Women are Weak

I am firm believer that Women are strong.  There are instances in History and also in our day to day live, in and around us; on how woman can toil greater than man and achieve greater success. They are manifestation of love, care and strength. For man, she comes in many forms – Mother, sister, wife and daughter. A mother is the greatest support for her son, a sister is the greatest affection for brother, a wife is the greatest love for husband and a father daughter relation is just electric. It is this support, affection and love; that makes man a little more protective about their woman in their life; so much so that this protection creates a form of weakness around her, where in subconscious state she starts developing a feeling that if she is alone she cannot handle an untoward situation.

This blog of mine is dedicated to the strength of each and every woman, and a belief that she needs no support from any one, she need not fear anyone to lead life the way she wants. She does not need to be in the shelter/protection of any one. This blog comes of the belief that God has made every one equal in his image and He has given each and every one the intellect/capability to come out of any challenges that life brings; of the belief that we don’t need any women empowerment as they already have the power within them.

The word empowerment, in my understanding, means giving power to some who is does not have power. Before going into further details of the understanding, I would like to give a little insight on the subconscious state of mind, and how does it works, by giving you some examples. Since our childhood, we have heard a lot of ghost stories, seen a lot of ghost movies and most of it is associated with darkness. In the subconscious state it has created a relation that darkness is related to ghost, well the  irony is that ghost itself is a fiction, whether it exists or not , the moment we see darkness around, we have an emotion of fear. You have been told that when you are driving you have to be very careful. Say you are riding at 100 kmph, suddenly, you hear a noise nearby, not related to you in the any ways, and you immediately apply breaks. The road is clear in the front and behind you, but just because you associate a loud noise to danger, you apply the brakes. I hope I have given you some clarity on the subconscious state.

Empowerment works in a similar fashion. The word empowerment has been positioned in such a way, that subconsciously, it is creating a feeling of the need of support from external factors, when the solution to a problem lies within. In the many articles that I have read, movies that I watched, videos I have seen on the tube, most of the times a man or empowerment cell comes to a rescue of women in distress. Why most of the promotion is done where a women is projected as someone who always needs help. I think 18 out of 20 promotion of women empowerment exhibit, a woman in distress, asking for help and to get that help they have to dial a help line number; or ask a nearby person for help.

In a recent case that I heard of exhibits the example of why a woman has to make the fight on her own. This girl about 18 years of age, on her way back from work was followed by three some guys. Instead of facing them, she started running away. She was under an emotion that 3 guys are too big a number to handle and she was under the cast of fear. While escaping the scene so, she lost control and fell down got hurt. There were some other guys who came to her rescue and all during this episode she was crying. The way I look at this is, if she would have been bought up in strong way, she could have faced and handled the situation on her own, or atleast made a good fight, instead she gave up. This is the change what has to come.

I have always seen live examples where in, when a woman has decided to do something, she has left no stones unchanged to get her goal. She is the biggest protector of her family. She needs no backup; all she needs is little self motivation. What I promote is, instead of creating empowerment based on supporting women against domestic violence, corporate scandal; the strength of the women should be projected. It should ne projected that she has the capacity of handling the situation on her own, through her own creative ways.

I believe all everyone should build up women around the strength she has. She should be let free to take her own decision and find solution to problem. God has given her enough ways to find out how to tackle the god-damm world. She needs no empowerment.

Stay Positive.

Disclaimer: This is work of fiction and has not intended to hurt any one’s view and thought.

 

 

PLEASE TAKE ME HOME

Days, months, years have elapsed. From the time life has started, to this place where life has bought all of us, we have come a long-long way. Most of us had planned to come out and so we are out. Others are those who from the time have known things, always, have desired stay out of India/home come what may. Some of us have come out by-chance; and most of us due to 3 reasons Education, Career and Marriage. No matter how far we have reached today in our lives, there is always an emotion that flows in our heart when we think of the place from where all started. Trust, Heart has no control over the mind when we think of how it all started. Let us travel take back to the place from everything begin – HOME.

