Source: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

A.D 1999. Our union finance Minister Mr. Man Mohan Singh (our present Prime Minister) declared liberalization policies, a pet name given for globalization. Well-educated people and the I.T sector are welcomed with open hearts. Most of the multinational companies made a beeline for "destination India". People who understood the meaning of globalization (hardly a few people understood the meaning of globalization in those days) and the communist party opposed globalization policies in India. VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) made headlines. Central, state, and even all private sectors, especially white goods manufacturers offered VRS. The result was load shedding and proliferation of the franchise system.

The globalization boom was felt in the IT sector. The IT and BPO sector had a vertical takeoff. Spending half of their lifetime paid rich dividends for youngsters. Youngsters made money unheard of in the lifetime of their parents. The more money they made the more distance they kept from their family. Most of them refused to recognize lesser mortals like us. MNC culture was spreading rapidly across India.

Work hard, party hard became their mantra (prayers). They were having field days. Work @ sex was unheard of in the olden days except in the film field and showman business (casting couch system). As long as deadlines were met, MNC authorities were not bothered about behind the closed-door or locker room affairs. They neither encouraged nor imposed a code of conduct inside their office premises. Long and unearthly working hours brought their own problems. There was a visible change in values in personnel and professional level of those who worked in MNC. Live-in relationships, unhappily married life, casual sex, and break down on social contacts are a few examples. In working couples, infidelity became part of their life. Even though the couple lives within the four walls, they have no time for each other. They lived in their own world. The ex-marital relationship is now accepted among many couples. Even in middle-class family morels and family values are fast disappearing. Roots and family values are no longer relevant even in middle-class families. In any country, middle-class people represent their culture, roots, and true family values.

Youngsters will get burnt out in about ten years' work at MNC. Such is the pressure to show the productivity of an individual. Those who cannot show productivity or worth of their pay are shown the door. I personally feel in every MNC there must be a notice board which will remind them of their workers' fate!” Me today! …. You tomorrow! ". With a skull mark laughing… Hiring and firing is the order of the day.

Now for any other non-technical department, the minimum qualification is graduation and the maximum age limit is below thirty years. White good service divisions are run by a franchise system. The worst affected is a senior service technician and under-graduated family man. The Franchise system in the white goods division is run on per-call basics. To give instant service to the customer manufacturers are opening as many as service centers. Franchises employ as many technicians to give instant service to the customer. We live in an instant era, instant gratification. The number of calls gets divided. Only bachelor guys can benefit (enjoy) such a system, for a family man, a few cards per day cannot keep his life and soul together.

People in India are yet to understand (even after six-year) the real meaning of globalization. If democracy is an invasion of our culture, globalization is a dictatorship in capitalism (except in clerical departments where work is not target-oriented) the is no free food in this world .it means only the fittest can survive in a ‘globalized’ world. Charles Darwin's theory is now applicable to human beings also. In this competitive world how long you can stay fit is yet to be seen. Those who work in the software division in MNC must be prepared for a pleasant surprise. Lay off! It strikes as if a bolt of lightning out of the blue. Uncertainty is the middle name of MNC... You do not know how long you will work for the company. (You are not the deciding factor). Hiring and firing is the order of the day. Read job today gone tomorrow. Once this proverb was told about our hair. Now it is the most appropriate word for those works in MNC. It means uncertainty about life and the future. The purpose of globalization was to destroy communism. West had succeeded in it. Cheap labour and highly qualified people in India and third world countries brought most to the MNC s here. Now their (westerns) own people are adversely affected by globalization. What once westerners were doing (work at MNC) we are doing it for them for less than half the amount... When a professional SFX artist gets Rs 5000 per hour. Here in India for the same work and artist gets paid onlyRs.1000 per hour. Job has become seasonal like our love. It does not last long. Enjoy it as long as it lasts!

Unlike the west, we in India or third world countries are not having social security system to fall back. With globalization and well-educated people are able to find job rest of them can only fall on their face, like drop dead. If you need to know, the fate of Courtney where MNC were operating for the past decades you should check with Mexico. Therefore, Mexicans are supposed to be rich. Right? NO! An average Mexican's life has not improved dramatically but their environment took a beating. These multinational companies exploit cheap labour and abuse our environments. Until they are forced with, environmental probe or they get cheaper labour in other countries they will stick around. When MNC (here I am talking about MNC in the industrial sector) moves out of our country in feature, we may be left coup with unemployment and environment degradation problems. (Pollution from MNC industries)

China is not a communist country anymore, it is only for the sake of the name. Their only problem is the English language. The world's cheapest available products come from china. That means they can supply cheap labour and material. Once they gain proficiency in English. I feel in about ten years most of the MNC in India will move out to China. I wish to write about two industries and their impact on human beings and the effect on industrial pollution. Leather industries and clothing dying units in India.

