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Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM A)

Group project Slot 6

Submitted to Prof. Kirti Sharda

In the partial fulfillment of the requirement of the course

Organizational Diagnosis
By Group 02, Section D




* Yes, we selected a temple for the organization diagnosis study. This is the famous Sri Balaji Temple located at Chaarodi village, Sarkhej-Gandhi Nagar (SG) Highway, Ahmedabad. As any devotee would attest to, it is modeled on the Tirupati temple scheme of things.

* The size of the organization is about 35 people. This includes committee members, poojaris (priests), external advisors (like IAS officers) and administrative staff.

* Like most religious organizations, even this one is headed by a religious person. The head is designated as Temple Dharmakartha. While not mandated under the trust deed/any formal document, this post is filled by a nominee of the Tirupati temple. Interestingly, to transfuse the Tirupati culture to this temple, all the poojaris here are gold medalist in Vedas, hired from Tirupati.

*Other important members include 8 members in the construction committee, 4 members in the architecture division, temple assistants and poojaris.

The Figure.1 below portrays the environment in which the temple operates. Attached at the end of the report is the transcript of the interview of the Dharmakartha of the temple Sri Kollipara Subbarayadu. While we also interacted with other temple staff, and have incorporated their inputs into this report, a formal video recording was not done of them to avoid Hawthorne effect where the staff become self conscious and do not open up freely.


* Dharma Kartha

* committee members (Trustees) * Assistants


* Pujaris

Fig.1 External and Internal Environment of Sri Balaji Temple.


The Ahmedabad Andhra Mahasabha in association with Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), Tirupati took up the holy task of constructing Balaji Temple complex at Ahmedabad in 2003. The Dharmakartha in his interview mentioned that the stimulus for the temples construction, was from the local devotees of Lord Venkateshwara, (also called Lord balaji), who could not travel all the way to Tirupati to have the darshan of Lord Balaji.


1. The primary goal of the organization is to set up in Ahmedabad, a temple that exactly replicates the Tirumala Tirupati temple. This replication would be in all major aspects, including the architecture (Exhibit 1 shows the architecture), number/type of poojas performed daily and other services including prasadham. These goals have been achieved. 2. The temple in Ahmedabad was built with granite stones from Kanchi, carved at Tirupati, as per agama Shastra. With an imposing forty nine feet high Gali Gopuram (Main Entrance) and thirty nine feet high garbha gruha, etc to replicate the temple in Tirupati, the temple complex has now become a landmark. 3. Besides building a TTD replica in Ahmedabad, other goals include facilitating the devotees visit to TTD itself. For this, services include booking accommodation, sevas, etc at Tirupati from Ahmedabad itself, for thousands of devotees visiting Tirupati from Gujarat. The TTD is collaborating with Sri Balaji temple in this service. (Exhibit 2. captures the TTD booking notice which is prominently displayed at the office).


Replicating TTDs architecture is just one part of the temple experience. Achieving the religious equity and healing power of TTD will take years (if not decades). In this regard, poojas, flowers and Poojaris assume utmost importance. Poojas are held throughout the day from right from Suprabhatham at 7 am in the morning to Archana in the night at 8.45pm. To preserve the authentic feel of these poojas, various inventory such as flowers, prasadam, sarees and dhoties are required. These are imported from TTD. When quizzed about the reason for non localization, the dharmakartha in his interview pointed out that local suppliers were not able to supply the required quality/quantity of these items-specially flowers and tulsi leaves. Flowers and tulsi are brought from Bangalore and Mumbai through Air transport. Also, TTD handles the recruitment of the Poojaris, who are Vedic goldmedalists educated at TTD itself. Incidentally, TTD does this pro-bono to help run Lord Balaji temples throughout the country. MANAGEMENT AND DAILY OPERATIONS The organization is currently headed by the Dharmakartha and committee members of construction and architecture. Weekly meetings are held and important decisions are taken by these committees. The organization also has advisors who hold dignitary posts like IAS, IPS, etc. (Figure. 1 had captured the external and internal environment of the temple) in Gujarat. Donation is an important aspect for running the organization. The relationship of the temple and its services to the devotees are the main driver for donations. ORGANISATION NOW IN FLUX Like other successful temples, even this organization plans to extend its reach to social services also. This new mission raises a lot of questions, for which we intend to apply organizational diagnosis, to seek for answers. Dharmakartha in his interview mentioned certain new missions as detailed below:


1. Continue the current sevas and services.

Replicate the architecture, sevas and services as 2. Perform other social services like building old in Tirupati temple age home, educating poor and providing medical services to poor.


The diagnosis of the situation is done based on the data collected from the Dharmakartha during his interview, the transcripts of which is attached at the end of the report.


When properly stated, the purpose highlights an organizations unique feature the thing that makes it different from all others. Sri Balaji temples main purpose is to replicate the temple in Tirupati in almost all the aspects possible.

