Saturday, January 12, 2019

Millennial lens: What do they expect from their employers?

Currently, we have about 2 billion millennials in the world. Engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice but rather a compulsion. Companies need to rethink their strategy when it comes to hiring and engaging millennials.

The 2016 millennial survey by Deloitte presents an alarming scenario that shows majority of the millennials or Gen Y workers are likely to change their companies by 2020. The survey also points to the fact that this lack of loyalty may be a sign of poor levels of engagement of millennial workers around the world turning out to be a huge red flag for all companies.

What would a millennial look for when choosing a company to work? What are the factors that will bear more weightage than others? If companies wants to attract millennials, then they must take into consideration what they really expect from their workplace.

Dr Debashish Sengupta, Director, Alliance School of Business Alliance University, Bangalore, India in his book “The Life of Y” writes about engaging millennials at the workplace providing insights on how businesses and organizations can redesign the strategy to build attractive workplaces that appeal to these young workers.

Read the full article here.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Why Learn about Ideologies?

Dr. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, an Adjunct Professor and former visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, brings his academic and wider experience to bear on the need to learn and understand ideologies.

Very often, we hear people say things like these:

‘You’re a fascist.’
‘That’s a neoliberal economic policy.’
‘This is truly radical feminism.’
‘They’re a bunch of marxists.’
‘This is a postmodern novel.’
‘We’re facing a techno-managerialist takeover of a public institution.’

We hear, or read, or use, ideological terms such as ‘liberalism’, ‘feminism’, environmentalism’, and many others all the time. They are used as shorthand descriptions, or to help us reach conclusions about policies or events, or - sometimes entertainingly - as insults, and of course in many other contexts.

But what would people say if we asked them what exactly they meant, or in what way a policy is neoliberal, or precisely how a particular moral attitude is fundamentalist? What would we ourselves say if people asked us why we think a conservative response to, say, a national educational reform plan makes good sense and raises significant challenges to the plan?

There are at least two good reasons for learning about political ideologies. The first is that we can ask for - or insist on - and understand the explanations we are given, or we can show that the people using ideological labels do not know what those terms mean, or that they have seriously misunderstood the words they are using.

The second is that we would be much better placed to understand the wider forces that shape our lives, that is, to understand and question our elected representatives and our public-service officials much better about what they plan to do, about what they actually do, and about why they do things the way they do them. We would gain a deeper and clearer understanding of the answers they give us, or of where they are evading our questions, and of how and why policies succeed or fail. 

That is essential to our being citizens in any form of democracy, and in other systems it can be crucial to our very survival. In democracies, we can see how the state often recognises the importance of public accountability, in the form of laws which give the public rights to official information. Indeed, we could start to see how even those kinds of laws are different in different countries, and how the laws themselves express or embody different political ideologies; we would learn different ways of reading our world, of making sense of events, institutions, and political cultures.

Those are just some of the ways in which even reasonable knowledge of political ideologies - of the ideas they express of human nature, and of society and politics - helps us to understand our world better, and even to act with deeper knowledge of it. Indeed it says something about our current political condition that we so often use ideological terms freely but with almost no idea of what they mean.

We would, furthermore, make some startling discoveries For example, the neoliberal thinker Friedrich von Hayek, who argued all his life against state planning and state intervention in the economy, favoured a public welfare safety net - which, by implication, would expand as an economy expands. We might also wonder what Hayek would have said about the fact that major governments committed to neoliberalism poured something like $3 trillion into rescuing private banks whose own actions had caused the 2007-9 global financial crash. As for Karl Marx, it is not widely recognised that he hated violence and walked out of organisations which advocated violence. We would find that many extreme fundamentalist sects which loathe everything about modern society are also very skilled in using the internet, advertising and PR techniques, and high-tech weaponry to spread and enforce their messages to great, even global, effect - and that they could not do without the latest technologies. 

