business was running smoothly with an increase in the profits year after year. Likewise, four years passed with an excellent increase in sales turnover compared to the previous year. At the end of the fourth year, the business enterprise started exporting the garments to foreign countries like the USA and UK. The business enterprise converted into a private limited company with a brand new name as "Venkataramana Garments Private Limited" with the emblem of "Namaste" and moto as "service with love".
All of a sudden, at the beginning of the fifth year the decline of business started. Anuj failed to notice the substantial fall in the business as he was away on a business tour to London. Anagha also accompanied him. The number of complaints from the customers was pouring. The consignment of goods containing garments was not received by the customers even after one month. Few cheques of huge amounts were honoured by the bank signed by Suresh ignoring another signature of a company chairman. Though he was one of the authorised signatories, Anuj's signature was required. Anuj sued the bank and demanded the refund of the amount.
On getting all the information, he canceled the meetings with the customers in London and returned by the next available flight. Anagha was very much disappointed as she could not visit tourist spots.
Anuj and Anagha reached Keshavpur after 40 hours. The flight was delayed for two hours at Heathrow airport due to a takeoff problem. Anuj without wasting time went to the office and enquired about the concerned staff. But to his astonishment Suresh was absconding. Nobody knew where he had gone. Anuj went to a local police station and lodged a complaint against Suresh.
Anuj and Anagha could not sleep the whole night for the unexpected development in their absence. He arranged an audit of the company's accounts by chartered accountants from Bengaluru. The auditors arrived at Keshavpur on the following day. The audit was over after a week. While going through the audit report, Anuj was terribly shocked. Suresh is one of the authorized signatories, siphoned off huge amounts from the bank. The bank did not suspect him, when a huge amount was withdrawn from the company's accounts. Anuj sued the bank in court.
During the absence of Anuj, the production of garments was completely stopped for one reason or the other. The workers got their salary on the first of every month. The total loss was running in several lakhs of rupees. As a result of this, the company's office door locked, and the production of garments stopped indefinitely. The customers, who had already paid in advance, threatened to approach the court. It was a fact that the contribution of Suresh towards the progress of the company was laudable. Anuj also appreciated Suresh on a number of occasions. But suddenly, Anuj's attitude changed during 5th year maybe because of the tremendous progress in the business. Arrogance developed in him. Arrogance is a creature. It does not have senses. It has only a sharp tongue and a pointing finger. Anuj insulted him several times before the workers, even for his silly mistakes. Anuj called Suresh and fired him. Suresh fed up with the rude behavior of Anuj, decided to teach him a lesson. He was waiting for the right time to strike. Suresh knew very well that by indulging in such unlawful activity one day he would be behind the bars and lose respect, dignity in society. He succeeded in his attempt, when Anuj was abroad.
Behind every unsuccessful man, there are two. Suresh was one and another person was none other than Anuj himself. Anuj paid a heavy penalty for his arrogance and rude behavior.***