In the U.S and Europe, you will not find a single tannery factory. Where the skin of the animals is treated chemically. Chemicals used in tannery industries are the most toxic and poisonous chemicals. Their country's stringent law does not permit them to operate in their country. Most companies were closed down more than two decades ago. Now their country only produces highly toxic chemicals for treating leather. Some of the chemicals are cancer-inducing while other chemicals damage internal organs like the lungs and stomach over a period. Here in India, we do not follow stringent effluent treatment norms. Untreated waste chemicals are let out in open space. It pollutes groundwater resulting in health problems.

Finished leather goods are sent to Europe and the US. We in third world countries do not use leather cloths. We have tannery industries in Pallavaram, Ranipettai, Kanpur, Gujarat, West Bengal, and other palaces. One can feel the chemical stench far away on the GST main road. After treating the leather with chemicals, untreated effluents are let out in open fields, drains, or in the river. It contaminates well and groundwater in the neighbouring area. Chemicals pollute air and water in the nearby colonies. The pollution can cut down persons who work for such factories by fifteen years of their life. We in India do not keep statistics to show the long-term effect on workers. People still work in such hazardous conditions; the reason is high pay and illiteracy.

Cloth dying units are other hazards companies. Clothes are bleached with chlorine and caustic soda. Both are highly corrosive chemicals. In a bleaching unit, you cannot see one single iron item without rust; such is the corrosive power of these chemicals. You can well imagine the concentration of chemical pollution in the air and the fate of the lungs of people working in extreme conditions. Apart from that, the colouring agent (not vegetable or biodegradable colours) used to produce dazzling clothes is let out in an open space or nearby river, resulting in polluting groundwater in nearby areas. Most of the dying units are running without a valid license. Most of the materials from Tirupur are sent to the U.S and Europe. Some of the international brands, clothes materials are made from these factories. In our country environmentalist, will take up issues only when the situation became an alarming proposition for the state or national. Corrupted politicians play a vital role in every part of the Indian scenario.


A revelation (White Goods):

After the globalization franchise, a system was introduced in India. Is it a bane or boon? Read this article and find out for yourself. I had worked in the white goods service sector for more than fifteen years. Here I will explain how franchisees and the service technical work for you. Only super brand products and high-end model appliances get top priorities for immediate attention. Other models are made with cheap materials. You will find white goods are programmed to run till the guarantee period only. If you do not take an annual maintenance contract, then your equipment will refuse to cooperate with you. Imagine if you have a computer, air conditioner, fridge, washing machine, and other appliances. Yearly you need to set aside money to run the show (home).

Unless and until a customer complaint goes to consumer court, the manufacturer representative or service engineer will not take up your issues. If you are one of the VVIP then the company general manager could be at your disposal. In some cases, I found that there are manufacturing or design faults in some models. I had worked for India's leading white goods manufacturer's franchise for more than five years .any given item there is more than four thousand consumer court case pending against the manufactures. One of the customers, after running from pillar to post (manufacturing and consumer court and back) he found a novel way to vent his frustration. To get a replacement or to get it repaired through the consumer court, at times it takes years to get it done. That many consumer cases on different manufacturers are pending at any given time of the day.

This frustrated customer had a sense of humour because he believes in Gandhian philosophy, a Non-violent way of getting things done. He covered his fridge in a black bed sheet and carried his fridge with the help of four people (like we carry coffin) he took the possession through his colony main road. Chanting slogan against manufacture and the consumer court, photograph of the possession was put on the local newspaper. I liked his innovative idea to protest violently!

With more than four thousand consumer court cases pending; have you wondered how these manufactures still manage to keep their position in the white goods sector? First, only we technicians know how many cases are pending at the consumer court. These very same companies are spending cores of Indian rupees just for advertisements with Hollywood stars. Here is how our franchise system in India. Check whether they are a boon or bane for the customer.

No white goods manufacturing companies are employing new service technicians for their service departments. They appointed a franchise. Franchise technicians always carry out repair work. Some of the franchises offer work on sub-contract biases to get their service done. With no other option left I had joined one of India's leading white goods manufacturing company’s franchise as a service technician. It was not bad in the beginning. Only five technicians attend service calls. At times we end up attending four-pin code areas per technician instead of three-pin codes. Even at 9.30 PM, we were on-site, forty or fifty kilometers away from our home. Life was tough but we were able to make some extra money.

In franchise, system rules change overnight, according to the manufactures whims and fancies and regardless of workers' benefits. Appointment procedures were made simple by the franchise. No more appointment letters. The appointment was made verbally. It goes something like this.” Do you have your own vehicle “? And a mobile? Mobile is a must you know it”? Without a bike and cell phone, you are not considered a service technician. They call it a survival kit or minimum requirements! “Ok, good. “Now you have to pay for a uniform dress”. (Only God knows how long he is going to keep you at work.)” From tomorrow onwards you can join for work”. After you join for work, only he will tell you how to make more money by-achieving target, regardless of working hours. Sooner or later you yourself will find how much money, time, and energy you have to use for extra money.