If you want to read a clear, direct, and accessible textbook which aims to aid the reader to identify and evaluate the assumptions underlying a wide range of public matters read the SAGE textbook Introduction to Political Ideologies by Arvind Sivaramakrishnan.

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Click here for the complete list of textbooks on Political theory and thought.

This article was originally published on University Express, on December 29, 2018.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Human factor from womb to tomb

If your dream job is to play a role in creating a positive workplace culture and engage in personnel development, gaining the right qualifications and professional accreditation is essential. At the heart of every successful business lies the human resources team which drives all aspects of staff management. Human Resource Management (HRM) has emerged as a potential green area attracting attention of people worldwide from all corners, including industries, education, banking, hospitals, tourism, etc. It is so because human factor is the only active factor of production while other factors of production are passive and are made active only by human factor whether visibly or invisibly. It is here that HRM comes into vogue as it takes care of human factor from womb to tomb i.e. right from procurement to retirement and even thereafter. It is therefore natural that in order to attract, maintain and retain the desired talent, every organization is keen to have the best possible human resource management.

SAGE Publishing has a fast growing list of high-quality textbooks on Human Resources written by industry and subject experts. Dr. R.C. Sharma, Founder Vice-Chancellor, Amity University Haryana (AUH), who is presently Professor Emeritus, Amity Business School introduces you to HRM and also enlightens on a relatively new, yet popular concept of Employee value proposition (EVP) through this article. It is not only the employees that gain from EVP by way of attracting and retaining the desired talent but also the prospective employees. EVP facilitates them to make a decision whether they should join an organization or not.

However, attracting and retaining the desired talent is not a simple task. It involves a lot of things but, of late, the concept of employee value proposition, (EVP) is gaining momentum. EVP is a set of associations and offerings provided by an organization in return for the skills, capabilities and experience an employee brings to the organization. EVP is, thus, the value that employees get in return for working at their organizations.

Every organization should, therefore, build unique brands of themselves in the eyes of their prospective employees to attract them. This essentially implies developing a statement of ‘why the total work experience at their organizations is superior to that at other organisations. The value proposition, therefore, should outline the unique employee policies, programmes, rewards and benefit programmes that prove an organisation’s commitment to people. It should define to a prospective employee’s ‘why should I join this organization?’ Not only this, EVP should be well communicated in all hiring efforts of the organization. As such it may be duly reflected on the company’s website, job advertisements and letters extending employment opportunities.

Building EVP

While thinking about creating an employer band, we first think about how it looks. Hence, we focus on a logo or the type of font to use as this is what our prospective employees see first. However, simply having an attractive face may not suffice. It should be lively as well as having its own personality. It is here, that EVP comes into picture because the EVP is how life can be put into your employer band. In order to develop a meaningful value proposition, the six steps to be taken involve dig, listen, analyse, decide, build and codify. EVP provides a fairly good idea about the organization concerned - its philosophy and HR policies, employer’s concern for its employees, facilities available for personal growth, benefits, both financial and non-financial, available to the employees, and finally the future of the employees at the organization.

To know more about the aforesaid six steps, read Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice by R.C. Sharma and Nipun Sharma published by SAGE India.
If you have any questions for the author, please write to us at

Click here for the complete list of textbooks on Human Resource Management.

* Author Credits:  R C Sharma
This article was originally published on University Express, on December 27, 2018.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Power of Diversity and Inclusion at Workplace

