‘Good management is nurturing in nature’
Jun 26, 2017-
For someone whose first job was that of a Math and Science teacher in a middle-school, Chandra Tandan has come quite a long way. After coming to Kathmandu from his native Arghakhanchi, Tandan soon got into the remittance sector as thenumber of Nepalis migrating for foreign employment began to soar. Now the managing director at City Express Money Transfer, a company that he founded, Tandan is also a board of director at Citizens Bank and Citi Investment Fund. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, he talks about efficiently juggling many
commitments, the values crucial to the service industry and his management mantras. Excerpts:
As you’re involved with various organisations apart from City Express, how do you multitask and stay abreast with all your business interests?
In the organisations that I am involved with, we have efficient team members who are delegated set tasks and responsibilities that they need to fulfil. These team members are well aware about their job descriptions. Heading many organisations and dealing with all kind of issues is tedious and next to impossible. So, although I am a policymaker at various organisations, I do not like to micro manage and disturb the ambience of the workplace. I have full faith in my employees and I like to give them their space. As long as there is transparency and honesty, I don’t think it leaves much space for negativity. Talking about multitasking, you need to learn how to manage time. If you don’t manage time, you’ll fail as a leader and as a professional. Effective time management is one skill that all leaders should acquire.
Retention is a big problem in the corporate sector today. What extra mile does your organisation go to in order to retain and motivate its staff?
At City Express, we have more than 100 employees across all our branches in Nepal. As an employer, I am satisfied with how things are functioning in the organisation. Every employee has a proper job description and most of them have internalised their responsibilities. With input from the heads of departments, we try to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each employees. We also try to help those who have personal issues or those that are struggling to grasp their responsibilities. This can be a win-win situation for both the employees and employers as there is constant effort from both the ends. If the employees are given utmost importance, it will not only benefit the employees but the entire organisation. We strongly believe that apart from monetary benefits, it is equally essential to compliment and appreciate your employees for their contribution.
As someone heading such a large organisation, what are some of the challenges that you have to negotiate with?
It is a difficult task to hold a position like a managing director, where you not only have to manage your employees but also various other issues. In Nepal, remittance has become a big source of income to many households and our priority is to provide them with the best service. As a managing director, it is crucial for me to earn the respect of my employees and customers. If I do earn that respect and perform dutifully, both the employees and customers will lose faith. As we are in the service industry, it is our duty to make our customers happy. If they are happy and satisfied, the customer base will increase naturally.
Before running such a large remittance organisation, I was a management teacher at a few colleges. With that experience, I gathered insights about the value of human capital and the corporate culture which has been invaluable. To become a successful manager one needs to observe the strength of their employees and give them responsibilities according to their ability. In addition, the manager needs to ensure transparency at work. That is the secret to becoming a successful manager.
As the remittance industry is service-based, what does City Express do to develop better customer service values?
Our employees are trained to give a personal touch to the services that they provide. For instance, if a person is flying to Saudi Arabia as a migrant worker, we ensure that they are well sorted financially before they leave the country. In addition, we have many employees abroad that help them not just with remittance but also to overcome challenges at their new workplaces, as best they can. Our prime goal is to make things simple and convenient for our customers at every step of their lives.
What are your management mantras?
The only way to success is transparency. As long as there is transparency at work, everything goes smooth. As a good manager, one needs to understand the unique selling point of their employees and try to nurture them. If you nurture your employees, you are nurturing the entire organisation too. Good management is nurturing, not exploitative. These are the only success mantras of management.
What advice do you have for fresh graduates who want to join the service sector?
Leaving abroad for further education has become a big trend. This may stop eventually because the career prospect in Nepal is getting better. If you hunt for good opportunities, Nepal has many innovative sectors which are still unexplored.
But, although business schools in Nepal have rigorous syllabi and excellent faculty members, the products they are creating still are rough around the edges. When they apply for a job, we realise that they studied management just for the heck of it. So I’d advice the youth to pause for a while, think of what you want in life and only then move forward. Don’t be a part of the rat race. Understand your potential and you will learn through perseverance.
Published: 26-06-2017 08:21