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The IUP Journal of Soft Skills

Daniel Goleman, an internationally known psychologist once said "We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also how well we handle ourselves and each other". Soft skills have unprecedentedly become indispensable for the success of an employee, and the companies have also realized. Communication and sound interpersonal skills have an amazing role to play in improving organizational performance. Hence, there is an escalating emphasis on soft skills against the singular focus on academic achievements and technical brilliance. As the gloom of recession gradually dispels, there opportunities for the professionals equipped with better soft skills are increasing and they have critical edge over others.

With emphasis laying on communication, many struggle to communicate fluently and effectively. "Techniques for Developing Speaking Skills and Fluency", by Gore Vitthal explain some of the techniques for developing speaking skills and improving language fluency. As a recent survey of recruiters from reputed companies with more than 50,000 employees reveals that communication skills have a paramount importance in selecting a future manager. Communication and fluency are critical skills that a professional must focus on. The inability to do so would make it impossible to compete at the workplace and stalls the progress.

People with self-esteem can accomplish splendid things as they believe something in them is far more superior to the circumstances. Loss of self-esteem can lead to loss of confidence. "Self-Esteem Among Technical Students During Recession: An Empirical Study", by B Ravikanth attempts to find out the influence of recession on self-esteem among technical students and present the variations in self-esteem among technical students and others during recession.

What language attempts to obscure is instinctively expressed by the body. Appropriate body language is the heart of successful communication. "Body Language: Silent Communicator at the Workplace", by Daisy N Kurien brings out the effectiveness of gestures and actions in making communication splendidly successful and unambiguous. Body language combined with logical thinking can be far more eloquent than lifeless delivery of the mere content and mirrors confidence to make lasting impression on the listeners and evoke interest.

Happy people may find jobs and work environment more happy. Flow at work is a key determinant in job satisfaction. "Flow, Work Satisfaction and Psychological Well-Being at the Workplace", by Ronald J Burke presents the study on flow at work and explains the components of flow, measures and outcomes of flow at work on the basis of studies conducted.

Our expectations about ourselves as well as others have a magical influence on the performance. The expectations of leaders and bosses about employees can have decisive influence on the way they perform at work. Without overestimating the power, managers can motivate people to deliver excellent performance. "The Dynamics of Pygmalion Effect in Organizations", by S C Poornima and Diwakar Chakraborty, emphasizes the need to cultivate positive climate of trust and expectation so that employees can increase productivity.

Economic turbulence and extreme volatility during the last one year spread panic and trepidation among the corporates, and many, in an effort to become efficient, had driven down the costs and became leaner organizations. Leader's capacity to establish direction, to influence the followers towards common goal and to motivate them to perform becomes critical in such testing times. "Impact of Leadership on Identifying Right Organizational Designs for Turbulent Times", by Christopher Mosley and Sergio Matviuk presents impressive and profound insights into the leader's influence on the size and structure of the organization and become flexible to the changing environment.

The winds of globalization and innovation blowing fiercely pose a stiff challenge to the sales professional. More than ever before, sales people face diverse challenges on account of competition. "Training Sales Professionals: Challenges in the 21st Century", by Venu Gopal Rao discusses about the challenges ahead for training sales professionals in the 21st Century.

Men who translate their starry dreams into reality and sparkle like the stars in the sky have in them the overarching commitment to get extraordinary results from the ordinary. The Book Review, "Go Kiss the World: Life Lessons for the Young rofessional" by Rajnandan Patnaik narrates the impressive story of the leader of MindTree Consulting and lessons the youth can imbibe in their lives to model success.

The present issue is not only interesting but also profoundly insightful in various managerial aspects and thus blazes the path of corporate excellence.

-- M Showry
Consulting Editor

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Automated Teller Machines (ATMs): The Changing Face of Banking in India

Bank Management
Information and communication technology has changed the way in which banks provide services to its customers. These days the customers are able to perform their routine banking transactions without even entering the bank premises. ATM is one such development in recent years, which provides remote banking services all over the world, including India. This paper analyzes the development of this self-service banking in India based on the secondary data.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is playing a very important role in the progress and advancement in almost all walks of life. The deregulated environment has provided an opportunity to restructure the means and methods of delivery of services in many areas, including the banking sector. The ICT has been a focused issue in the past two decades in Indian banking. In fact, ICTs are enabling the banks to change the way in which they are functioning. Improved customer service has become very important for the very survival and growth of banking sector in the reforms era. The technological advancements, deregulations, and intense competition due to the entry of private sector and foreign banks have altered the face of banking from one of mere intermediation to one of provider of quick, efficient and customer-friendly services. With the introduction and adoption of ICT in the banking sector, the customers are fast moving away from the traditional branch banking system to the convenient and comfort of virtual banking. The most important virtual banking services are phone banking, mobile banking, Internet banking and ATM banking. These electronic channels have enhanced the delivery of banking services accurately and efficiently to the customers. The ATMs are an important part of a bank’s alternative channel to reach the customers, to showcase products and services and to create brand awareness. This is reflected in the increase in the number of ATMs all over the world. ATM is one of the most widely used remote banking services all over the world, including India. This paper analyzes the growth of ATMs of different bank groups in India.
International Scenario

If ATMs are largely available over geographically dispersed areas, the benefit from using an ATM will increase as customers will be able to access their bank accounts from any geographic location. This would imply that the value of an ATM network increases with the number of available ATM locations, and the value of a bank network to a customer will be determined in part by the final network size of the banking system. The statistical information on the growth of branches and ATM network in select countries.

Indian Scenario

The financial services industry in India has witnessed a phenomenal growth, diversification and specialization since the initiation of financial sector reforms in 1991. Greater customer orientation is the only way to retain customer loyalty and withstand competition in the liberalized world. In a market-driven strategy of development, customer preference is of paramount importance in any economy. Gone are the days when customers used to come to the doorsteps of banks. Now the banks are required to chase the customers; only those banks which are customercentric and extremely focused on the needs of their clients can succeed in their business today.


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Soft Skills