There never has been a year that I can recall we so wanted the year to end .As a wag said , we wish it had ended a few months earlier !!! There have been trying years in the past but I guess this beats them all .More so because of my wife’s ill health right through the year and our need to stay at her mother’s place in Sheikh Sarai and not at home sweet home at Charmwood Village .Not that we have been in any way un comfortable , it’s just that being away from home for so long with the house being left un attended is painful .Hopefully we will get back to Charmwood Village soon . Let me recollect the highs and lows of the O’Nine skirting my wife’s illness because I have written enough about it .Thankfully she is much better now and should be back to her normal self ,supported by medication in a few weeks time .I dont think I can avoid mentions of it as I go along ,as it so rudely fashioned the events of the year .
In more ways than one it was an action packed year .A broadening of responsibilities on the work front set me on extended bouts of travel within the country trying to fashion change , learn the naunces of the new businesses and to achieve the desired results .We managed the change reasonably well ,and kept the business alive and in a much healthier state, in spite of the difficult market conditions .However getting the older members to accept a new work way has been really difficult .This together with a volatile market ,where leading brands were hurtling down a road of purchasing market share ,left us bleeding and below par in performance . It has taken me ,and my core team ,quite a while to take the hard calls necessary to effect changes in the work way , partly because we were new to the business and were wary of rocking the boat too much .We played a bit safe and chose instead to hope for a change in attitude and acceptance of the new from key members of the old team . In retrospect this was too cautious an approach .We are now on the verge of making the changes we should have ushered in about six months ago. On the flip side , the changes in work way we wanted to introduce needed a refreshed array of products with more competitive pricing .This is only just being launched , so even if we had made changes earlier we may not have achieved the desired results .The work way ,however ,would have got established and our P&L would have looked a lot healthier . Now there is no go but to implement changes rapidly; and this we are annoucing tomorrow at the New Year conference .
My wife’s need to be in the hospital several times for long spells kept me away from work quite often and this too effected my ability to take the necessary calls earlier than now . Our Senior Management Team has been very considerate of my situation and have been very supportive ,so have members of my team .However, the long spells of lay off from work, did affect the business results and my ability to win over the older team members and forge better links with the Partners . As we move into 2010 ,I see a phase of intense travel and activity. I hope I can cope well and my wife’s health holds out, so that I can fully support and lead the current change initiatives . We have a really rough road ahead .We have taken the calls and I as leader of the team have staked a lot on these changes and must bear the responsibilty for proper implementation , and if things dont work out, take the rap for it .
A year ago I was thinking quite a bit about retirement and easing into the sunset .The responsibility changes and pursuient hassles have kept me on my toes and retirement seems some time away .My company wants me to champion the changes now taking place in several of our businesses and to ensure the right succession plans are put in place .I hope my health and stamina hold out and I can continue to cope with the work pressures and function as I have always done ,several years below my chronological age . With this in mind I am embarking on a health and fitness drive and more conscious effort in sharpening the sword. My own health through the year gone by was thankfully very good, with no illnesses including minor ones .This was a sort of counter balance to my wife’s continuous ill health .The Lord had some mercy on us !! I need to not only keep this going in the new year but also step up my fitness level . So a biking I will be going every week end as soon as I get hold of a good cycle .Plus I am committed to run the Half Marathon this year and not just the 7 km run .I should have said walk .. rather than run !!
I had the usual bout of foreign travel .It started with the Snow Paradise in Rukka , Finland … a truly fabulous experience of snow ,snow mobile riding ,sled riding and more. Then there was the visit to Stuttgart followed by the visit to Barcelona and Madrid .I had the misfortune of getting my pocket picked in Madrid and lost currency , credit cards , driving license et al .Nevertheless the experience was very good and it was good hosting our important Large Format Retail Partners .Finally there was the visit to Rochester and then the week end in New York with Shirish and Corinna .
We ended the year with a quiet evening at Ram’s place along with the immediate family members . A bar-be-que evening sitting around the fire place on a cold and foggy night accompanied by a partial lunar exclipse. It was a cozy evening as we broke in the new year in full anticipation of a healthy ,fun filled ,happy and successful Twenty10 .