We never had PF, Gratuity, medical, (ESI) or life insurance, no vehicle maintenance allowance, petrol, or food allowances. Only consolidate pay per call they paid. Rs.15 or RS 20 depending on the distance from the workplace. They paid Rs 40 per call if it is in Timbuktu or an outstation. There are some company’s franchise and service subcontracts offering Rs10 for attending service calls. Those technicians survive by making “extra” money .how they make extra money and how much they make depends upon their individual “skill”.

Manufactures increased the number of franchises to six and gradually increased the number of technicians to 24 (in our franchise) or per person for per pin code to give customers' immediate means per pin code area per person, thus reducing call attending time and reducing our Nos of service calls .our manufacture appointed five more franchises. The manufacture says to sell accessories and make extra money for the lost service calls. All the accessories were overprized. They supplied Chinese or Delhi-made items, some of the items are even sold by footpath sellers! Selling was tough. Since most accessories were sold along with appliances by the dealers at the time of selling appliances. The company offered us some incentives like, if we sell these items we get a consolation amount of 50 peanuts. The highest being 100 peanuts.

Per person per pin code area, it means a number of reduced service calls (cards). Per day per person gets an average of four or five calls. However, distance and petrol expanse remain the same. At the end of the day when you calculate petrol, maintenance, and other expenses, the struggle we family men make to make a living was not worth it. With no other job other than franchise system available we just continue to work, lucky guys are those young bachelors. At the end of the month they make out about RS 2000 or RS 2500 p.m. family men find it difficult to meet both ends. Most of the young and energetic people made fast money. Some of them disappeared with the fridge or A/C. Some technicians arranged to collect repair charges from different customers on one particular day took the entire amount about Rs12000 or Rs 15000 and vanished. The intelligent one canvassed service contracts from the costumes and settled down with their own shop. With “inside people”, they can always get their work done in double-quick. In my five and half years of service, more than 250 young and energetic technicians were kicked out of service. Hiring and firing was the order of the day.

Target was always set beyond the reach of anyone. Our manufacturing company demands that we generate ten lakhs rupees worth of business per month through sales service and annual maintenance contract. Our Boss was a B.P.patient. He flared up now and then he used foul language and was a very abusive person. We point out to our boss that we hardly get 120 or 130 calls per person per month and how can one generate one lakhs rupees worth of business per month? Our boss for that matter does not like asking questions. He will yell at us by saying, “you people are giving lame excuses! That is the advantage of being a BOSS. You can also talk through either side of your mouth. We get enough shouting from customers; at any given time there are more than 4000 customer cases in consumer court including manufacturing defects. Shouting back at customers will cost our job and our boss shouts at us for not bringing enough revenue for him. Our Boss was under tremendous pressure to show ten lakhs rupees worth of business per month. If our boss cannot guarantee ten lakhs worth of business to manufactures then they will give the franchise to someone. I was a good technician when it comes to meeting targets I was always above average .it is impossible to meet targets every time. If you remember that 20 % of people do 80 % of the work, you will understand what I mean.

When our boss humiliated me in front of others for not achieving my target, I felt that I could forgive my enemy. If ever I wanted to kill someone, it must be our boss! So much pressure at the workplace. No housewife or a mother will ever know what is present-day work pressure or how much we technicians get abused by manufacturers, by our boss, and also by customers. When it is a question of family survival and keeping the job, we take everything in our stride.

After globalization, manufacturers localized their work. Manufacture goods, spare parts, put cash in their bank, and attend consumer cases at the court. Period. They now run their own office with a skeleton staff. . Franchise technicians’ work includes not only servicing their equipment but also generating as much as money for the manufactures. A Technician becomes all in all. He must be a salesperson, capable of selling products, getting annual maintenance contracts, selling spare parts, collection agent, PRO for the manufactures. It is also the duty of every technician to see that the customers are not going to consumer court at any cost. We were asked to settle the dispute immediately. How you do it is none of the business of the manufacture! Their argument is that if it is not a manufacturing defect then the fault lies with the technician! How convenient for them to blame the technician. Company executives come and preach company policy now and then. Like Indian weather, their policies keep changing every time. Preaching comes naturally to company executives. How many examples tell us cock and bull stories to motivate us. Ask any of the company or franchise bosses to be in our shoes, they get pissed off. We were forced to obey their orders for peanuts (per call). Rest is assured when you get home... God blesses those poor souls!

I am a victim of globalization .you may not believe me. Read THE LIFE OF A LITTLE PRINCESS ( semi-autobiography) in my blog. You will find the answer. The story will tell you how globalization ruins the family life of an ordinary person life. The working model of the service sector in white goods changed the fate of senior service technicians. With time, the aged service technician became an invalid person.

.    .    .