Secretary’s Message May 2022

May, 2022

Dear Members,

It is always a pleasure to write to the discerning and erudite members of this great institution.

Barring perhaps one or two disgruntled elements, the support the Committee had received during the strike period was overwhelming. Irrespective of what happens, my gratitude to each and every one of you will remain.

As the front end recipient of all that happens, the past few months have been stressful to say the least. With the staff entering en masse into my office on January 28th and threatening bodily harm, to receiving, cowardly, anonymous threats to person, the constant pressure from staff, frequent visits to the custodians of the law, several meetings with the Labour department, we saw it all. 

However, your committee held steadfast to three principles – that we will not be coerced,  there is no taking any contract staff onto our permanent rolls and that the Club is ours to own, manage and use. My heartfelt thanks to my fellow Committee members who stood tall, alongside us.

In all this, we were led by our President ,Sanjay Shroff, with great maturity and equanimity. That he smoothed ruffled feathers with finesse and guided and directed diverging views so that a common goal was achieved, is a testament to his leadership. Our VP ,Capt Sesh and our Treasurer, N Kumar completed the quartet that worked in unison.

As a result, out of the 38 contracted workers, 23 of them have been adsorbed by Casa Grande, a renowned agency and redeployed into the Club. There will be absolutely no going back on discipline ,which was at its lowest ebb. As many of you have seen, the security process has been tightened up, facial recognition and fingerprint access re-established, access to the Club office tightly controlled and accountability introduced.

Time will tell us its efficacy.

The various systems and SOPs that we had embarked upon prior to the strike have recommenced in right earnest. Our new GM, Capt Alex and our new HR/IR Manager, Hony.Capt. Liver Raj have been tasked with this and are on the job with gusto. My weekly ( every Monday) Manager’s meeting has recommenced and we are making good progress in quickly identifying pain points and addressing them.

A pressing issue is in service and to that effect Mr.Rahool Talwar, formerly of Taj Hotels and now a Hospitality consultant has done a full audit of the Club and is specifically focusing on reducing the mayhem outside the main kitchen delivery room. With Apollo Sindoori taking over the contract kitchen, we do expect some relief on the Club kitchen.

By the time you read this, you would have received a notice for the EGM. I am confident that our erudite members will agree to the pressing need to revise what we pay, to shore up the staggering losses that we had inherited. We are also placing before you a capex that is urgently needed to refurbish our Club. To say that some of the areas  of our Club are run down, would be an understatement.

We need to make difficult decisions and your Committee is ready and willing to explain to each and every one of you, the rationale of our proposal. We sincerely hope that all of you will join us for the EGM, listen to our explanation and readily and wholeheartedly agree to the very urgent changes that are needed to bring our Club back to its glory days.

 Ishwar Achanta
Honorary Secretary
Madras Gymkhana Club