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Old 25th July 2013, 10:20   #31
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Samurai,

I do understand the point of view and it makes perfect sense for smaller outfits to be extra cautious as there would be a very strong person-dependency in such organizations. For large organizations, the person-dependency is supposed to be lower and there would be a second line of leaders and executives which can take up the place. So was wondering, if it is a bit too much. Being cautious and having guidelines should suffice without going to the extreme of having rules.

On a separate but kind of related note, a few months back my boss was entertaining a CIO of a large organization. Because of the nature of the industry, the CIO is apparently on the international hit-list. So, the person needs to travel in a private jet. My boss had a tough time getting persmissions to land a private jet. That organization also managed the local rental car and did not take company-car offered by my boss because of security reasons. And this makes perfect sense. I don't believe there were any excesses in this situation.
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Old 25th July 2013, 10:27   #32
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Such rules come out of bad past experiences. MNC will always look to proactively take preventive measures. Normally the work pressures are so high, I guess it is better such big bosses do not drive.

A HR Head of a French Multinational into waste handling in India, explained how difficult it was to make workers appreciate the risk of sitting on the fenders of a garbage truck. They had to fire workers to get the message out.

In some Indian companies, I find that top executives try and avoid flying together.

In a nutshell, the Western World looks at business continuation risks much more seriously than what we Indian's would normally do. In the financial world during credit analysis, business continuity and succession plans are reviewed.

Cheers

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Old 25th July 2013, 10:28   #33
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

The end objective of all these rules / precautions is not the seemingly humane objective of concern towards the safety of the life of the CEO but a more selfish financial objective of protection of the business interests of the promoters /shareholders. There are similar rules applicable to all forms of travel - for instance the CEO and his deputy should not take the same flight or travel in the same car etc. Essentially all of this is to prevent travel situations from turning into "Single Point Failures", One may even call this a prudent business practice.
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Old 25th July 2013, 10:43   #34
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Some of these restrictions are:
  • Kerb weight of the vehicle should not be less than 1500 kg (heavier the better!);
  • Vehicle must be equipped with airbags (very few Indian vehicles have anything more than just the front driver and passenger airbags, though. Some such folks refuse to sit in my Scorpio, even in the rear, because it doesn't have airbags);
  • The executive should not drive, but use a chauffeur from the company's pool for his daily commute. Some companies are so extremely strict that the exec is not even allowed to drop his kid to school in the morning! If required, the wife drives (wives' lives are less valuable than the executives'!) - but the same person is allowed to drive his own/rental car when in Europe, for example;
  • The executive should not sit in the front passenger seat. Even in the back, the person should sit on the left side, and must put his seat-belt on (minimizing risk of fatality in a head-on collision);
  • Some companies ban their personnel from being in a car after 9 pm / 10 pm. It's supposed to be dangerous to be out on the roads at night in India (some such folks I know therefore refuse to take overnight trips with me);
  • For those executives who are allowed to drive, they are not to drive on highways, but restrict their movements to city limits only. For highway use, a chauffeur must be used and the executive must sit in the rear seat;
  • Use of mobile phone in a car while driving, even via handsfree, is banned - this has been in effect even before Indian laws banned mobile use while driving. In addition, they are supposed to confirm with someone they are speaking to, whether he is driving or not - if the other person is driving, hang up. But the same rule does not apply when they are in the USA, for example;
  • Cannot listen to music in the car, even if not driving, because it might distract the driver.
From the point of view of safety, some of these rules are definitely justified, but then others are plain ridiculous.
I wouldn't call it restrictions. It can be recommended to anyone who want to feel safe than they currently are
I will add 2 more to that list:
  • Ensure chauffeur has enough sleep before starting early morning.
  • Ensure chauffeur isn't over the safe speed for a given road.
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Old 25th July 2013, 11:33   #35
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
I wouldn't call it restrictions. It can be recommended to anyone who want to feel safe than they currently are
+1.
I remember reading somewhere that parents too should follow these kind of safety procedures as much as possible, so that their kids don't end up as orphans, if unfortunately both parents get killed in an accident.

Last edited by Daewood : 25th July 2013 at 11:44.
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Old 25th July 2013, 11:37   #36
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

I wonder:
Who certifies the skills of the chauffeur who is supposed to drive the CEO around?

Given the abysmally poor levels of testing, checks and measures existing in all our RTOs before a chauffeur gets his commercial/professional license, the likelihood of (even very experienced) chauffeurs being bad drivers, is rather high, isn't it? My experience with chauffeurs indicates that most of them do not understand anticipatory driving, but follow what I call reactive driving.
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Old 25th July 2013, 11:43   #37
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Many companies don't have an effective chain of command and are reliant on a few top execs.

About a decade ago, the top few executives of Burger King were in a chopper that crashed and they all died. The company struggled badly to come back to normal, because these guys were the brains and driving force behind the company.

Similarly, when one of the twin towers fell during 9/11, it fell on a smaller building beside it in which the entire first and second line of command of Marriot were having their annual strategy meet for top executives from all over the world. They all perished, and the next level didn't have a clue what to do or how the company was run at the highest levels. It took them several years to get back to normal.

In the US especially, the culture is to rely excessively on one or a few top men: Steve Jobs, Michael Eisner, Jack Welch, etc.
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Old 25th July 2013, 12:15   #38
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Who certifies the skills of the chauffeur who is supposed to drive the CEO around?
Many years back i witnessed 'live' how an VVIP chauffeur expertly maneuvered the car, when an intruder got into the way of the cavalcade while doing around 80kph. I was left wondering where do they find such expert drivers, that too in the Government sector.
A quick search in google today, led me to this company called 'The Strategic Driving Academy' in Mumbai who claim to have trained NSG commandoes, bodyguards, etc in driving skills.
One of the key skills listed is 'Defensive driving for security And VIP protection'.

