And a Super brand called Lalu Yadav

There are some good qualified Indian politicians like the Harvard graduated Mr. P.Chidambaram, or the Doctorate from Oxford, Mr.Manmohan Singh to teach Management graduates a lesson or two. But then if the name is Lalu Prasad Yadav and the institution is the Mecca of Indian Management Education, IIM, many eyebrows would certainly raise. That’s what happened last week , when Lalu lectured the students of IIM Ahmedabad about the financial turnaround of Indian Railways.

Well, having seen him winning election after election in Bihar without showing any real development, many would think of this event as the master politician’s gimmick to boost his self-image. But this time the story is real. There were number of bureaucrat’s who worked behind the scene with utmost commitment to make this turnaround possible, but then without the cooperation of the minister in charge this might not be possible. Hence Lalu needs to be credited for this success.

In this age of massive workforce reduction and pushing product prices to boost the corporate profits, this turnaround for Indian Railways happened without both of them, itself is a valuable learning for the budding managers. Instead upper class fares were reduced and new Gharib trains (25% cheaper than AC) were introduced in the last budget to take the fight back to the low cost carriers, which are flying(pricing) lower and lower day by day to catch anyone in sight waiting with a second class or first class train ticket.

Freight sector profit contributed a major part in this turnaround and Lalu’s decision to load the wagon adequately instead of under utilizing them helped in scripting the success. When some officials were reluctant initially for the idea to increase wagon loads, Lalu said it in his own style -“If you do not milk the cow fully, it falls sick,”. May be Seth Godin can use this management principle to write a new book, titled “Milk your cow” as a sequel to his cow series “Purple Cow”.

If Lalu can change his brand image in 2 years to reach a level upto taking lecture in IIM and if a giant PSU like Indian Railways can be turned around in short time, then CEO’s beware, your poor performance will no longer be tolerated. Start thinking about milking your cows and generating profit to the shareholders.


  1. Lallu for all is buffonery which is actually playing to the gallery is a smart guy. In this first two years as CM, he was very impressive with his suprise checks which he used to do often. Unfortunately he flattered to decieve and with the raiways it was the other way around. God alone knows what shall happen in the future.?

  2. nice one.. he is a smart guy..

    yeh there might be some problems in bihar or he learnt that people have known bihar too much coz of his goondaism (i dunno if he really is).

    but surely more educated people.. plus passionate people like him will surely bring india to a good position..

    truly inpirational that an almost uneducated (honory phd apart) can bring railways to such a scale..

    well I also want to tell that change the name of graib rath to something else.. It would stop middle class stop using it..

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