Why I hate ICICI!

My exit from ICICI was ugly to say the least. I worked in risk management department, which was a mid office catering to both the debt and the equity front desk. The boss was a CA, and the two VPs were MBAs, who had been recruited to carry out credit research for the debt desk. Most of the equity related jobs fell on associates’ shoulders. The boss was insecure because no associate would stay in the department for more than a year. In fact, long stay in the department would be considered a sign of incompetence. The MBAs would try to move out even before the year would complete. While recruiting me, she in fact took an assurance that I shall not move out before completing one year. The boss was generally good and pretty nice to me in the first year, but very ugly by the end if it. My performance was also good as rated by the boss herself. I also didn’t make any attempts to move out till I had been confirmed in the job after around an year and a half — I remember rejecting all calls from recruiters in the first year of job. The experience was varied and enhancing  but non-focussed. I prepared client margin policy for equity, assisted the manager from the equity desk setting up an options desk, streamlined various MIS’s catering to both equity and debt, and prepared a few credit research reports, which were shabbily done without much interest — credit oriented companies generally don’t go in equity markets and vice versa; associates were obviously expected to prepare reports for equity oriented companies, who would never come for debt anyways; so, the exercise was futile, and I don’t like working on useless things. I had no intention of making a career in equity trading or even equity research; so, the experience was useless. Moving into equity was however easy, but debt very difficult, for debt was the only earning member in the organisation. 

Nevertheless, I did talk to an alumni in debt, who advised me to talk directly to HR, which was insane. The HR manager talked to my boss, and she, an insecure lady, started disparaging my performances, which was obviosuly done to present me as an incompetent employee within the organisation — I have no fear sharing this because I officially rejected one of the appraisals in which she gave me below par rating, and in which I clearly stated my reasons for rejection.  Of course, there was no way to stay in the same department anymore. I started looking for the jobs outside. Since I was expecting a forced exit, I even prepared a feedback report against my boss, which I intended to send to all important email ids in the organization as soon as I was informed of my dismissal. But, the boss pre-empted me and dismissed me from the job, of course after disconnecting all my connections, including computer and intranet. I could have still sent the intended email from somebody else’s computer, but had I failed to convince people it would have obviously meant a police case — anyways, a police van was always posted outside the company, and a lady had recently exited the job after she made allegations of sexual assault against her boss (at least once I overheard her saying nobody cares in this organization), and yet another was in the process of being thrown out on some accusation of theft, which were rumoured to be false. So, I decided to disclose the report only to the CEO that too in Delhi, where she was originally placed with the parent company ICICI and had been given extra charge of ICICI Securities in Bombay. I haven’t heard from her till date. But before doing that I talked to the HOD of the debt department for a one month apprenticeship in his department during the notice period. He was sympathetic but told me in no uncertain terms that he has been asked not to talk to me. The attempt to retain the job for another month, so that I could find a good job outside without facing the brunt of dismissal, was also denied by the HR. Nevertheless, I had tendered my own resignation, which is the norm to safeguard one’s career, and had no recourse unless I wanted to fight it out. BTW tendering one’s own resignation is sheer hypocrisy: your prospective employer would always talk to your last boss — in one of the interviews I appeared in for a credit research job in Bank of America, I told them just after the interview that I had left my last job, and the interviewer told me that would help me secure a better job in that interview, but of course I wouldn’t tell him that I had been dismissed; who would tell him that is anybody’s guess; BTW, I never heard from him after the interview. I did keep receiving interview calls for less lucrative jobs like some debt job in some news agency, credit research in some credit rating company, risk management in some company in Saudi Arabia, but I took this as a signal to me of my defeat against the system — a poorer job after dismissal from a better job is obvisouly a signal of defeat — I left the system rather than being defeated by it and have no qualms about it. 

