Corporate culture shock for India’s Congress

Corporate culture shock for India’s Congress

INDIA - Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is trying to bring corporate management to the 128-year- old party rooted in tradition that usually resists change.

Since taking over as the party's second in command seven months ago, the 43-year-old politician has introduced questionnaires for state leaders, a colour grading system to gauge performance and quarterly reviews to see if state units are meeting targets like shortlisting potential candidates for the 2014 general election.

In Kerala, a three-colour-coding system was introduced two months ago with red for bad, yellow for average and green for good. Three functionaries have been graded red and warned to buck up or lose their posts.

Senior Congress politicians, more used to a laid-back style of functioning, complete with long meetings over hot cups of tea and samosas, must fill up a four-page form every three months with questions such as: What have you done to prepare for the elections?

What have you achieved in the last three months? and How many hours did you work?

The answers are reviewed in meetings by Mr Gandhi's chosen aides, who fly down to state capitals from Delhi.

To the great discomfort of those who fall short, the Gandhi scion is making sure every form and target report is catalogued.

The corporate world is not unknown to Mr Gandhi, who worked as a management consultant in London for three years after graduation. He returned to India in 2002 and in 2004 joined politics, embracing his political legacy as the heir to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty which has given India three prime ministers.

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