DailyPost 2046

Get into cutting edge services in this country and then you would realize, what these services can make of you, and for what length of time and the providers still escape unscathed. This is the weird destination of the Indian nation and the Indian citizen. When you break out of the ordinary, beyond the Swiggy / UPI type payments or payments pertaining to your utilities public or private, it is a different world. When you cross the normal domain of ease and comfort, the world outside remains as precarious as ever, though the packaging has completely changed. The completion, delivery and feedback ecosystem created here is one of its kind, nothing great to do with reality. Only two things matter; one customer acquisition and second is completion and feedback.

The customer is at their service and mercy. They would decide what information you are supposed to share with him, completely throwing to winds the law in the country. Without your phone number and all the information they require, you cease to exist. A sitting member of parliament had to face music for not sharing her mobile number. Once in a while, when things get hot, any odd number is fed to make good this requirement. Database is an asset which they want to create, while making the cash registers ring doing business with you. The data which is yours can be thus monetized, whichever way they feel like. It can be sold to a third party and we are all facing the impact of this ailment, day in and day out. While you might not get the service you want, you can be bombarded with their messages, cajoling you to buy goods and services. Have we not moved ahead to become a bonded labor customer?

Customer is the king in only advertisements. It is like a honeymoon package to Switzerland. Face to face is the hard grind. In India everything’s made to look good, the backend is as messy as ever. The silos remain silos, with one crude message interface here and there. After Apple was chided for iPhone battery in one of the European courts, it remained a tedious task to get the promised battery, from iPhone’s channel partner in HSR Layout, Bangalore; took a few rounds, reminders and finally a hot verbal duel in the shop itself. Getting a home loan in ICICI closed by getting it transferred to another bank, can be such an uphill task, that you will end, giving up. That is what the bank wants. In the meantime, you will get a Loan Recall Notice. There is no clarity on whom to write and approach / meet for redressal. The centralization of services has led to the decentralization of woes. The banking digital make-believe world falls flat.

HDFC Bank, the market leader has its own story. To get the branch changed for an Corporate account in Bangalore itself can be more tedious than opening an account. God knows what they do with documents already provided and available with the bank. One year of corporate banking with them gave me a feeling that some public sector banks may be better off. The person who was so happy to get the corporate account opened, got into the vanishing act whenever I needed him after it. Later with lots of effort and intervention of the Branch Manager, I got what is euphemistically termed as a Preferred Banking Relationship Manager. It was my duty to maintain the relationship and not his job to help me out. Corporate net banking remains with its minimalist features. An account can be blocked, without you being told in advance by any mode of communication whatsoever, that it is likely to happen for the reason communicated. Even after blocking, there is no communication. The relationship manager did have any knowledge of the banking software, or the process. The Branch Manager said that she had joined recently. Welcome to the new world of Indian professional services.

Sanjay Sahay

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