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Merits of Professional Paid Consultancy

July 18, 2013

Indians have a tradition of giving free advice ,even without asking for it ! So, asking an average Indian citizen to go for a paid consultancy is almost a blasphemy.

About 100 years ago, selling food was considered unethical in India and about 20-25 years back , it was hard to imagine that water can be sold for a price.

But the Time has really changed in India in last 25 years ! Today, even a lower middle class person prefers to go for bottled drinking water in the hotel, despite availability of filtered water. There is sound economics behind that. It is better to spend Rs. 20/- than to risk a stomach upset , which may involve spending of hundreds of Rupees plus the trouble and suffering and earning loss.

Due to increased awareness, caused by media and better literacy, people have started now, to understand the economics of solving a problem ,using the available solutions and getting away from potential losses by a lingering unsolved problem.

Expertise and specialisation are the keywords of today's world. So, people try to become expert of a certain specialisation and earn good money out of it and then they spend some money to avail the services of experts of other specialisation. This way, everyone can get an expert's services.

Old Generation's Dilemma 

Now ,this new trend in Indian society , which has become a norm for young generation, is quite a dilemma for old generation ( aged 40 and more ) , which saw the era of free advice . This old generation considers itself expert of everything ,simply because of mature age or holding a senior post. And so they keep on giving and taking free advice , like those given on TV and Internet for obesity, heart problem, diabetes,hairloss and so on. Contrast it to new generation people, who would like to seek a professional consultancy on any problem and get it solved in a correct manner.

Who is more successful out of the two generations ? Answer is in favour of young generation. Believing in old legacy, many Indians still consider themselves expert of everything ,just because they may have a university degree or having a good job or simply being old. But, in reality, they are getting behind everyday in the race of life, just because they are neither willing to learn the new things nor they are going to take a paid consultancy for many of their lingering problems.

A Case Example 

Sometime back, on internet, I got a very good blog written by an IIT educated engineer, working in a multi-national company , which I saved in my computer and now I am reproducing it below :

" When the time of sending my son to school came , I did some introspection on my own schooling and education. The time and money spent on my schooling was much more than the value addition I got from my English Public School.

Today , with my foreign job exposure, I can say that in 14 years (12+Nursery+Prep) of my schooling, more than 50% time and effort was directed in learning English language. While in other non-English speaking countries like Japan, Germany, France etc,they devote their time & effort to learn new skills and subjects of their choice in their own languages and become experts in some of them, even at school going age. And whenever, they really need to learn English for a foreign job, there are schools for adults to learn any foreign language ( as shown in recent Bollywood film English-Vinglish) in 3 to 6 months at most.

With excessive focus on English language in Indian Public Schools , the time which could have been devoted to learning life-necessity skills like basic knowledge of politics, police, court , income tax , investment, medicine system, Indian constitution and basic laws etc are missing in school syllabus of Indian students .

So, after 14 years of schooling, such students are not fit for any office , industry or even higher education. Then ,they spend some more money and time and go to some coaching institute, which prepares them for Engineering / Medical / Law entrance exam , without bothering about their individual interest.

Leaving the fate of 98% who do not qualify in such exams , let us see what happens to those who qualify and enter a professional engineering / medical /law college etc. The school story is repeated here again.After spending money in lakhs with a 4-5 year's university degree, the person is still not fit for Industry, office work or pursuing higher degrees. Therefore , each organisations again conduct a test for recruitment or admission to post graduation.

Almost every organisation in India does fresh recruitment for its officers and executives by conducting the test again and then gives them about one year long training, where the trainer always says : "forget what you learnt in college and learn what we are training now."

The woes of the young generation do not end even after this training, because they adopt same methods of training which were used in school and colleges. Therefore, when the trained person finally  reports his boss for taking charge of any work, the boss says :" don't be oversmart and over confident simply because you have a good degree and one year training. Forget all that training , because training is only for ideal situations, which we never have in practice. So, here things are to be done as per my orders and methods , because I am responsible for running of this office and I will not tolerate anything against my wishes."

Finally the young generation starts learning the real A,B,C of Indian organisation's working ( private or government working, including IAS / PCS etc).Young generation's 20 years of schooling or college degree is at best worth at 15% and rest 85% becomes redundant . Such a waste of time & resources creates a further lack of confidence in young persons. 3 Idiot film shows this aspect of our schooling and university education. 

No school or college syllabus teaches about real functioning of Indian corporates, industries or government. When they get their first salary, they are told about PAN, Income Tax Return filing, investment and tax savings ,which they learn from colleagues in many years.Then over next 35-40 years ,they have little time to learn new things because of work and family responsibilities.

