I depend on some one or the other to reach a bus stop in the evenings as there is no bus in this route after 5:30 in the evening. Sometimes I get lucky enough to be picked up by some of those people who stay near to my home. Yesterday it was the same. I got a call from Rajesh Jampana. Rajesh's house is near to my home. He works late in office most of the days. Whenever he leaves by six he checks with me if I wanted to join him. I reached him, near the gate where he was waiting for me. When I got into the vehicle, I got a call from Raghavaraju (Raju) one of my teammate. He said his tire got punctured in the parking and would need some help, if I am not in an urgent. I told Rajesh that I would take time and asked him to carry on by himself. I called Srinivas Shanmugam (Srini), our teammate, who normally drops me in a bus stop in his bike to wait for me. Srini was already in the parking with Raju.
I know how would Raju be feeling inside when he saw the tire of his car flattened when he wanted to go back home after a whole days work. It was the front tire which got flattened. We did not want to pull the car out because it might spoil the tube. There was only a small gap between the cars. We got the tools and were installing the Jacky. I was fixing the Jacky liver sitting in between the cars.
"Come on you can bring a little front and do it…". I heard a voice from my back. It was a very familiar voice. The voice sounded as if it came from a speaker. Or is it that I have heard this voice through a speaker many times which made me feel that it is from a speaker. My second conclusion was right. It is because I have heard this voice through speakers many times. I turned back to see Abhay Gupte, CEO of India standing with the HR Director Pramod Fernandes. "Nothing would happen if you bring it a few feets ahead", Abhay completed the sentence. Since I have already screwed Jacky I sat down to loosen it, so that Raju can take it a little forward. As there was not much space in between the cars, I was struggling to rotate the liver.
Abhay came and sat next to me on his legs and tried to show me how to do it easier. He took the liver from me and started rotating it. He then handed it over to me and I continued the work. To make all of us comfortable he then told us how he had to change the tire in the middle of a forest and that too in the night. I saw Pramod an old rallyiest watching us. I asked Pramod if he was going through his old memories of Rally days, Pramod said that he never in his life had to change a tire. Both of them stood there for some more time watching us. When they understood that we guys know what we are doing they left. Before leaving, Abhay came back to me and said, "Well the minimum time I have ever taken to change a tire is three minutes". This was a motivation factor for me to do it faster. We changed the tire. Srni and I said bye to Raju and left. Srini dropped me in a bus stop.
Abhay just changed the evening in to a so exciting one. It was so simple for him to change the mood of we people who were stressed. The greatness of a person is the simplicity he carries. I do not know, at least not heard of any CEO who has helped his employees changing a flat tire. His last minute comment of his record speed in changing the tire not just made me make the complete thing in a sporty way but also made me surprised to see a man who has checked the time even for changing the tire. When time becomes so important and when you start respecting the time, the rest of all the things follow. I remember that some were I have read that it is this which was also one of the reasons for Steve Jobs to become what he had become.