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Indian firm in Britain asked Asians to use fake names

Saturday July 02, 2011 06:30:47 PM, IANS

London: A firm in Britain owned by Indian-origin people has asked all Asians working there to use anglicised names as they said customers struggle with Indian names.

The Teachers 2 Parents Ltd - a telesales firm - claimed before a tribunal that English names were easier for customers to spell in emails, the Daily Mail reported.

The firm asked 28-year-old Rahul Jain to change his name to Rob Matthews.

Other Indian employees also alleged their names were changed. A woman named Sarbjit became known as Sally and a man named Prakash was called Terry.

Jain, a resident of Leicester, said: "They had a policy for all Asians to change their names. There were at least 30 other people of Indian origin who did this and are still working there. What the company did is outrageous and totally racist."

The firm was founded in 2007 by 37-year-old Suresh Patel and 36-year-old Uresh Naik in Leicester.

Naik and Patel told the tribunal that emails from customers had gone missing. When this was investigated, it was found that staff email addresses had been misspelt by customers.

The tribunal heard the firm had a number of staff of Indian origin who adopted anglicised names at work. They included Aarti (Anna), Mehul (Max), Sarbjit (Sally), Meera (Marie), Neeraj (Neil), Prakash (Terry), Jaspal (Jay), Jayna (Jane) and Faizal (Fred).

These names were not only adopted as email addresses, but staff used them in making calls and talking to each other, the tribunal heard.

However, the name-change policy was not "proportionate" and was enforced on Indian employees only. White colleagues were allowed to keep their names.

Jain told the tribunal he picked the name Rob but would have preferred to maintain his birth name at work because he was proud of it, and was unhappy at having to change names.

Jain's employment was terminated in September last year due to a disagreement.

Patel, however, said: "We have never forced or suggested to staff to change their names. If the claim is true why would we employ such a wide variety of people from different origins?"









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