Recently, my autobiography titled ‘Masala King- Journey of Memoirs’ was published in Dubai, which explains the formula behind my business success through five principles namely perseverance, hard work, integrity, etiquette and patience. Some of you definitely ask how etiquette is related to success. From my experience, I can certainly tell you that proper etiquette not only makes your personality impressive, but also enhances your image and brand value to acquire more and more opportunities.
When I stepped into business, the first advice given by my father was to learn good manners and etiquettes. In those days, being a youth, I was rather fashion-savvy and was fond of copying the style of some of my favourite film heroes. I would wear bell-bottom trousers regularly. One day, my father told me the importance of dress-code and immaculate attire. He said: “Son, like the attractive products in your outlet, the owner’s personality also matters. Customers will judge you only by your personality and etiquette. Hence, start wearing something decent and appealing.” I followed his advice and benefitted in life.
I remember, one gentleman would come to us for regular business meetings. He was the public relations officer of a company. He had a typical habit. Whenever he entered our office, he would first go to the rest room and come back with a fresh face and pleasing personality. He once told me the secret behind his business dealings. He said: “Sir, when you go for any client meeting, your appearance must be graceful. Sometimes, even your breath also matters. So, I carry a small pouch with me every time. Whenever I attend a business meeting with a client, I first wash my face and teeth, ingest some mouth-freshener and then only sit before the client. This habit always helped me to make a good impression to the other person. I should not forget that my personality, my attire, my mannerisms, my appearance are all part of my business.” That day I got a new insight into success.
By the way, let me tell you an interesting incidence from my life. Once I was pitching for a big client. We conducted several rounds of negations. My peer contractor had offered the lowest rates in bids compared to me. I was sure to lose the contract. But, surprisingly, the company approached me and awarded the contract. When I enquired with the client’s office, they told me that although the rates from my competitor were very low, they didn’t like his personality. He had a habit of frequent smoking. During the meetings, his continuous smoking and bad breath irritated the company officials and they decided not to go further. I got the opportunity and he lost it. See, how our compulsive habits sometimes make a loss to us.
American author Emily Post aptly quotes — ‘Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honour.”
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.