Last edited by Daewood : 25th July 2013 at 12:25.
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Old 25th July 2013, 12:32   #39
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

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Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
Similarly, when one of the twin towers fell during 9/11, it fell on a smaller building beside it in which the entire first and second line of command of Marriot were having their annual strategy meet for top executives from all over the world. They all perished, and the next level didn't have a clue what to do or how the company was run at the highest levels. It took them several years to get back to normal.
I have a doubt which is OT , but couldnt help posting.

The towers fell much after the planes crashed into them. If the building these guys were in was next to the towers, they would have evacuated as soon as the planes crashed into them and if not evacuated, they would have for sure discontinued their meeting how much ever important it was and dispersed.
It weird how they stuck around when everyone were moving away from the towers.
This is quite contradictory to what this thread is about, that the senior and top management should be safe under any circumstances and they and rest of the employees will know that.

Sorry for going OT, I was not looking for any replies to this so we can continue with the original topic.

Regards
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Old 25th July 2013, 12:35   #40
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I wonder:
Who certifies the skills of the chauffeur who is supposed to drive the CEO around?

Given the abysmally poor levels of testing, checks and measures existing in all our RTOs before a chauffeur gets his commercial/professional license, the likelihood of (even very experienced) chauffeurs being bad drivers, is rather high, isn't it?
You'll be surprised how much chauffeurs at some MNCs are paid. Their salaries even dwarf that of a mid level engineer / doctor / MBA in some cases.

CEO of one of the leading auto manufacturer that we have been in contact with here in India, is driven around by a chauffeur with a salary in excess of 50K per month (perks extra!). That is equivalent to a Tier II or even Tier III manager in the same company.

With the kind of money, you can rest assured that you are getting the best people from India to drive you around. Moreover, it is sometimes not just about driving etiquettes, rather the whole hoopla about corporate secrecy (driver's anywhere know more about company's state of affairs than the CEOs/MDs can afford to let out to public/media).
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Old 25th July 2013, 12:41   #41
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daewood View Post
...this company called 'The Strategic Driving Academy' in Mumbai who claim to have trained NSG commandoes, bodyguards, etc in driving skills.
One of the key skills listed is 'Defensive driving for security And VIP protection'.
Hmm... interesting. Here's the link: http://carracingrallymumbai.tripod.com/
Quote:
YOU WILL HAVE TO MEET OUR ELIGIBILITY:
A) Age: 18 years
B) Driving License
C) Bring Own Car for Training
D) Sign a No Injury & No Accident Liability Bond
E) Vehicle Insurance
E) No Criminal Record.
But then, which professional driver would actually be able to meet eligibility criterion (C)?
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Old 25th July 2013, 12:45   #42
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

Top management is always a valuable asset to a company. Inspite of programs for grooming chain of command, many top executives are irreplaceable in the sense that their replacements are 70-80% as good (else if they were as good or better they would be at that seat) So in case of loss, it will take time to function at the level of the predecessor.

So it is in the interest of the company to protect their valuable assets.

The norm in today's travel are that the top management will all travel in separate vehicles (planes), the only exception I find are Yachts.

Traveling by Private Plane ensure that valuable Cxx time is not wasted in waiting at airports. Similarly if traveling by commercial airlines arriving a day before ensures a well rested and perceptive individual for the meetings.
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Old 25th July 2013, 13:06   #43
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

On the topic of cars for top execs, some C-level exec of the Philips (Software Division?) Bangalore office used to use a Reva some years ago. I remember seeing that car parked right in front of the Philips building when I was working at the same location in 2003 (i think).

Yep, here's a link that confirms it:

http://businesstoday.intoday.in/stor...a/1/11552.html
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Old 25th July 2013, 13:57   #44
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

This is what I've heard on J&J in 2009,

* No Overnight official travel by road.
* Don't encourage even Junior executives to drive two wheelers to office by restricting their entry and by providing interest free loans to buy a car.
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Old 25th July 2013, 14:51   #45
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Default Re: Cars of CEOs / Senior Employees of Multinational Companies : Rules & Restrictions

What to do ? The road situation and the highway situation in India is so pathetic that for executive protection these laws have to be enforced.

In my company too all these laws are applicable and the India EOC - Executive protection cell has given out a lot of warnings.

All expat executives including me have been given SUVs by the company ( although I am a different breed from these americans being an Indian for many years before I left after education and frequently returning back here )

But I did face difficulties. When I arrived here to take my present assignment I was unfamiliar with driving a RHD car and refrained from driving for a godd 8 to 9 weeks.

Also I have recieved an advisory from EOC that I am useing too much of road travel in hired Innovas travelling from Pune to say Sanghli, I should use a train if no flight is available.

I understand the concerns, why ?

A road in India is so different from a developed country.

Cattle, donkeys, dogs, beggars, unruly truck drivers, no lane discipline for heavy vehicles, no seperate truck roads, no slip roads to come on to the highway, tractor drivers with 3 trailers often without license and no civic sense, children running on streets and the highway, people sitting out of their houses on the highway!, fish and chilli being dried on the highway, dual caariageway roads, no lightning, full beam opposite direction oncoming traffic, friday paryers on the road, temples in the middle of the road, strikes and protests on the road, burst crackers on the road, play holi on the rad, relieve yourself on the road, at a U turn or any turn dont let one vehicle pass then alternate, might is right. Tailgate the car in front of you, honk honk honk!
Fight on the road if someone is blocking you.

Isn't this reason enough for companies to worry about their executives.
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