By Sudha Rajagopalan
So what is a recession really? Is it just plummeting indicators or real changes in the way we commoners deal with money? Do people really stop producing or do their needs contract? Or is it really one man’s poison that makes for food on another man’s platter? Or maybe just an over-abused word.
I walk up to a vegetable vendor every weekend and even he has some great insights. ‘Madam, you know how it rained the last week. Our supplies were almost cut off for 4-5 days. You should have seen the price of onions a couple of days ago! I am wondering if this also because of recession – you know this thing about prices sky-rocketing’.
Oh yes – maybe it’s a recession of luck, or God’s grace upon us Earthlings!
A friend walked in through the door after an interview that was brilliant but went on hold because the organization was restricting hiring activity. The recession is still not over, they said. We both look up its financial report to find they’ve doubled their cost saving target for the next 2 years. Wow! Is that what a recessionary market does? This particular company has seen its revenue dip by 7%, employee base decrease by 1% and guess what? – Its customer base in Rajasthan is larger than that in UK!
Look at India for instance – an independent research firm reported that the employment outlook for the country remained the same as last year but a few pocket cities like Hyderabad saw a humongous increase in job opportunities and highest attrition rates. Other major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Pune were not so lucky but didn’t see any downturn as such.
Now about recession – I’d say it’s a fear that makes you watch each step that you take and get more accountable. Sellers get more cautious and less greedy. It’s an awesome reality check – the type that makes you look out for tomorrow and sometimes drives you ballistic in restricting costs, even driving away employees. The times that drive discipline – Did you switch the lights off in your cabin at work? Did you turn off the AC for an hour at work in the morning? And then there is a list of ‘Most Conscientious Employee’ of the month on the office board and a Rs. 250 gift voucher to feel happy about.
The recession may be over, but the fear still lurks on.