SAGE publications in association with AVTAR group is thrilled to announce the launch of one-of-its kind book “The 99 Day Diversity Challenge by the award-winning social entrepreneur Dr Saundarya Rajesh”. The book is designed to develop an inclusion and diversity mindset in any organization or even individual within the proverbial 99 days.
In an engaging, gentle, often light-hearted way, Dr Saundarya Rajesh demystifies this vast subject of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) for the business leader, the diversity enthusiast and even the young professional who is curious about this topic.  Over a set of 99 stories, anecdotes and thought blogs, this book sequentially uncovers what inclusion and diversity means and how this can be absorbed by just about everyone.
Dr Saundarya through her work in this area for several years is best-placed to author a book on this topic as it answers a very pertinent question-- Is a Unified Culture Possible in a Diverse Workplace?  “Yes” says the author and in her admirable style reiterates that she ‘fervently believe that the ability to survive in a world of diversity and espousing inclusion will be among the most sought-after skills right after the 3 R’s (the proverbial Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic). Managing people of different generations, leading a gender-diverse team, working. out deals with a client at the other end of the globe, sending your kid off to a country you have only seen on Travel & Living—all of these and more are what we call ‘the business case for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)’. D&I is here to stay, especially in a world where ‘humanizing behaviour’ will be the key competitive differentiator when mundane tasks are overtaken by machines

The book is being released on 24th October at the conference organized by AVTAR group to honour Working Mother and AVTAR 100 Best Companies for Women in India for 2018 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Who speaks for whom? A peek into our new release: Gendering Caste

Systematically organized and exhaustively researched, Gendering Caste: Through a Feminist Lens is a well-rounded discussion on divergent feminist interests. It moves from a common bond of oppression that women face universally towards a more diversified form of oppression and struggle that delineates gender inequality intersected by caste.

Maithreyi Krishnaraj, series editor states that “Patriarchy in India, Uma explains, is in the plural (and the word is used as an adjective), not a monolithic unchanging system”. In the wake of the recent feminist wave that advocates an examination of inequality in terms of multiple vectors, Chakravarti’s work is an excellent study into how caste violence influences, disintegrates and attacks women in particular. One of the most interesting chapters from the book, “Caste and Gender in Contemporary India” discusses women’s complicity in the caste politics and this is by far the most brutally honest rendition on internalization of both patriarchy as well as the caste system. This chapter highlights as to how gender and caste are inextricably linked, thus reproducing the structure of oppression many folds.

The book also explicitly derives that caste is responsible for dividing women and erasing the possibility of a sisterhood amongst women. Uma Chakravarti traces this argument and takes it forward through an organized research on different levels. The ideological and material hold of patriarchy is investigated to determine not just gender inequality or subsequent oppression but it also put forth a dark reality of two kinds of oppression mechanisms correlated and interdependent. Specific and worse forms of oppression experienced by Dalit women are informed in this work.

The series editor introduces the ideas that Chakravarti has discussed in this extensive work and pauses at few questions in her Foreword. She states that symbols of caste are laden with meanings of hierarchy and to discard these symbols would scoop out a major portion of Hindu religion and its manifestation. “These are things to ponder on”, she says.

Read more if you are interested in this inextricably twisted dynamics of Gender and caste, order your copy of the book @ 

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Why do Sales People Lie?

There are those who say that no one in the world goes without taking recourse to lies – white lies, minor lies, major lies and outright con jobs. Yet not all professions carry the burden of being generally untruthful. There may be other professions that might give a run for the money on the sweepstakes of being the most deceitful. A more recent study of the lies even stated that on an average people tell 1.65 lies per day.

The concern is not with them but just the salespeople. Why do they lie?

The nature of the sales chain of command has always been very military. There is an attitude that each day is a battle day for them. The market is the war zone and every day is one of combat. Most sales managers assume the role of the drill sergeant. Orders are bark out and the battalion assumes compliance. There is only one difference that sales team are unlike army troupes that march into every campaign together and fight as one unit.

Across the various surveys done with sales professionals, it appeared that the base of all lying is the reluctance to face up the possibility of failure. It seems to be the most common motivation to lie is FEAR. Sales professional must keep in mind if the business objective is to instill ethics and integrity in your business driven organization, do not fret over fear and lies. Moreover, substantially try to increase business and stakeholder risks, and they must be carefully managed. The book tries to answer both aspects of ethical and unethical practices pursued by the sales professionals in the market.

