Home > Ideas > The Budget “Mela’!

The Budget “Mela’!

(A “mela” is an Indian term for a village fair)

The Resorts and Conference Venues across the country are humming with buzzwords, jargon and catchphrases – a huge Corporate Aum can be seen painted across the Indian skies as CXOs are expostulating their visions, dreams and mantras.  Business events are taking place at every possible venue all over the country.

The meetings could have plain vanilla names such as Annual Budget Meetings, Sales Planning Meet, Budget Rollout, Business Scorecard Launch or they have more exotic names such as “Sales Blast!”, “ABC Enterprise Rising”, “Mission Invasion”, “Vision 2013” and so on ….

It’s time for the Head Honchos to unwind with the team, a time for the team to network and socialize with the big guns and it’s also the time for some “serious fun”!

In addition to the resort owners there are two other groups of people who can strike it rich in the season of goodies …. Event Management outfits and Outbound Training companies are in big demand in April!

The CXO loves a grand entry – he wants to make a BIG IMPRESSION and unleash a tidal wave of enthusiasm in every team member; it also softens them up for the big Business Plan that will keep them busy for the rest of the year.

So the Marketing Team is asked to think up exciting themes and catchy names for the party and collaterals are created to decorate the venues – T-shirts with smart slogans, theme music, props for the podium and poster with motivating blurbs! Grand parties are planned at exotic locales … all done at the last moment!

Since the meeting itself is planned with 3 days notice there is hardly any time for fine-tuning the agenda – someone has to fill the available time slots left after the Business Plan roll-out. Usually HR is told to get the team involved in some activity and they in turn sub-contract this to the Event Management people.

“We need an interesting activity to fill 3-4 hours … the entire team needs to be involved in some fun. We want the activities to have the following messages – Collaboration, Integration and Result Orientation!”

Bingo! It’s a “Eureka!” moment …

Sorry! I know this sounds very pessimistic … but stop me if I have said anything wrong. This is how most companies go about planning their Annual Budget roll-out programs.

They make performing monkeys out of their people and the world around them … hotels, printers, event managers, trainers and their own employees become bit-part players in a circus!!

Later on they wonder what went wrong!

I have been involved in dozens of such events as a participant and as a service provider and seen how shallow a whole lot of them can be.

Crores would be spent this month without out a thought about returns and value …. it’s all hype and drama. Isn’t it time for Corporate India to shy away from such shambolic events and do something meaningful, realistic … something that will create a lasting impression in the minds of their people and in turn bring better results.

These events need to be less glitzy and loaded in substance – well thought out, carefully prepared and smartly delivered; such events will strike a chord with the participants and deliver meaningful returns.

I wish Corporate India has a huge change of heart!

P.S.My article does not suggest that Budget Meets are to be done away with; it only wishes to point out that a lot of the hype and hoopla can be replaced with stuff that makes sense. There has to be fun, but only after meaning has been established.


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  1. April 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Well Said !!!!

    • JayadevM
      April 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thank you, Arabind!

  2. Sajan
    April 7, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Brilliant Post Jayadev…all this money goes down the drain if its not inspired by a purpose stakeholders really relate to and feel inspired by. The word is “Involvement” – These events by themselves are of no value – instead they need to be the natural culmination or start up of teams purposeful forward movement. The big guys better learn that not all successful businesses invest in such activities

    • JayadevM
      April 7, 2012 at 9:59 am


      That’s well put … you are right – involvement is a word I would definitely wish to engender through these events.

  3. Anantha Kumar
    April 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Wonderfully meaningful post Jayadev. Most of the so-called “corporate honchos” (specially of the present generation) strongly invest in words, catch-phrases, speeches and presentations – with an intention to create a storm in a tea cup – not realizing the fact that actions are those that yield results.
    I would not hesitate to add herein that the same benchmark is attributed to politics, governance also, where the so-called leaders take it for granted that the stake holders are dumbos and blast off their manifestos, speeches, throwing brickbats, allegations etc – left-right-and-centre. Only when the results come out, introspection starts, heads roll and LO the old wine comes out in a new cup. In the interim, the middle-men (such as the hotels – who lend out conference rooms, dish out lunches and souvenirs etc) are the ones, who end up making their money – without any kind of publicity or propaganda. UR conclusion is very well-phrased and thoughtfully penned (less glitzy and more loaded in substance). After going through the complete article, you have given a classic example to the age old adage, “Actions speak louder than words”

    • JayadevM
      April 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

      True, Anantha! The need of the hour is more substance and less glitz.

  4. Jamy
    April 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Well said Jay!

    • JayadevM
      April 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you, Jamy!

  5. G.Venu Gopal
    April 8, 2012 at 4:13 am

    ideally it should be an opportunity to let the team who slogged the entire year unwind. some companies allow the family also to join which in other words is a thank you to the family from the Organisations side .

    • JayadevM
      April 8, 2012 at 5:04 am

      Hi Venu,

      Good to see you back.

      Yes, those are great ideas.

      (CXO, put your thinking cap on!)

  6. April 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    very well said:)

    • JayadevM
      April 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Thank you!

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