 

This is a work of fiction and is dedicated to all my friends, loved ones who have come so far from their home that coming back to home is a task that can be fulfilled at a high cost. Imagine you staying in Canada, wanting to come home to India. Search for freedom has put us into a lot of bondages. Taking leave from the place I work and if I get one it is limited; cost involved in come home and so on. But no matter what, we all do find the time to get back home.

 

Our first step out of home: From the time we are born, the coziest place that we all lived is in the lap of our mom. That was the world to all of us. Then as we grow, we move to the first place out of our home – School. Those first days out of our home were so difficult. The new faces that we saw horrified us. We all wanted to go back. And when the school is over, we used to rush and jump into our loved ones. The warmth of the love, is still felt, when we close our eyes. It felt so secured. Whether they are around us or not they will always pray and protect us.

 

I love my papa. I am a papa’s girl. Words are inadequate to explain the chemistry between a dad and a daughter. There are only a few people who can experience this love. The first love of any women in this world is his father. Likewise, a son is always most attached to his mother. For a father the love of the daughter is the most unconditional love. Everyone would say her she can’t but it is the father who always believes in her daughter and if she has made it big it is because of his papa. There have been times when in our childhood we have been very naughty. Some time our papa did scold us. We would be so hurt that until and unless he does not come and gives us love nothing in the world could comfort us. In good or bad times, long after you cannot see him around, just close your eyes and you could see him telling you ‘ Come on beta you can do it.’ He will never give up on you.

 

That home where we stayed, had no great convenience, but the comfort that it gave us is something that we cannot get anywhere in the world. It was small, just a fan, wooden bed and erratic electric supplies, but we slept in peace. During hot seasons, it was the silent breeze that made us lull in the sleep. Before going to sleep those “Jugnu”, used to illuminate the surrounding.  Cold season was so freezing and we use to have ‘angithi’ burning to get the warmth. We stayed together, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grand Ma, Uncle, Aunty; and no matter how much their views differed, it was the seniors in the family who use to bring all together. Today, as nuclear families we are so far, that our children are devoid of the love of the entire family.

 

Those old friend, who we made unconditionally, without knowing their cast-creed, income level, status still remain with us. All the new friends come and go, but the old ones remain and do feel for you. We may not have seen them for years but when we go back to the native, the love and care they show is something that we will never find anywhere. New friend, announces a party, you will find friends coming around you like bee in beehives. When you are in trouble, they find it difficult to find time for you.

 

The first crush, that boy you followed you home. That nervous moment when you first felt him around. That birthday when he said you that he wants to kiss you and this will be his birthday gift. That emotional conflict where, one, you wanted to feel it and; second, you think it’s incorrect and then you finally let go. That break-up that simply broke you down, and you see darkness all around. And finally the man in your life, he come and hold your hand for your life with love so much, you always could imagine.

 

The people that you have lost in the way, those who will not come back, and have never aged after you saw them last, brings tears to eyes. Loss is a part of life. That tear we shed for the people who left us, in the darkness of night and the pain that pierces the heart is uncomprehending. These are losses that cannot be replaced and when we are back and go to the place from where it all started, we still feel their presence.

 

There are time when you think, enough of all, I will leave everything and go back. You pack your bags, take your belongings, and open the door, and you hear a voice from behind – ‘’ Papa, I need you besides me, I cannot sleep without you,’’, you turn back and look at your child. You lift her in your arms and return. You life is no more yours, you now live for them. As far as Karma goes, it repeats itself- ‘’ You had your life and you have your past past, now, you will create memories for these little one’s, and long after you are gone, they will always cherish you in their memories, and live in the world on the foundation and principles that you have laid for him.

Typhoo Tea – My learnings on launching a brand

If I have to write about Typhoo, I have to talk about Subrata Mukherji. He was the person who spearhead the business of Typhoo. Mr Mukherji as we all called him was in his late 50’s when he came into the business of Typhoo. He used to work as a bull. Even at that age when most of the people retire, he had the zeal to work late hours to construct the business.

