Let us begin with a humble submission. This is our first attempt at writing a textbook and we would like to thank Pearson Education for having given us the opportunity to do so. Like all other first-time authors, we have been very ambitious (trying to include almost everything) and too fastidious (there is always a way to do things better). The writing of this book has been a journey for both of us but unlike most journeys this one never had a dull or a sad moment. We started off as colleagues at Reliance Telecom, chose to be co-authors, but ended up as great friends. We have successfully complemented each other's strengths in a way which has left both of us feeling enriched and blessed. We hope you enjoy reading this book as much as we enjoyed researching and putting it together.
This book would not have been possible without the constant persuasion of Vikarn Chowdhary of Pearson Education, who made sure that all our efforts were channelized in a way to make sure that this book saw the light of day. Thank you, Vikarn! We would also like to extend our thanks to Barun Kumar Sarkar, also of Pearson, and to Praveen Tiwari.
We have spent an entire year researching the Indian workplace, looking for successful endeavours and experiments of Indian companies in various areas, all with the purpose of giving more meaning to the theory and concept with the help of illustrations and examples. We have tried to draw in as much as possible from our own experiences at the workplace. In fact, they have been the inspiration for Plain Jane, the cartoon strip. A big thanks goes to young and enthusiastic Arnab Chakraborty for preparing the comic strip for us. Arnab put up with our demanding behaviour in an enviably sporting manner. The result shows. We love Plain Jane and we hope you too do.
I, Sharon, would particularly like to thank my maternal grandmother, to whom I have dedicated this book. Her perseverance, dedication and hard work were phenomenally inspiring and are the lessons I have imbibed from her. I would also like to thank my parents, husband Kiran and daughter Shania, without whose patience this book would not have been possible. Special thanks to my friends from the industry—HR professionals whose help I seek in times of trouble.
I, Swapnalekha, would like to thank my husband Anshul for being there always and daughter Aditi, who never made me feel guilty about having taken a long leave from all maternal duties for an entire year.
Many thanks to R. Padiyar and Vincent D'souza for their help on some of the employee laws. We are also grateful to Dr Sripada Chandrasekhar, Vice-President and Head, Human Resources, IBM India/South Asia, who consented to write the foreword for this book.