Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I just finished reading ‘The Professional’ by Mr.Subroto Bagchi. Must say it’s an amazing book and I loved it. No words to describe how wonderful the reading has been. Mr Bagchi differentiates between a professionally qualified and a professional person. Though these two terms seems almost the same, they are actually poles apart. A professionally qualified person is one who has the necessary degrees and skills needed for a particular job. He may or may not have the right attitude and other qualities that make up a true professional, like integrity, professional honesty, ethics, timeliness and right sense of dressing, to name a few.

Also, a true professional may or may not be having formal qualifications required for a particular profession. That means these are basically two separate things. Mr. Bagchi has given a few relevant examples, his own experiences, to make the reader understand the thin line of distinction between the two terms. Here, I’ll too share four such experiences (two for good and bad each).

1) Once I was traveling to Delhi via Railways. When I reached Delhi, I called a coolie. As we came out of the railway station, I offered him the pre-decided amount. He remained silent and asked me where exactly my car was parked. He then unloaded the stuff near the rear of my car and said ‘ab poora kaam hua hai’ (now the job has been fully done) and then only took the amount.

2) I once went to a clothing retail chain called Globus. After browsing a bit I selected a black knee length dress. I found it beautiful and classy thus selected it in an impulse. That day I was in a bit hurry so I didn’t try it for the actual fitting. Suddenly a salesman came forward and asked me to try that dress, but I declined and proceeded to pay. He again requested me and tried to show the fitting and size. He told me that the dress was of a smaller size and that the next size was not available that time, and requested me to pick it up after three days. That salesman, whether professionally qualified or not, was a true professional.

And on the other hand, there is no dearth of unprofessional people who are highly qualified.

1) Once a guest faculty from a highly reputed management institute was invited to give us lectures. She was supposed to take a session of 10 lectures and we were asked to do a small study of the sales promotion schemes (after third or fourth lecture only) across the various retail stores. My team and other teams like us, tried our best. We roamed through the markets in hot summers to collect the data, applied our analysis gyan, compiled the results and finally submitted the reports. Three days later we came to know that this highly qualified and much decorated professor had written a paper and claimed all the studies as hers without giving us any credit or even a casual reference. So cheap! Our HOD pointed this out to her and requested her to collect her full and final payment right then.

2) I once took a connection from a leading mobile service provider. But after a few days I came to know that my number earlier belonged to a man who had defaulted on a bank loan and hence was on run. Thus, I started receiving many calls everyday from that bank. Some even threatening ones. I called the company that claims to follow their customer wherever they go, to look into my problem. No response came even after repeated pleas. Finally, I decided to surrender that number. As I told the sales rep he simply said “do as you wish” and gave a bored look. I immediately changed the service provider company.

There is a thin line between these two things that can create life-long impressions.

PS : Thank you Prashant for referring this book :)


  1. Aha.,.A professionally written post.. Well, your review does gives me the motivation to read it...

    Well narrated examples !!!

  2. hii Prashant :)

    thankx a ton!

  3. gotta read this book~!!!

  4. hii Hary!

    yo! u must :)

  5. searched for this book...but surprisingly there is no stock available :(

    hope to read this book v soon...good book review this was...thanks :)

  6. hii G3

    try on Flipkart.com

  7. Wish u a happy happy birthday dearie!! may god shower u with kindest blessings!!

  8. hii Rammy!

    thanks a lot dear :)
    m soo happy! tuje yaad tha :)

  9. hey I want to read it too. You have used nice examples to illustrate your point.

  10. hii UA

    thanks a lot!
    ya! go for it..its good :)

  11. should try this book now !!!! wish u a very happy 2010.

  12. hii Nitu!

    ya, try it!
    A very happy new yr to u too :)

  13. Bookmarked this. Thanksgiving owing to you looking for sharing. Unequivocally worth my time.

  14. hii Anonymous

    thanks a ton!
    keep coming :)

  15. Nice narration. You have explained very well the difference between professionally qualified and a professional person.

    I went to cash a check for $120. The clerk gave me $140. I realized this outside the bank. I went to the bank and gave the clerk back the extra $20. Instead of thanking me, she said "at the end of the day, we would have found out who was give the extra $20". I said: Next time you make a mistake like this, come and collect that extra dollars.

  16. hi SG

    thanks for liking the post :D
    ya, such petty things can make a customer switch brand. the attitude of service personnel and front staff is very important.

  17. So very true.. I always say, its not about right qualification... its about right attitude.. and education has nothing to do with that.. yes, it definitely grooms us but apart from that, there are several other factors..

  18. hii ST

    welcome here!

    ya, it has more to with personal set of ethics, manner and morals and less to do with formal education.

    keep coming!

  19. well makes me want to read it..:)

  20. hii Wise

    ya go for it, its a good read :)


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