quality fables competition

About Quality Fables Competition

A Quality Fable is a 500-word narrative on how your project was conceived – the non-technical story behind your project.

Your story-telling skills can win this unique Quality Fables Prize.

There is an art to writing Quality Fables...First take a look at the Sample Quality Fables to get an idea of the tone, the style and the length of your story. Then select an interesting project experience or initiative done by your organization and capture it into a Quality Fable using 500 words or less. We urge you to run your entry by your Corporate Communications team before submission. You will score points for a well-crafted Quality Fable. read more

No Preparedness without Common sense
Rahul Rathi

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom Raghupur ruled by king Harshvardhana. When Harshvardhana was child, famine stuck Raghupur and hundreds of people died. When Harshvardhana was crowned, he initiated slew of activities for emergency preparedness and response. Agriculture and trade was given high priority. New palace was constructed with huge cellars, silos and armory. He issued a decree to store 25% of grains produced in a year in these cellars and silos, along with thousands of water and oil drums. A deep water channel was constructed around palace as defense and for storing water.

Ravindra, neighboring ruler, envious of Raghupur’s growing prosperity, attacked and besieged the palace. Harshvardhana gave shelter to common people and directed his chief minister to survey cellars, silos and armory to draw retrieval plan for consumption.

Chief Minister reported back in a gloomy tone - “An army of rodents and pest, along with seepage from water channel, have destroyed an estimated 70% stored grains. Gunny bags are stacked vertically up to 10 meters. Unfortunately, some bags fell on soldiers during survey and 2 of them died. Weapons and ammunition kept in armory have either rusted or become water-soaked. Some Oil drums have leaked and oil has find its way to water channel. I fear we may not survive for even 3 months”.

Harshvardhana was dismayed. He tried to keep it secret, however, it spread like wildfire. Soldiers got demotivated, ready to accept defeat. Sheltered people panicked.

But, the Almighty had different plans. Ravindra died after falling from horse and his leaderless army retreated. Harshvardhana thanked his stars and invited suggestions from his court.

A Japanese traveler, Isaaki, stood up and spoke - “In my country, housekeeping and safety are paramount. All the soldiers and courtiers are trained and engaged in problem-solving. Today, we have a huge problem bogging us down – an unsustainable defense mechanism. We must all come together as a team and solve it. I advice following logical sequence of 5 steps – it is nothing new, Just a Common Sense Approach.

1) Removing unwanted items/lost grains/rusted armory/broken drums
2) Allocating designed place for every item and keeping that item in that place only
3) Cleaning through inspection for any rodents, seepages, leakages, etc.
These 3 steps are nothing but housekeeping – we use muscle power. But, Can we use brain power to eliminate or reduce the need for housekeeping through problem solving?. It leads to Step 4.
4) Identifying projects, forming teams, analyzing issues, finding causes and implementing remedial actions

5) Finally, Maintaining discipline for sustaining remedial actions".

Harshvardhana readily accepted the wisdom of Isaaki and appointed him the facilitator. Harshvadhana himself led weekly reviews and provided all the financial and human resources.

Within few months, many problems were resolved – no more rodents, seepages, leakages and rusting. One of the teams innovated safe vertical stacking structure. Other initiatives taken were labelling, traceability, FIFO system, obsolescence and preservation system, etc. All teams were rewarded. The palace regained its true defense mechanism. 

Fixed Costs need not be Fixed
Ashok Kumar Kurup

Winner - Quality Fables Competition 2020 for Individuals

Brahmadatta, the Prime Minister of Suvarnapura kingdom approached King Suvarna, “Maharaj, we have a shortage of 10,000 gold coins in our revenues this year due to the famine in the Central province of the kingdom.” King Suvarna was worried and called for his trusted Guru and Advisor, Yogi Gunavan.

Upon his arrival, the King received him with reverence and led him to the palace for a discussion with his trusted ministers. After perusing the reports of receipt of taxes and accumulation of grains Gunavan asked,” Accumulating grains is costing us 10 gold coins per mound of grain. It is higher compared to earlier periods.” King Suvarna replied, “Guruji, earlier we used to cultivate grains in the East and West provinces. However, we were successful in cultivating grains in the hilly terrain of the North provinces increasing output by 25% from the previous year.”

Gunavan perused the reports again and asked, “Given that the cost of transport and storage has remained the same, why is it that our costs have increased by 34%?”. Brahmadatta replied, “Guruji, the cost of transporting grains from the hilly terrain is higher because our carts can only take smaller loads and hence, we need to hire more carts to transport the grains to our central granary in the Southern province.”

Gunavan said, “Do we still store all the grain in the central granary inside the Southern Fort?”. “Yes Guruji. We have increased the capacity for storage by moving some of the soldier barracks to the rear of the Fort.”, replied Brahmadatta.

Gunavan further asked,” Why do we store all the grains in the Southern Fort? Don’t we have Forts in the North, East and West now?”. King Suvarna replied,” We have been doing this since the time of my father and it was you who initiated this practice when you were the Prime Minister.” “That is right. Grains are precious and will be protected inside the Fort. But we only had one Fort during that period. Now we have 4 Forts. Can’t we store grains from these provinces in their respective Forts?”, Gunavan asked.

