The Digital Content Team, of which I am a part, of the company (one of the Tata companies) where I have recently joined, decided to break for lunch at 1:30 in the afternoon. We went to the cafeteria which was clean and well lighted, and full of people (employees). Some members of the team bring their lunch from their homes, while the rest of us have our lunch in the cafeteria and help in increasing its revenue, for which the south India cafeteria manager, who, I assume, is also the owner, is ever happy (as in all trade, the more the buyer, the merrier the trader).
While I was in the queue placing my order for the food and getting the plate in my hand, my team members had already found a place to sit and, having done so, had begun eating. They were surrounded by members of some other teams. At a glance round the table I saw an empty chair and was ready to sit on it, but a lady said, in a very serious manner, that someone from her team was going to come and sit on it. I moved from there and began looking for an empty chair around the tables (three or four tables connected so as to form one line), near my team members. One chair to the corner had not found an occupier yet, and I could have gone and sat there, but the problem was that a man, middle-aged, wearing spectacles (that made him look rather studious) and whose trimmed beard and moustache could tell their own stories (some being young and, therefore, black; some aged and, therefore, white), sat in between my team members and the corner seat. Two more people (a woman and a man) on the opposite side of the table seemed to be with him, having launch together. On the opposite side there was a chair but the presence of someone’s helmet on it was an indication that it was already reserved.
My movement did not go unnoticed. The man who was between my team members and the corner chair said, “Come, please, you sit here, and I will move to the corner.” He moved. I sat on the relinquished chair and it became easier for me to chitchat and have food with my team. Very soon, the man, who offered me his seat, and the two people who were having launch with him, rose from their chairs, picked up their plates to be taken near the wash basin, but no sooner did the man take a step ahead than two workers of the cafeteria hurriedly came and took the man’s plate and carried it to the wash basin (though the man insisted he would do it). I wondered who the man was. After he was gone, I asked one of my team members who the person was. I was told that the person’s name was Avijit Mitra, the CEO and the MD of the company! (And, oh, to think, because of me, while he was lunching, he had to get up and take a different chair!).
I have seen many CEOs but never have I seen a CEO as humble as he. If he wanted he could have had food brought to him in his cabin, he could have had spent as much money as he wanted and eat the most expensive and the most exotic food every day, but there he was, one among the others, taking delight in having the same food. As he talks to people (which I have seen him doing), he talks with a great deal of respect, and his voice is always low (clearly audible though) and sweet. He is a product of the Tata culture, and it shows. Though I wasn’t aware of who he was, but my first encounter with him made me believe that humility can surely make you rich (rich in many senses) and worthy of respect, from one and all.
Copyright © 2018 RAMU DAS