Transiting from Analogue to Digital

A key architect of this heart warming journey , were a team of analogue copier maintenance engineers evolved into a digitally competent team , was R Balaji , the National Tech Support Head. I do remember when we had proposed to him to relocate to Delhi and take up a National responsibility post a successful stint as the Regional Tech Support Manager ( South ) , he was very hesitent, and unsure if this was the right thing for him to do .This has always been a trait of Balaji , he deliberates a lot before he makes a move effecting his career .
The earlier encumbant Ajay Dewan had painted a very poor image of the role and hence the hesitation. I used an anology then , and have since used it several times , to get Balaji to think of his role differently. I told him that his role was like painting a picture on a very large canvas .He can choose to paint a very small picture or choose to paint a very large one .The choice was his.Roles in HQ’s for such support roles are invariably like this .The value of the role comes out only when a big pictures is attempted to be painted. Balaji saw the wisom of this and went on to paint a very glorious picture.His role more than any one elses was pivotal in this transition as he provided effective leadership to the support team under his command.
The first key player in the drama was Sudhir Putran .Sudhir was languishing in the West Warehouse in Mumbai on a refurbishing assignment , when we choose him to come to Delhi to be the Product Support Manger for the desktop  laser printers we were to launch. It seems so laughable how very seriously we had taken our ability or rather our inability to maintain printers as simple as the 4010 & 4011.Sudhir turned out to be an ideal Product Manager .He himself gained competence  rapidly and was able to lead and guide the team well. He served as a very useful information source for product performance related issues not only for the service team but also for the sales team. He went on to take up higher responsibilities and more challenging products, including high end printing systems and was a key resource in the development of programmes and training that enabled the successful transition . Sudhir’s multi dimensional capabilities also got him  roles in the Channels Sales team and in course of time he moved on to Compaq , then into HP on it’s merge with HP , were he was the Service Head for Channel Sales . He is currently the National Service Head of Lenova .Quite amazing for a copier refurb engineer.
With the initial inputs on PC’s and computer fundamentals provided by Balaji & Sudhir , the team’s thirst for knowledge grew by leaps and bounds.Those were days when laptops and PC’s were not so freely available ,and team members would return after an exhausting and tiring day maintaining copiers , to freshen up , then take over from the work controllers and other staff who worked on computers , to learn on their own .It was not surprising to find the eager beavers  working had at it late into the night and some times into the early hours of the morning  .The thirst for knowledge and upgradation of skills I guess is a fundamental part of the DNA of any good maintenance engineer.This zeal and the espirit the corp the team showered in sharing knowledge and working together to jointly build competency was another remarkable hall mark of this transition programme.
Another key enabler was the Digit training programme  .This comprehensive training programme  for IT & computing  skills was put together by a core team of Arvind Nayan, Jagan , Bhargab lead by Balaji .Several others also contributed to this collaborative effor and the names that come readily to mind are Muruganandam & Nilanjan Sur .The programme went on to receive acclodes from across trhe Xerox world and copies of the programme were also sent to other countries , Egypt being one of them if my memory serves me right.
I am going to invite as many of the key players  as possible to contribute and write about their recollections andthoughts about the Digit programme and also the transition as such

Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

3 thoughts on “Transiting from Analogue to Digital”

  1. I am in a situation we term as "loss of words"….Since morning today am going thru the blog month by month & have reached to this page, where I cant stop my self to add comment, without invitation to do so…& not sure will be able to do justice to my urge of writing something here…many small incidents, which made big difference in life comes to mind but not able to give the flow of the words, may be as reading thru the journey of life with this blog with boss & finding lots of roots to many things influenced my life on way….one incident on DIGIT programme & desire for knowledge for service engineer…goes here….It was September of 1998; I got married in May’98 & navratri festival was on during this time in September. All my years till the time I crossed 30 mark, I had been die hard garba player & singer. Navratri in Gujarat for me was the time to drink, dance & enjoy all nights after closing service calls in government offices on Xerox copiers & I never missed a single night during those years…today when this festival is around me on my corner seat in balcony with glass of my favourite Scotch & think what made me work hard physically all thru the day & night continuously for 4-5 days & nights….which is now just in the list of memories to rejoice.Coming back to DIGIT; as my test was on the 4th night of the navratri for level 3 & I wanted to score the best. as I rightly learnt that the life is all about choices we make & this I still communicate to my team being in business; I had choice to enjoy 4 nights of navratri with music & first one after marriage with my wife & to study for digit level 3 test & just not to clear the test with good score but to digest the principals & fundamentals in a way which gives inner satisfaction of gaining the knowledge. This thrust which was latent but came out thanks to the leadership & culture set in Xerox at that time. I opted for my choice & spent all 4 nights at home reading thru materials & my wife went for garba with my friends. I think it’s not the programme but the way programmes were taken & implemented, the synergy & the philosophy with honest approach, ignited minds & every one around me was like swimming in to the ocean of new era with harmony…..thanks boss for getting me a chance to share few lines & taking me to take stock take of life, making me learn a lot by looking back at every walk…you made the difference & many such small things with big difference, still living inside many like me…

  2. hope all of you who were parners in these great initiatives can write and share your views and observations

  3. Sir, In between the Analogue to Digital transition, we also had the VIVACE 300 series of Semi Digital Copiers. We got two machines for testing and training at NWH, Okhla and I personally had to churn out over 5 lac copies in 1 month and prepare the training materials and the program which subsequently went of very well. In fact at the end of this launch I was also awarded a Gift and Certificate by you. It was worth all the teething problems that come with a launch and the sleepless nights trying to figure out RCAs of various issues. Also after the first few handholding sessions on the LP4010/11 by Sudhir, I took up this opportunity and went across to Calcutta, Lucknow, Bangalore to conduct the Laser trainings and than took up a regional role. The entire experience is unforgettable and your words have recreated those days when a small thing such as 799/800 gear failure(1025) was taken up in earnest and the shaft reworked and refitted by enterprising engineers who as you rightly mentioned used to reach office after 7 or 8pm and than start their OWN LEARNING on computers of the Work Controller desktops which had floppy drives and very little storage space etc… The transition to DIGITAL was truly launched in India via XEROX and all of it due to the eagerness and willingness to go on the path where others did not see any future. We are proud that a community of over 900 engineers only at the time, was able to create a wave which has generated immense benefits to Indian Corporates and MNCs operating in India. This core group of Service Engineers were bright young minds with lots of sparks and fire in the belly. Any problem that was not resolved at local level got National Level support and we had our DKSen dada to take care of all Analogue problems and Jagan and Aravind for the digital ones. There was a lot of happening things at XEROX in those days and every team wanted to win all the competitions not for the money but for the sake of the Location Head / Team / Getting their names in the Grandslams etc…. Now that you have opened up this blog, I am sure lot of others will start contributing.Signing Off- Santosh Chitale

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