Goal fit: For a non-profit organization cum temple like Sri Balaji temple, the goal of replicating tirupati
seems an exact fit. The local devotees of Lord Balaji( who could not travel to Tirupati) can get the similar feeling visiting Sri balaji temple. Their support ensures the survival of the organization.

Goal clarity: The organization has clarity in its goals. It does not sacrifice authenticity for
cost/convenience. One of the examples to support this is the supply of flowers and other inventory from Bangalore and Mumbai to continue the seva service throughout the year amidst different seasons.

Goal agreement: The goal agreement of the Balaji temple is easily evaluated through the informal
behavior of the organization members. The dharmakartha when he is present in ahmedabad, stays in the temple itself, till the performance of thefinal archana and the nightly closing pooja (performed in the night before the doors of Lord Balajis room are closed before the next days darshan). Sri Balaji temple being an informal organization does not have a structured formalized system where the objectives of the organization are explicitly mentioned. But through their repertoire, the members in the organization show their understanding of their purpose of the organization. Since its inception in 2003, the temple has been carrying its day to day service in line with the current mission. Problems Identified: The human resources and the financial resources are appropriate to carry out the current goals of the organization. But when it comes to expanding the purpose of the organization, the future mission of the temple as already mentioned would demand not only expanding the organization but also obtaining sufficient funds so that the normal operations of the temple are unhindered.

Moreover, all the units in the temple right from committee members to Poojaris align and have understood the present goals of the organization. But when purpose of the organization is expanded to include more service, the same has to be communicated to the internal stakeholders to align their goals with the new organization goals.


The structure of the organization is relatively

Dharmakartha and Trustees

simple. The executive committee members including the dharmakartha meet only during intermittent times to discuss the issues and future plans. The office authorities take care of

Assistants / Pujaris (Head) office authorities

the routine functions and manage services like prashadam, receive donations and control the security personnel.

Problems of the structure:


Security personals


dharmakartha would be

available in

ahmedabad only few days in a month and the meetings are held occasionally without any

schedule as and when issues or need comes up. As a result there are no personnel with formal responsibility who can take up the daily task to keep things moving. Any new issue arising has to wait for the committee members to discuss and decide. The temple does not have a formal budgetary system in place.

Cause and effect relationship of the problems with the objectives:

Since the running of the temple is so routine/ standardized, the need for important decisions is met by the ad-hoc occasional meetings of committee. But when the temple expands its service according to its new mission, it should have a formal full time manager/body to take up daily issues. Till date, the temple is receiving enough funds for its day to day operations. But when the temple needs to expand its services, it would require a trained/devoted person with discretionary powers to deploy the funds for necessary purpose.

The various relationships among the different units of the temple can be studied from the tabulation below. DEPENDENCE WITH ORGANIZATIONAL Committee ENTITIES

& Poojaris

Office Officials

Security Personnnel

Low Dependence Low dependence

1. Committee & High Dharmakartha 2. Poojaris 3.Office Officials 4.Security Personnnel

Interdependence High Dependence

Low Dependence

High Interdependence


Low dependence

High Dependence


High Interdependence

Low dependence

Low Dependence

Low Dependence

High Dependence

High Interdependence

Problems and its Cause-effect Analysis relevant to the objectives:

The above relationship structure indicates potential strains/stress in the relation between any two entities. In Sri Balaji temple, the Poojaris and the office officials occupy the same position in the hierarchy. They are inter-dependent on each other for running the temples operations smoothly. The following is evident from the relationships: 1. Friction between Poojaris and the officials, given their same place in the hierarchy, may lead to frequent misunderstanding and low trust. 2. All the committee members have equal power in the upper hierarchy. This will lead to chaos unless they unanimously agree to the full development of the temple. When the temple do not change its current organization structure to suit its expanded goals, the conflicts between Poojaris, officials and committee members can affect performance of the temple, to a great extent.

The reward system in temples is way different from that of a formal organization. The Poojaris have chosen to study Vedas and have obtained a degree in the same. The major needs for them would be the sense of belongingness, inter personal relationship and working conditions.

Problems and its Cause-effect Analysis relevant to the objectives:

When the goal of the organization expands, then there is a possibility of the goal getting diluted. If the temple expands by building an old age home adjacent to the temple land, it might give a sense of a Sri balaji trust rather than Sri balaji temple. The Poojaris who are orthodox would want to be associated closely with god and hence expanding the goals might dilute their needs.

The style of the top management group is more task-oriented. It is less relationship oriented. The management is concerned about achieving its goals of replicating Tirupati temple in every aspect possible. They have not really given a thought to representative membership etc.

