Project Management

Valentine’s Eve Negotiations: A Story of Ethical Procurement

PMI West Bengal Chapter

Debasis has over 29 years of experience, mostly in construction of infrastructure projects in India, the Middle East & Africa. He is also a faculty of Supply Chain Management in a B-School, and a consultant faculty in an eLearning Organization.

Negotiators in this story followed the rules and ethics of the game. The goal was to maximize the gain of their respective organizations. There was no compromise on integrity. At the same time, the instinct of a youngster and the wisdom of a veteran collaborated to take the game beyond zero-sum and made it win-win… 

 “I would be happy if you agree to pay another 5,000 for the topographical survey, to make it more than 100,000.”

“I bet you would be happier had I agreed for 150,000,” said Dave.

“No, no,” said Mr. Bose, who seemed to be both amused and hurt. “You did not get my point. Let me explain…”

Dave had flown in the morning to finalize a sub-vendor deal with Mr. Bose. Dave’s company had bagged an order for nine substations, and needed to get a topographical survey done for the nine sites, followed by subsoil investigations before they could proceed with the foundation designs. His boss wanted Dave to fly back the same evening, but Dave had other ideas. He had volunteered to help his colleague--Raman, an electrical engineer--to shortlist sub vendors for electrical resistivity of soil. Raman was to arrive in the evening.

There was an unofficial reason, too: Dave’s fiancée belonged to this city. He looked forward to a candlelight dinner the next evening. The next…

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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

- Oscar Wilde