Everyone said in unison,” Guruji, that is a good idea! This way every Fort will have enough provisions and we need not transport grains from central granary to all Forts. This will bring down transportation costs both during accumulation and distribution.”

Brahmadatta conferred with his Revenue secretary and announced, “Maharaj, this should save us about 35,000 gold coins in transport and we would require 15,000 gold coins to set up 3 granaries. Net saving 20,000 gold coins!”

Gunavan then addressed everybody, “Noblemen, always remember our fixed costs are based on our practices and practices are based on assumptions. So always question your assumptions for the fixed costs and then fixed costs will no longer be fixed.”

Nupur Naithani

It has been another crowded and hectic Monday and Mr. Mohanty was already beginning to feel exhausted. Suddenly, a loud knock broke into his reverie. Mrs. Smitha stormed into his room dragging a boy pulling him by his arms. The Principal came towards his desk in his nonchalant way expecting another usual complaint.

Mrs. Smitha spoke in the same infuriated tone, “Sir, you have to take a severe action this time.” She explained that on being asked about the greatest emperor during the Mughal reign, the boy replied that it’s the Nine Gems; renowned as the Navaratna in the court of Emperor Akbar. Sanjeev has joined the school eight months ago and has been scoring far below the qualifying marks. The parents are deeply saddened and anxious looking at the wide differences in their academic performance.  

Spotting Sanjeev sitting alone under the banyan tree in the school playground during the lunch time, the Principal got curious and walked towards him. He was diligently creating his favorite characters and also gifting them with words. Bound by the conventional norm where recognition and achievements were only awarded to academic excellence, Sanjeev was considered to be a ‘failure’. Mr.Mohanty was struck with the chord of epiphanic realization.

The ‘Emperor’ summoned the school’s Think Tanks and passed an order to devise a strategy in identifying the different aptitudes of each student Each child is gifted and if their skills are identified and molded at the right time, they could be carved as the best gems epitomizing the Navaratna in the Mughal court. A learning model “9 GEMS” was developed with 9 different parameters like performing arts, sports, leadership, creative skills, community service, drama, entrepreneurship, and ethics along with academics which would enable a holistic development of the child and bring in a balanced progress of the child.

The story did not end here. “9 GEMS” gave ample opportunity for each child to shine in his forte rewarding them with confidence and recognition. The children, whose academic performance labelled them as underperformers, slowly started rising as soccer superstars, art masters, theatre directors and many more, winning various laurels from different inter-school competitions.

The 9 gems approach paved way to chisel each gem into a sparkling one. The school further went on to evaluate the achievement of each child in each of the parameter indicating their area of expertise. This framework of the school was well appreciated by the parent community and hence it gained more popularity even from the neighboring places which led to opening new campuses in those places.


Trust Rebuilding with Unions & Engagement for Community Wellbeing
Rajeev Saxena

As we hear about the spread of COVID-19 in India on every passing day,it is important to assess not only the physical and health ramifications of the pandemic but to anticipate the subsequent emotional impact it will have on the overall wellbeing of individuals.
Humans are naturally oriented toward other humans and are inherently built for social connection.Socialisation plays a key role in both, individual and societal learning,development and even survival.In times like these when we are forced to stay at home or work with restricted manpower,observe social distancing,wear face mask and hand sanitise frequently,the new normal triggers anxiety and emotional isolation for many.Under the changed scenario,it became imperative for organisations to prioritize the health and safety of its employees during these testing times.We understood the need to rebuild the lost trust of management with our workers Unions BMS & INTUC because of their 25 days long illegal strike during Nov-Dec 2019.As a Head of Plant HR we immediately swung into action and organised meetings with key people of the Unions to evolve a fruitful strategy to involve other union representatives and workers in various COVID specific activities to protect our workmen and their families from any possible attack of this virus.We, in consultation with representative Unions formed dedicated teams which was deployed in our workers residential colonies for door to door thermal screening, hand sanitisation,support to our Medical Team for health Check-Ups,meal distribution for stranded migrant workers prepared by pool of workers and their families.Unions also served meals from late evening till mid-night for in-transit common people passing through Maihar town. Apart, the teams kept a close watch on any foreign entry in-to their residential colonies.

As a result, anybody who came from surrounding districts, states or from Red/Orange Zone is immediately identified, checked and home quarantined for next 14-days.The Team also kept a close watch on the adjoining slum having population of around 1800 families & approx. 8000 residents wherein More than 40% of our contractual workforce resides and many workers young children who were working in metro cities were returning back to their homes during the lock down.In a special awareness drive on Covid-19,SDM,Tehsildar and HR Team led by VP-HR took rounds of on-the-spot awareness session in this slum, as a result no case was reported till date.Team also kept an eye on local market activities and support management and local administration. Unions ensured tight control on local shopkeepers & vendors during ongoing lockdown.
The ultimate objective of all these activities was to keep our workforce, their families healthy and safe enough to pass through this phase of difficult times and stand stronger physically/mentally.We closely worked with our unions,stakeholders & govt. machinery and have been successful in our mission of ensuring safety of our workers,their families & surrounding population as well as smooth resumption of full plant operations with almost 50% workforce deployment.