Below quote may be a predicament for salespeople but rightly stated by P. T. Barnum, one of the greatest salespeople who ever lived, was adamantly against fraudulent selling, but he recognized the subtle nuances about honesty and lying: “An honest man who arrests public attention will be called a “humbug,” but he is not a swindler or an impostor. If, however, after attracting crowds of customers by his unique displays, a man foolishly fails to give them a full equivalent for their money, they never patronize him a second time, but they very properly denounce him as a swindler, a cheat, an impostor; they do not, however, call him a ‘humbug.’ He fails, not because he advertises his wares in an [outrageous] manner, but because, after attracting crowds of patrons, he stupidly and wickedly cheats them.”

From a chapter in the book, Sales People Don’t Lie by Roshan L. Joseph. Get your copy today @

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Challenges of marketing a taboo product in an emerging market that is also culturally conservative

On an early December morning in 2014, Mr Shabih Haider, Director of Biogenics, sipped his coffee as he stared absentmindedly out of his office window and looked at the traffic on the main Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi. His forehead creased with concern as he thought about Hamdam, Biogenics’ contraceptive (condom) brand. He looked at the reports which reflected a falling sales trend over the past ten quarters as well as falling profitability figures. The reports made him uneasy. Ever since they had launched Hamdam, the sales were far from satisfactory. The entire Hamdam team had been concentrating their efforts on the branded contraceptive to drive up the sales, but the response had been less than desired.
The problems that Hamdam was facing were not easy to overcome. The general consumer perception towards the contraceptive market was not very accepting and the social rejections had made marketing for such brands a challenging task. Nonetheless, Pakistan still offered vast potential that was too significant to be ignored. 
Now is the time to develop the market, create awareness and find some effective solutions to communicate with the consumers,’ the diligent director thought to himself. Shabih Haider was not a man to give up easily. He believed in taking everything head-on as the key to dealing with challenging and formidable tasks. What lay ahead of him was a society which perceived the issue of family planning and use of contraceptives as a taboo topic and considered discussions regarding them as indecent and scandalous. In fact, anything related to sex was seen as unvirtuous in the society. Mr Shabih Haider, thus, was faced with the formidable task of establishing his condom brand Hamdam in the conservative Pakistani society.

Register now to read full case study on Marketing a Taboo Product and to know how Mr. Shabih Haider tackled the consumer mindset in Pakistan.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Celebrity Endorsements and Donations: How does it impact Philanthropic Giving?

There is something remarkable to be said about the overall impact celebrities have on the increase in donations for nonprofits. In fact, there has been significant growth in philanthropic giving in recent years. Indiana University’s The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018 reports a steady rise in philanthropic giving by individuals that is anticipated to follow an upward trajectory in foreseeable future. The reason for this incredible growth is because of a younger, more socially aware audience. 
To get a deeper look into the root cause, it is empirical to study the advertising message that is put out by marketers. A notable feature of nonprofit marketing is celebrity endorsement of their appeals for donations and celebrities acting as a “brand ambassador,” for the charitable cause. Organizations that have successfully used celebrity endorsers include well-recognized charities, such as Make-A-Wish and Silver Lining Foundation in service of children that need medical care. 

This article from Business Perspectives and Research investigates the effects of celebrity endorsers on donations and views of non-profits. The research in this articles focuses on two nonprofits that had two different and distinct agendas. Findings of the research indicate that ads that evoke positive emotions are more likely to convert to donations. Demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and income also very important factors that affect donations. In some cases, it can also be seen that the nonprofit’s cause and advertising message were powerful enough to override the impact of the celebrity. 
These findings of this research can help marketers style their ads to evoke certain emotions, by using celebrity endorsers that will help them increase donations. Furthermore, understanding what drives donors will help nonprofits tailor marketing strategies. It is expected that by targeting their donor base effectively, non-profits will then witness an increase in donations.

Register now to read this article from the journal 'Business Perspectives and Research'

Monday, July 30, 2018

Have you talked to your child about sexual abuse?