Mr Mukherji has been one of my Mentor’s. Words are inadequate to explain the kind of knowledge and experience that he has given not only to me but also to the entire team of Typhoo. I was highly successful in Typhoo and have transformed under the able leadership of Mr Mukherji. It was through the learning’s that I have acquired from him that has helped me building Sharp Consulting and Implementing Company (SCIC). Along with Mr Subrata Mukherji; Mr Singi and Mr Sumit Roy are also the people who have been the important pillars of my life. Without these three it would have been impossible for me even to think of building up SCIC. Mr Mukherji taught me the art of building business for a new product, Mr Singi refined me by transforming me from an aggressive to an assertive person, Sumit through his coaching taught me how to launch my business and bought a major shift in my thought process. I will write more on Mr Singi and Sumit in in future. For now, I will talk more on Mr Mukherji and Typhoo.

Somewhere in the month of November 2017, I had quit my job at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) to joined Typhoo. I was doing very well at HUL and when I had quit there was effort made to retain me but I did not stay back. I was in my early phase of career at that time, still learning more about what kind of person I was. When I had gone for the interview at Typhoo, the thing that excited me was that I was going to launch a brand and I very well knew that if Typhoo became a success so will I. That was my first exploration of my self – create something new.

For the first 3-4 months, I was not aware as to what was going around. I was the 2nd person in West and the 5th at all India to join Typhoo. After I had joined I got to know that the factory was not ready and would take some time. The first month elapsed and so did the second. I was sitting idle in my office. I just could not digest it. Coming from a background where I was handling the business of approximately Rs 20 million, to a business where the sales were ‘0’ was killing me. I had nothing to do. I am not of a kind who would just sit around and do nothing. I thought of introducing the products to a large number of prospects through writing letters. I was of an opinion when I go to meet them with the final samples, they would know something about the brand.

Even in the third month, the samples did not reach me, I started losing my patience. I started putting pressure on my immediate superior to give me samples. Finally, by the time it was February 2008, I got the samples. The samples came in silver foil and were not branded. After looking at the samples, I got a feeling that the samples were sent to me to keep my interest in the business. I was also kind of taken aback when I got the samples. On one side, we are saying UK’s finest and on the other samples are coming in unbranded silver foil. I fell a little dejected but I also thought something is better than nothing. I took these silver foil and started approaching business partners. This how most of the business start.

Whenever we have to start something we have to first start from our strength. I had a good rapport at TATA Motors Pune. I fixed a meeting with Mr Mayekar, who was heading the canteen. He was resistant but on my several requests, he agreed. I travelled from Mumbai to Pune with these samples of loose tea that I received. We did the sampling and got the product approved for bidding. All through this only one thing was playing at the back of my mind; I have to get some revenue. If we remain at zero sales, things will not continue for long.

While I was making this move, I was being pulled back. I somehow managed to convince everyone in the system and got the bidding approval for TATA. We won the bid. That’s how the business of Typhoo started in India. We got our first order and with this came the call from the factory manager in Kolkata. It was now revealed to me the factory was not fully operational, it would take at least a month more time to get it fully operational. I needed the product within the stipulated time of two weeks; else as per the tender TATA would purchase stocks from the market at whatever rate it is available and debit the difference amount to us. There was no choice but to airlift the stocks from Kolkata to Pune. This is how we made the first revenue in Typhoo. This is how we started, little did I know that within years to come I would not only rise to the position of Regional Sales Manager but also head both the business in West and in South, leading a team of more than 15 people.

It was the month of April 2008. If I am correct there were 47 sales people on board for Typhoo at all India level. Just 4 months later there were only 7 left. The pink slip was shown to the 40 people. I was one amongst the 7 to stay back. All of those who were retained had to take a salary cut.

A very big learning for all the start-ups: Never make plans on excel sheet. While all looks doable on an excel sheet, when it comes to implementation things are miles apart.

Why was I among the 7? There were three major reasons

– I believed in the brand Typhoo and had a lot of faith in the fruit infusion a category that I had to create.