Let me move further and also see, what the so-called great experts in various specialisations are doing in India. More than 50% professional degree holders of engineering, medical and law discipline , are not working in their core specialisation at all.

Most of them shift their preference in different area in their start of career, so a B.Tech holder is found working in Banks , financial Institutions, Police,administration and so on.

Further , 70 to 80 % of the engineers recruited by government and public sector for technical work , are also not doing real technical work and they are only passing the bills of the contractor or MNC, like an accountant or a contract manager . So, none of these professionals really need to update their knowledge and skill.

This is not only happening in engineering sector alone, it is true for any other sector in India.

After all that introspection , I decided to settle abroad , so that my child escapes this vicious Indian education system and consequent waste of time and money. "

When most professionals in India are not honestly working in their core discipline, what can be expected from non-professional Aam Aadmi . In "Oh My God" film, Paresh Raval gets his shop insured, but his claim is rejected by insurance company saying that , in the case of "Act of God" payment will not be given. Paresh Raval signs on a blank form , which has several terms conditions written , in very small letters in English and insurance company says you have signed after reading the whole document.This happens with millions of Indians daily.

A common Indian would go to that doctor , who gives a medicine which cures fastest. He is not bothered till, he is told by another doctor ,that his kidneys have failed because he was prescribed steroid drugs ( the fast curing drug)for last so many years . An average Indian learns about medicine and health on the arrival of heart attack, kidney failure,cancer,brain haemorrhage , diabetes and so on. Same is true about other problem areas about insurance, law, police, tax ,fraud etc.

What is the way out  ?

But , if you think only Indian education system suffers these problems, you are wrong. This problem arose from import of Western education system and Western countries in Europe / USA also suffer from the minus points of this system but to lesser extent than us. Western countries developed consultant system to counter the pitfalls of their education system.

So, people in general in western countries, are encouraged to seek expert's or specialist's opinion on matters of health, education, future, marriage, sports, finance,tourism, publicity, law, technology, psychology and even religion also.From lower economic class to super rich class, every body in western countries takes the refuge of the consultants and thus saved from long term bad effects of self-diagnosis, as done by most Indians.

While we adopted the Western education system in very overzealous way but we refrain from adopting their "seek a consultant's advice" system. In India even consultant of one field would not take the advice of consultants from other areas e.g. a doctor or engineer would not go for consultancy from a CA or financial consultant, while keep on losing returns on his investments.

 Indians consult an expert only in the time of crisis and preventive consultancy is considered a waste of money and time by most Indians. They would go for worthless investments in chitfunds and other Ponzi schemes, without telling anyone or consulting an expert and would cry and complain to Government after losing all their money.

Most Indian parents would spend lakhs on directionless schooling and college education of their children, without ever consulting career or education experts ,which may cost just a couple of thousand money. The same is true about health, insurance,career,property,vehicle,marriage, family matters and retirement savings. The cost of paid consultancy is never more than a couple of thousand rupees but it can save not only millions but prevent various emergencies, loss of opportunities, suffering and time wastage.

Taking regular paid advice from consultants is more like putting 2% engine oil in the engine of life.But most Indians's behaviour is more like a rich person purchasing a costly car , purchasing the costly petrol, hiring a driver also but avoiding to go for preventive maintenance at regular intervals, thereby risking their costly Car, called LIFE.

 Whom &  How to Consult ?

There are many consultants out in market . Google can also help in online search and mobile ,internet banking, emails can facilitate it with a click of mouse.Once you have found the right one then you can depend on him for life. A good consultant has relevant and recognised academic qualifications with years of field experience. Then you can go for customer's opinion also about the consultant.

Google search is a nice tool to get a basic knowledge of any problem and after that you can utilise the consultant's paid advice in more effective way, rather than trusting the consultant's advice blindly. Google can help you check the authenticity of consultant's advice also.

Conclusions 

 

Like USA & Europe, paid professional consultancy is inevitable option for Indians also, because we have copied their lifestyle 90 % and this lifestyle is very complex in nature ,involving technology ,machines and legal provisions .

The free advice from even an expert, who may be your neighbour,relative or friend, will remain of casual nature only , because he will not go deeper into your data and you cannot complain also for any subsequent problem. The paid consultancy puts pressure on consultant to give his best output.

 

With professionally qualified graduates coming out in the market every year in lakhs,, it is now extremely important ,not only to go for professional paid advice but also to differentiate between the quack and real expert in any field. That means double alertness by doing the preliminary research about problem and finding the good consultant oneself.

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