Problems and its Cause-effect Analysis relevant to the objectives:

The advisors of the organization include IAS and IPS officers. But the peculiarity is that all the advisors are of Telugu origin. Though the committee members include members from Gujarat and other states, advisory committee is driven only by Telugu speaking people. This would not be in line with the organizations expanded goal of doing mores service. Also, this may affect fund rising and community support. Given that they received subsidized land and other Government support, the continued Telugu dominance may become politicized in the future, especially if this bias continues in the social activities.


The management and its adequacy can be identified as below: Mechanism Planning Budgeting Control Person Dharmakartha and committee Dharmakartha and committee Dharmakartha and committee Adequacy Adequate Not adequate Less adequate

Problems and its Cause-effect Analysis relevant to the objectives:

The budgeting and forecasting are not adequate to expand the organizations mission. The present system runs smoothly currently because of adequate funds but there may arise dearth of funds which would hinder the performance of the system. There are no contingency plans in place, such as raising short term loan etc. They believe that the Lord will provide, as when they were short of funds earlier, devotee donations had miraculously materialized when most needed.


More analysis could be carried out if the following data was available. 1. For the poojaris, once we understand their power status (informally), composition (age/creed) and function (what tasks do they actually do versus assigned ones), we can better gauge the issues. Also, clarity on long term/short term needs like financing for house, transfers etc would help the temple plan for their life cycle better.

2. Though there is no formal budgetary control in place, the information about the present methods of controlling funds would help gauge the efficiency of the system and future requirements if any.

3. The details of the meetings held between committee members if known can help identify the interdependency between them. It can also be useful to identify any gaps or dissatisfaction among them.


Exhibit 2: Display details regarding the services offered to devotees to visit Tirupati

Exhibit 3: Interview with Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu, the Dharmakartha.


Rajesh Pentakota: Very Good evening sir, as conveyed earlier we are diagnosing Sri Balaji Temple as a part of our curriculum at IIM Ahmadabad. We will be shooting a video as you speak. Hope you dont mind Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu (Temple working committee head): No, no not at all. Sorry to have kept you guys waiting for about an hour. We are very busy these days with a few pundits coming from Tirupathi to do archanas. Rajesh Pentakota: We enjoyed the wait sir. It didnt feel like 1 hour in this place. Sir, can you give tell us the brief history of this temple? Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: Yes, Sure. It was discussed many many times to construct a temple write from 2001, but nothing ever materialised . We were not sure of the followers of Lord Balaji at ahmedabad. Since, he is workshipped mostly in southern india we were always pessimistic about the followers in Northern India. Our assumptions and apprehensions vanished when we conducted a Venkateshwara Vaibhavam at Ahmedabad and the response we got was tremendous. We were least assured that there was a huge followers base of Lord balaji even in Ahmedabad. This helped us in convincing and gathering many donors and the foundations of Sri Balaji Temple were laid in 2003 and operations started in April 2007 with a investment of 4 Lakh Rs. We follow the same schedule as TTD, right from Suprabata Sevas in the morning to Ekanta sevas in the night. Arivazhagan G.D: Thanks for taking us through the history sir. Sir, a temple is a very different organization whose success revolves around many many factors. Please tell us about how your organization works? Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: See the success of any temple depends on the commitment, devotion and perseverance of its working committee. We here at Balaji Temple follow many standards, for instance the pundits/Poojaris we have are certified for veda chanting by TTD. At the end of the day its the lord who drives our actions. This was proven time and again; Every time we are low on funds some customer somewhere donates the funds.

Arivazhagan G.D: yes sir, pretty much. Sir, last time a friend of mine brought me to the temple and thats how i came to know about it. Do you do any advertisements to promote the visibility of Sri balaji temple? Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: See, we are not a commercial organization. We think very judiciously for every penny that we spend. We thought that spending on advertisements is unnecessary at this stage. Since, our current followers/visitors are good in number for the size we are operating at. But, i think we have good visibility, any gujarati auto wala can guide yo to Sri Balaji temple. We are also listed in Divya Bharathis Fifty monuments in Gujarat which sold aroung 2,50,000 copies worldwide. Rajesh Pentakota: yes sir that explains a lot of things. Sir, how is the local Govt. Support for this noble cause? Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: Very Very supportive. We got this land at a very subsidised price and we cant ask for more. We are doing this for a divine cause and have support of everyone. Rajesh Pentakota: Sir, Do you have any short term and long term plans for the temple? Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: yes yes. In the short-run we have several issues to take care of. The accommodation to the pundits from TTD and fund management should be more standardised. In the long run we plan to cultivate our own Flowers and Tulsi plants for our daily pujas. Flowers are a rare commodity here at Ahmadabad. We order flowers and tulsi leaves from Bangalore via air transport for major festivals like Brahmotsavas or Dasharaa, which increases our costs to abnormal levels. We, would also like to offer help to the poor people by forming old age homes, offering free rice, medical facilities or education, because we believe that service to man is service to god. Arivazhagan G.D: Thank you Sir, for sparing some time for us, it was nice meeting you. Mr. Kollipara Subbarayadu: My pleasure.