Does your child know the difference between a ‘bad touch’ and a ‘good touch’? Did you bother to talk about this with your kid? If you understand how a child feels when sexually abused, you will also understand why is it important to be open to sharing and teaching our children about child sexual abuse.
According to Ministry of Women and Child Development survey, 53.2% of children in India are sexually abused. When we speak about child abuse, it is imperative to discuss certain form of abuses and exploitation of children. According to National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), England, there can be two different types of sexual abuse to children, namely contact abuse which includes penetrative sexual abuse and unwanted sexual touching. The second is no-contact abuse which includes encouraging children to see or hear sexual acts, online abuse, porn images and so on.
In most cases, children are not even aware they are being sexually abused. Unless the parents are aware about the psychological as well as physical effect of ‘bad touch’ on the children, the latter may continue to suffer and may grow up as extremely complicated teenagers who may either be violent in nature or may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

In many instances, it is seen that when a child complains about a particular uncomfortable incidence that has happened with him/her, elders or caregivers refuse to take it seriously. Thus, it becomes a mandate that parents and teachers should impart this knowledge to the kids. They should be taught that a touch that makes them feel uncomfortable is a bad touch and should be reported immediately.
A recent publication by SAGE, ChildSexual Abuse and Protection Laws in India studies the nature of sexual offences theories that explain why they occur, and the laws for regulating the same. It discusses It discusses the role of the judiciary and the criminal justice machinery in preventing abuse and cyber sexual crimes targeting children. This book studies the existing legal procedural provisions, regulations with case laws, several new mechanisms to deal with juvenile delinquency, rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, various jurisprudential understandings and judicial analysis of the issue.

To know more about sexual abuse of children in India and the gaps in current preventive measures, order your copy of the book today at an exclusive 20% discount. 
Write to us at with code SM20.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An freedom fighter's account of the exploitation of India by the East India Company under the guise of “development”

 Abraham Lincoln once remarked that “There is no nation good enough to govern another”. The rule of one country over another is basically and therefore, essentially, unnatural. That is why all such empires crumbled after a time. The British rule in India, counting from the Battle of Plassey (1757), lasted 190 years and it clearly demonstrated the correctness of these memorable words of Abraham Lincoln.

English domination over India facilitated the most unscrupulous exploitation of India, its people and its resources. In other words, it led to the short-lived prosperity of England at the cost of the poverty and misery of the Indian people.
A recent publication by SAGE British Rule in India details how the British acquired territories by sly and dishonourable treaties and how their rule led to extremely large-scale economic exploitation. It painstakingly traces the history of the deliberate destruction of Indian industry and the plundering that went on under the guise of development. This book by Pandit Sunderlal, an eminent Gandhian and freedom fighter covers the period from 1805 (Second Maratha War), a turning point for the East India Company, to 1858, when the East India Company had to cede control to the British Crown.  

East India Company evolved and adopted several methods for the exploitation of India’s resources in the interests of England. Some of them were the Railways that were constructed and run by the money collected from Indians in various ways. The Railways were intended and used chiefly for cheap and quick transport of wheat, cotton, and other raw materials to the ports of embarkation for being shipped to England, and for similarly transporting the goods made in and exported from England to every nook and corner of India. The benefit to India, if any, was only a by-product of the railways. Another methods of exploitation was the Cultivation of Cotton. Berar, Sindh and the Punjab were annexed primarily because those regions were famed for growing cotton. There were several other approaches such as all Special Privileges and all responsible posts were limited to English only.

The book is in sharp contrast to narratives by British historians, who stressed that India was in a state of arrested development before the British arrived. The book clearly explicates that British had no purpose other than the draining of the India’s wealth to England. To sum up, the rule of one country over another cannot but be, in the very nature of things, detrimental to the best interests of any third country, although the worst sufferer is always the country under the foreigner’s heel.