The worst was when I was stopped by the guard at the reception from entering into the building, even during the notice period. I think they wanted to make out a case that I didn’t serve the notice period if and when I would go to the court. But I had no interest in getting the dirty job back. All I wanted to know was official reason for dismissal, which I could have done only if I had inspected my employee personnel file, which was actually my property in custody of the organization as it contained all information pertaining to me only. I approached a few lawyers in Bombay. And they were shabby to say the least. One of them literally scolded me for defaming ICICI — I think he was on their retainer but wouldn’t inform me. Another drafted a notice full of grammatical mistakes and expected me to correct them. Of course I paid his fees and threw the notice away in the dustbin. One of them mistook ICICI as a government organization and drafted an RTI application. And these were pretty reputed lawyers with offices in and around Bomaby HC. I was flustered at the incompetence of the Bombay lawyers in specific and lawyers in general and took up the cudgels to fight it all by myself as a petitioner-in-person. Of course, I didn’t succeed. My writ petition, review petition and curative petition for inspecting my employee personnel file were thrown out in limine. But of course I ended up becoming a lawyer myself. If I were to file the same petition again given it was never decided on merits, will it be considered now? Of course not. And I will not even waste my time on it anymore. BTW my petitions were rejected on a single ground that Right to Privacy under Article 21 is not available against private persons. Against which my contention is simple and straightforward that Article 21 nowhere uses the word State, and Article 12 doesn’t determine the subjects and objects of fundamental right. The arguments are more technical better presented in another of my blog. Those interested can read it here.

I have written the above for two reasons: first, I abhor ICICI and anybody connected to them in any manner whatsoever may therefore exercise discretion, and secondly, it is to make the task of those judges easier who would find out history and geography of a litigant but wouldn’t apply their mind on the evidence before them. 

P.S.

BTW, since BRICS summit is happening in GOA, I may as well say that BRICS has selected the ex-chairman of ICICI as its head of BRICS bank. ICICI is part of that group of corporates who support Modi; i.e., Reliance, Infosys, ICICI, Adani, etc. And, of course, Kamath is Modi’s nominee in BRICS bank. 

P.S.

I think it is important to mention that though ICICI securities was my first (and last) job, I didn’t join it directly from the campus. In the campus, I got the job in NIIT. It was clear in the interview that I would be working in NIS (a subsidiary of NIIT), but only on delegation. NIS, if coming alone, wouldn’t have even got the last day slot on a campus like JBIMS, and I was recruited on the day 1. In fact, NIIT recruited just after CITI, HSBC, and ICICI (not ICICI Bank; it used to come on day 2). I was already distraught on not getting the top finance job, so I took the second best, which was IT strategy. Tech companies generally do delegate in their lesser known subsidiaries. The practice was most prevalent in HCL Tech. So, I didn’t mind it happening in NIIT either. But the recruitment on the campus is always by the parent company only. However, NIIT tried playing fraud with me, or at least I so thought. They didn’t send me the appointment letter on time, but they did send it to the other recruits. I was told I will get it directly at the time of joining. Well…I found out they would have given me the appointment letter from NIS, not NIIT, which would have been disastrous for my career. IT companies do play such dirty games, which becomes evident from the way the e-commerce companies canceled their job offers last year and even got blacklisted from campuses. That was the reason I accepted the job in a mid office in ICICI Securities. Else, the MBAs work in front office from the day one. I will have to admit that the boss in ICICI Securities, after gauging my abilities, did want to send me for an expensive market risk training program in the first year of the job, but I declined. I thought it was too much of a commitment in a completely unexplored area, where I had no expertise like computer programming and mathematics knowledge. The program was best suited for a computer engineer + MBA, which I wasn’t. Well…it does look like a mistake in the hindsight given the way IT has produced billionaires in the last fifteen years. On second thoughts, may be not because money has never been high on my priority. My focus now is human rights, and I do enjoy both writing and litigation, and in both the scope for human rights is enormous. 

I do believe in forgiving but not in forgetting. So the hatred remains forever, even if I don’t retaliate. So the hatred remains against ICICI, but I have no plans of taking any kind of revenge. 

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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