Monday, December 29, 2014

The Curious Case Of Dubious Quality At Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar

Have been wanting to record this instance for quite a few days. Finally.

In the last few years, a lot of construction and building work has taken place at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar.

Natural stone and granite have also been used in huge quantities.

We've been interested ever since this work began some years back. A few months back we did really get a chance, a small window to show what we can do, what we can supply, the quality et al. We were optimistic.

The construction company (a giant of a company in India) contracted by the Govt. of Gujarat
showed us the kind of material they expected from their suppliers. All top-notch.

We submitted quotations for high-quality in all kinds of stone they asked for, thinking it's such a big project. Such important work, such big construction company.

They found our quotation high. They bought the material from some other supplier(s).

We were disappointed. Just exactly why we were rejected, we were curious. So we went there for a courtesy call and to see what's getting used. The Project Manager proudly urged us to walk around and see the high-quality material they bought at dirt-cheap prices.

When you happen to visit Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar and walk around the Salt Mountain, check the quality of Brown/Yellow Kota Stone. We don't have the audacity to stock even a few samples of that kind of material, forget supplying it to any project.

That's the lamentation part of this post.

What perplexes me is, except a visual inspection, there's no other way to define quality in natural stone. Even a visual inspection will be subject to debate for there's yet no way for us, or them, to articulate and pinpoint and measure the aspects of high-quality, in spite of whatever words written or spoken, unless there's a genuine intention to do quality work. (For example, out here the word 'quality' sounds vacuous! You'll believe only when you see the material with your own eyes and feel it with your own touch.)

Even if we were to articulate the aspects of high-quality, only 100% visual monitoring can prove us right on our judgment of the ridiculous quality but that's not something that we can undertake or they would undertake and disclose.

Quality, material, words, inspection, chuck them! Humein toh Gandhiji se matlab hai!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Out-of-the-box solutions

often come from outsiders. Or comes when we are outside the box, literally or figuratively.

So 3 possible forms of outsider.

1) I am into jewelry retail. Someone who doesn't do the same is an outsider.
2) I am into jewelry retail. Example, I am showering and I get a cracking thought about jewelry retail.  I myself become the outsider. Literally.
3) I am into jewelry retail. I am thinking about something else sitting at my desk in the shop/office and suddenly I get a cracking thought about jewelry retail. Again I become the outsider. Figuratively.

First definition suggests that consultants, friends, father, brother, brother-in-law, jewelry manufacturer, etc. all these can be called outsiders.

I am more keen on looking at second and third definitions. Because the same person turns out to be an insider as well as an outsider.

In the second definition, I've mentioned 'showering' to suggest outsideness. However, it could just be anything. It could also be bird-watching. Or travelling. Or chilling on a beach. Or it could be working on a project other than jewelry retail.

Focus is important for thinking. So is outsideness. It makes sense to be working on at least two projects in any given time-frame.