Tuesday 6 December 2011

Incredible India: Honest to Koenig Solutions

Growth at the expense of quality

Much as I would want nothing to curb my enthusiasm, I have been forced to curb my expectations but only for a while.

I am saddened to hear that despite the successes of Koenig Solutions in the delivery of Information Technology training that has made them recognised partners with global IT firms of repute and won them many prizes and accolades, their push for growth and expansion is affecting other essential matters badly.

Now, there is a great possibility that the expectations of trainees from the West could be radically different from those of trainees from other parts of the world, it should not make for poor standards of management, administration and trust.

Those silly little things

It is the little things in many places that add up to losing confidence and the encouragement to recommend these albeit good services to others.

For me, it started with the confusion about visas then on to the poor arrangements for picking me up at the airport for which I am yet to get a decent explanation or apology for that cock-up, my training centre where the coffee area is so dirty as to constitute a health risk; the foul dustbin just beneath the coffee machine, the toilet facilities show aging and the hand-soap bottles are best left untouched so as not to invite a plague.

I have somewhat overcome the shock of what to expect for lunch, vegetarian meals from Haldirams will suffice though I know my dentition is naturally intended for meatier stuff with a tendency to vampire lust.

Discontent and frustration

The cooks at the inn seemed to excel themselves this evening for the chicken wings appeared to acquire the excitement of taste by reason of the spices generously poured over them.

However, I sense a seething discontent, complaints about promises left unfulfilled tantamount to untruths on the part of some staff at the centre. The lack of record-keeping in terms of fees paid or books ordered and delivered.

Having conducted courses for years with people from all parts of the globe no discernible lessons have been learnt to facilitate the couriering of the heavy books and manuals to the students’ home countries; verbal arrangements are made to take tests at certain times only for the trainees to be told the tests cannot be taken on the newly arranged dates.

Frustrated opportunities

Trainees who feel that the only advantage of coming to India offers is an environment distant from the distractions at home, some of the trainers not ensuring that their activity is helping the trainees that they have decided to skip class rather than complain out of frustration that only apologies will be offered without effective action to ameliorate the situation.

These are all little probably inconsequential things that could easily be overlooked but when each apparently forgivable thing is collated into a list of issues, you begin to see what are systemic management failings that are creeping onto a heretofore tight ship and it is only a matter of time before the weight of this becomes the fundamental disincentive to those who at one time were persuaded to engage the services of this organisation.

Quality needs to gain new focus

All that said and done, my training is going apace; I am learning new things each day; the times have been productive and I am gaining confidence in the areas where I was once weak. My trainer is a fine young knowledgeable man.

There is no doubt that Koenig Solutions can polish up their act, they have all the potential even in India to make the whole end-to-end experience world-class, efficient, excellent and considerably worthwhile and as for all the quantity, quality will always be the distinguishing factor when we put the matter of cost to one side.

It all matters, every single detail; so far, a straw poll of those from my side of the globe indicates their other colleagues will not hear glowing reviews of how things are at the moment and that would be an avoidable shame.

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