Monday, July 18, 2005

Choices, Choices, Choices!

My name: Gopinath Mavinkurve. Writing is my hobby.
My Place on this Planet: I live in Mumbai, India.
My Plan: To put up my articles and thoughts for my friends.
My request: Do read my articles and post your feedback.

Latest Published Article is reproduced below:

Web Link of the Article

MIDDLE: Choices, Choices, Choices by GOPINATH MAVINKURVE
[WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2005 12:00:01 AM] Published in the Times of India dated 23rd March 2005 on the Edit Page

My schooldays were spent in an era of few choices. A couple of models of cars, a single TV channel, only Indian cuisine in restaurants, to cite a few examples. More choice was always welcome. With the ushering in of consumerism and competitive trade environment over the years, I have found myself in the midst of a plethora of choices.

These thoughts came to my mind when I was catching up with an old school friend in a restaurant. The first section of the menu handed to me was titled "Your choice of poison". We settled for the slow, mild kind of poison — who’s in a hurry anyway? Our evening had just begun and as I turned the pages of the menu, I found that the restaurant offered all sorts of cuisine: Chinese, Continental, Lebanese, Italian, Thai, Malaysian and Indian and in Indian food every region of India was represented. My good friend, now a management expert and a believer in well-informed, well-researched decision making, sought a whole lot of details of each exotic dish, before finally settling for the usual tandoori chicken. But, making a choice at times can get tougher than that, my friend explained.

There are times when he thought that only an established software package could help him take a decision. He had been having trouble lately in making a choice from an ever-expanding list of options now available in every walk of life, I sensed. Probably he was heading towards some kind of choiceophobia.

I mentioned to him that he could draw some inspiration from the way my wife dealt with the problem of excessive choice. When she finds it difficult to select an outfit for herself in a store, she resorts to the "When-in-doubt-choose-both" approach. To which, I hasten to suggest, "There may be a better (read more affordable) option in the next mall."

My friend had been grappling with assignments to advise his clients on whether to make or buy; merge, acquire or be acquired; to outsource or not; to expand or diversify and so on and so forth. According to those in the know of these things, the more choices there are, in reality it leaves one with almost no choice. So maybe those choice-less days weren’t so bad after all.