– I had built a very strong distribution base. I was last among the lot to make channel partners. I am of an opinion that while launching brand you must work with established channel partners. Making larger distribution company your business partners is a task. They will ask you a lot of question and twist you a lot; if you win over them then your task becomes a little easier. Most of the channel partners made by me are still the pillars of Typhoo.

– Ujjwal, my colleague in Typhoo, introduced me to a new channel called Pharma gifting. He showed me the road, I started walking. There about 30-40 large Pharma companies where I was able to sell a large quantity of Typhoo. In my span nearing 6 years at Typhoo, the amount of fruit infusion that I sold was the highest at all India level.

It was in the month of August-September 2008, that Mr Mukherji took over the business. I was introduced to him in Delhi head office. My life and learning were about to change.

As far as I recall, my first meeting with Mr Mukherji was based on the sales report that he had complied. He said me that my numbers were good and also told me that the channel partners that I had made were rock solid. As the discussion moved further, he opened the payment outstanding sheet. Outstanding sheet? I have to be honest here. This was something new to me because when I had worked with established companies like levers all I had to do was only sales. I never bothered much about outstanding. My job was to ensure channel partners blank cheques were in sufficient quantity in the depot and it was the job of the depot to bank it.

My outstanding was more than Rs 12-14 Lacs. Mr Mukherji asked me why I have not deposited the cheques. I told it is with the CFA and I don’t know why they had not deposited the cheque. His face was jaw-dropping. I was damn scared from within. But I was able to hide my feelings. I told him that there is no issue at all, the cheques can be deposited after I make a call to the respective channel partners. I went to the conference room called up my two biggest channel partners who had to pay me. They readily agreed. This is the best benefit that you get when you work with large channel partners.

One of the cheques was amounting Rs 10 Lacs. When the instruction to bank the cheque had gone to Kolkata, the accounts team they called me told me to re-check if I had put an additional zero in the number. I told them it was correct and just bank it. The cheque got cleared. The two large channel partners that I had created never faltered on payments. It is now almost the 10 years of since the operations of Typhoo had started in India. They are still a large contributor to the business.

Spray and Pray

When we were restructuring the business both Mr Mukherji and I were talking to someone, where the phrase ‘ Spray and Pray’ was used for the first time. Mr Mukherji explained, this is what most of the startups do when they launch. They first make the business plan (excel sheet), then they start placing the products or in other words they spray the product across. When the product gets stuck, due to less offtake, we start to pray. While most of the employee start praying for number other start praying for jobs. Oh God, please help me in getting a job anyhow!

Spraying the product in the market will only get you the initial numbers but it will never build the business. Then I got the most important part of my learning – ‘mapping’. The technicalities of mapping were taught to me by Mr Mukherji and I took it up from there. I have been able to implement this very well not only during my time with Typhoo but also in my next venture with Vegit. After receiving training from Sumit Roy (Founder Director – Univbrand), I further refined it and developed the MAP TAP and ADAPT model for the consulting company that I started. I am now using this in Granules and Beans launch, it is not only effective but also improves the success rate.

Mapping and Expansion

Once I understood the mapping, the approach to the business started to change and evolve. We started mapping with standalone stores, the modern trade stores and the institutional sales. There are close to 30,000 + outlets food and beverage outlets in Mumbai area. Based on the classification the numbers could increase or decrease. If we go the premium outlets that are highly merchandized, browseable, self-pick up the numbers would come to less than 1000. If you further refine them it would come to around 350 – 500 outlets. Mapping is based on a formula where you have to understand the behaviour of the retailer and the type of customers that visit the stores. After the first year of operation, we had to pull out of a lot of outlets and then restart things again. This was an effective re-launch. It is very important to understand here that launching a new product is much easier than re-launching. This is for the simple reason when you re-launch you have to again go the same old outlet that had placed your product once. Therefore it is suggested that when you relaunch you must re-launch with a new frontline team. It may seem harsh but the old team that had launched the product has to go away.

