Goof up! I forgot to mention two important ‘Datta’!!
My friend NS Iyer was very prompt in pointing this out, and thank you so much, sir, the story would not be complete without them. Yes, there are tow more Datta who have influenced my life.
A trainer friend Y Dattatreya met me when he had kicked his job. I was also looking out for a good trainer to hold some team intervention programs. Datta has studied TA [Transactional Analysis] in great depth. His knowledge of TA and his counselling skills left a deep mark on my mind. Datta soon became my counsellor as well, and I suspect that at a later date the converse was also true!
I gained a new friend at Tata Institute of Social Science about ten years ago. Dr. RC Datta and I shared a passion for Industrial Relations. We discussed strikes, lock outs, decisions of various courts and their impact. We had a lot of common views. But there was a difference. I was a practising manager while Dr. Datta was a researcher and professor. Dr. Datta covered certain research areas that others covered much later. He studied Mumbai’s Dabbawala years before the Management Gurus showcased it as a six sigma operation. What distinguishes Dr. Datta is that he values experiencing more than any other researcher I know. When writing about BPO work, he actually attended a night shift in a BPO and witnessed what was happening!
Dr. Datta recommended and was instrumental in my appointment as TISCO Chair Professor at TISS. We worked together on some projects and it was a great learning for me. I feel that all practising managers must take two years off to work at research institutions; there everything is analysed carefully, all statements are weighed and debated, and it is a great learning experience. This friendship continues although he has moved to Coca Cola University.
So five persons impacted my life deeply. They bore the name of the Lord Dattatreya. I have learnt so much from these five gentlemen. I am ever grateful to them. And to the Lord who arranged them to play important role in my life!