Sunday, 12 May 2013


Where do we see ourselves after our MBA? Mostly in the board room of our dream company in that snazzy suit (of course with a six figure salary). Rest everything is logical, but why a suit? Maybe because it is the norm, or maybe I would be branded informal (or I don’t have the time to press my shirt). Does it bother me to wear a suit even in the summer? Yes it does. Why do I still wear it?
The “suit” was popularized in a period of sartorial revolution during the early 19th century. The apparels worn before that were elaborately embroidered and jewelled clothing. The suit which were considerably simpler and comfortable replaced those in the formal spheres. Is it time we take the evolution a step forward? Suits are the norm in the business spheres since the 19th century. We in the 21st century are encouraged to innovate and make processes efficient. That involves breaking norms that are just there for the sake of convention. The suits serves it purpose in the cold countries well, but in countries like India, it surely causes discomfort and raises the air-conditioning bills. Estimates say that the power savings can be to the tune of 20% for office spaces.

The Japanese story
This summer, I will not allow anyone with a tie or jacket into my office
-          Yuriko Koike, Japanese Environment Minister
After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, Japan has stepped up its energy saving efforts. Energy consumption data is telecasted along with the weather report. And amidst all the steps, there is a small revolution: “Cool Biz”. The working class is encouraged to not to wear suits and ties to keep cooling levels to the minimum at least in the summers.

The Indian way out
The working class cannot change their ways until their bosses and simultaneously their customers change the way they dress. But, that does not mean everything has to take the top down approach. We at business schools can take the initiative. We can restrict the use of suits inside the campus during orientations, presentations and other in-house activities. We can approach the companies coming for interviews or corporate talks and inform them about our “green initiative” and convince them to forgo the formality of wearing suits (we can surely bank on the placement committee for that). This will also influence them to take notice, encourage them to think in this direction, maybe implementing it in their respective companies. Personally, I have met quite a few corporate bigwigs who think of the suit as a liability when the weather forbids.  

The Message
The initiative is not only aimed at the direct benefits of limiting the use of suits, but also penetrating the larger consciousness of people. Maybe it is time for the Indian philosophy to come to the rescue of the world once again.

It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.- Bhagvad Gita

We have to improvise according to our situation and conditions, not just blindly ape others. “Go Green” slogan is for the future and it is necessary to take every possible step to contribute towards it. Among all the big talk of change, we should not forget the basics. Switch off the lights and fans and of course air conditioners when you leave the room. And please turn off your laptop/computer after reading this post, before you fall asleep.  

3.   Wikipedia.

Contributed By: Mahesh Nath Sahu, PGP 2012-14. He can be reached at

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