I work as a buyer for one of the biggest footwear firms in the country. The enormity of the above sentence struck me on my last visit to Kolkata. I, for the first time realized the power I held and how the fate of a few hundreds depended upon the decisions I took, the mistakes I committed and the feeling was far from making me feel good!!
I work with a wide array of businessmen, some who have been into shoe making for years and yet others who’ve just begun. They have invested so much of themselves into it, both financially and emotionally and it breaks my heart when I have to cancel orders, reject supplies, and basically do all the dirty work…
I met this young man who has been trying very hard to work things out with us, giving us the best prices possible, sampling footwear for us like crazy but unfortunately he goofed up in production and we had to stop it. It was so disheartening to see his factory almost empty and being the one responsible for its state, even to an extent..
Another is this old guy who has been working with us for past 28 years and does the basic, low priced chappals. I went to meet him and he told me how for the first time in all these years his factory has been shut down due to lack of work. I felt like burying myself right there but at times you are nothing but helpless. I can’t buy products which are not selling so I decide to give them new designs, get them developed and pray that they will sell, both for them and for my conscience sake..
Now I fully understand the meaning of the phrase “with power comes responsibility” and I don’t like the sound of any of it!!