Pre-order your copy on Amazon today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, you must develop the learner’s mindset

We are now living in a world of constant change and disruption. We can either see the world as a threat to or a limitless resource to engage, stimulate, and cultivate our imagination. In a globally networked world, information is getting easier and easier to access. What you actually do with that information is the new challenge.
The VUCA LearnerOrganized training is not keeping pace with the demands of the workplace. On one hand, the shelf life of skills set is getting shorter and these may get obsolete fast. On the other hand, new careers are spawning which were not on the horizon a couple of years back. What is the way out for a leader, an executive or even a professional to remain relevant to workplace demands of the present as well as prepare for the future?
The answer to all these questions is TheVUCA Learner: Future-proof Your Relevance. As the world grows more complex and uncertain, opportunities for people with critical thinking, innovation and imagination are on the rise. Organizations are only as good as the people they employ. To stay relevant and grow in this unforgiving business environment, one needs to develop a learning mindset, where continuous lifelong learning becomes a daily habit, to let go of the old and become agile, adaptable and resilient.
This book will showcase the various sources and methods for self-learning. Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, you must develop the learner’s mindset, scan the business environment for green shoots of opportunities, regularly conduct a skills gap analysis and use all the tools available to continuously reinvent yourself to be ready for new episodes in career. This book is a roadmap to making you future-ready!

Article by Suhayl Abidi, the co-author of The VUCALearner 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Does Emotional Intelligence Predict Leadership Effectiveness?

Various researches in the field of organisational behaviour have established that moods and emotions play an important part in the leadership process, rather than being a secondary factor. Thus the important challenge for tomorrow’s leaders is to lead through the instrument of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence may not be the only determinant of leadership effectiveness/success; nevertheless, there are arguments and empirical evidences to support the hypothesis that emotional intelligence has a profound impact on leadership effectiveness. 

Western societies have found that emotional intelligence contributes significantly towards leadership success. As aforementioned, the basic tenet of emotional intelligence in an organizational setting is about understanding the feelings and emotions of the followers. The outstanding leaders strive for this so that it results in cordial relationships between the leaders and the followers.

Nevertheless, in a non-Western context like India, the research problem has remained relatively under-researched. Besides, most of the studies conducted in the Indian situation have relied on Western theoretical models. 

An article published in the South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management focuses on understanding the emotional intelligence and leadership linkages in a non-Western context. The study was conducted on a sample of 230 supervisors and subordinates drawn from branches of the banking sector in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Emotional competency and emotional sensitivity have been found to be significant antecedents of leadership effectiveness in the context under reference. The knowledge gained from this research is expected to increase the understanding of effective leadership and help produce powerful tools for the selection, and training and development of leaders, potentially enhancing organizational climate and performance.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

This new wave of Mobilisation in Kashmir – Is it Religious or Political?

Kashmir Valley has been witnessing a decade of popular mobilization starting from 2008 and continuing till date. There have been continuous cycle of protests and killing in 2008, 2010, 2013 and even in 2016.

To name a few, in 2008, protests in the Valley against the transfer of land to the Amarnath shrine board mounted into violence that left close to 70 civilians dead. The 2010 protests, which were a reaction to the Machil fake encounter peaked at the death of an innocent, 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo from a tear gas canister. The protests left around 120 civilians dead. Then in 2013, the protests triggered by the execution of Afzal Guru were controlled by stepping up security and putting in place an indefinite curfew in the Kashmir Valley. Afzal Guru’s issue found a vent in 2016 and another significant factor that fed into the 2016 protests was the sentiment that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had betrayed the people’s mandate by allying with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the state government.

All of these protests and killings have only led to deepening of polarisation between a Hindu Jammu and a Muslim Valley, however the history of the conflict in Kashmir is convoluted and goes back to the Treaty of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir on 26 October 1947. 

This article from the journal ‘Social Change’ seeks to analyse this new wave of popular mobilisation in the Kashmir Valley, the article aims to locate the causal factors leading to such mobilisation; and explore the role of religion therein.

Register here to read full article.