With this new team, under the guidance of Mr Mukherji and the model of mapping, I started re-launching. I was myself new to retail. Before 2008, I was a hard-core Institutional person. Mr Mukherji had trust in me that he give me the charge of Retail. He did not give this to me easily; first, he gave me a couple of modern trade to start with and then eventually the entire retail. So by the end of 2009, I was a person who understood the business of Retail, Modern Trade and Institutions.

Brick by brick we started building the business. This time it was me leading the team in West as a Regional Manager. We started adding and building stores. Very soon we reached a stage where the offtake from store increased and the recall for Typhoo has started. We had moved to the next stage – building the brand Typhoo.

Along with mapping, the next big learning was the AITEA model. I remember it by heart. Not because it is easy to remember, but it actually is the principal on which brands are established. A= Awareness I = Interest T = Trail E= Evaluation A= Adoption. I have modified and adapted it to Sharp’s SPARK also known as Sharp’s Pentagon. This is one of the specialised services of sharp and you can only understand it well once you take our services.

Venture into South

By the end of 2008, when I had started restructuring the business and started having a grip on the retail business, I wanted to venture to South. My main motives were two:

  1. The south had a very large market of tea bags
  2. The Modern Trade business of south

It took me a lot of time to convince Mr Mukherji to approve my travel to the south. This time he was getting tough on me. He was trying to tell me that we must first streamline stabilise the business in West and then move to the south. I was of an opinion that we can do both simultaneously. But he disagreed.

Based on the mapping that I had learned, I started collecting and collating data of the Bangalore. After some groundwork, I sent my detailed report of Modern Trade and Institutional business in Bangalore. I also sent a proposal that I would travel to Bangalore on train and stay with my friends, this would keep the travel cost low. Finally, he agreed and I did the market work in Bangalore on the above terms.

I successfully build up the business in South, with the appointment of a distributor and without any manpower. It was only after proving that south had potential that I got my first full-time person after three months. By the time I had moved out of Typhoo, the business in south had expanded from Bangalore to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. We had a Sales Manager in South, 1 person for institution and 2 persons for retail, besides off roll employees. South was contribution about 25-30% of all India sales. My first travel to the south was on train, thereafter all the travels were by flights. Had I not chosen to make the first move on whatever was available then, I would not have been able to create such a big opportunity.

Sales Linked Marketing Policies

Budgets were never a constraint with Typhoo. But Mr Mukherji had very successfully implemented the sales linked marketing strategies/policies. According to him, the new age marketers should devise marketing strategies that are linked to sales. Usually, the marketing team devises the strategies and it is left to sales team to implement it. But at Typhoo whenever a marketing strategy was developed, it was always linked to sales. Therefore the marketing team always had the ownership. The sales and the marketing team had their own rifts but when it came to implementing both had to work together and ensure that whatever is planned is executed well.

There were many other things that we have done to ensure that Typhoo becomes a leading brand in the category. Of the 5-6 people who had joined the company, only I stayed back to see it growing. When I had decided to move, I had built up a capable team who could take it forward. I always had a belief that people build the business. You take care of your people; your business will be automatically taken care of. I have always believed in giving. So the team under me was very well trained and after I had left they were able to take care of the business. Not only is this they were able to take the business to new heights as it today.

I have always worked with emotions. My belief system is based on the fact that only those people who are emotionally attached can achieve good results. If you cannot feel the brand, you are just an employee doing sales and earning your salaries. The moment you get a new job you move out. Along with this, it is equally the responsibility of the core team of any business to respect the team. If you disrespect them, you will never get commitment from people.

Along with Mr.Mukherji, I also used to meet Mr Karan Paul who is the chairman of the Typhoo business. I acknowledge the patience of Mr Paul that was a pillar of building the brand Typhoo.

Learning were immense on how to build a brand of a start-up company. These learning were my inspiration in building Sharp Consulting and Implementing Company. Why do I use the word implementing? Because brands are not created by making plans, they are created by implementing them. I have a deep concern when a consultant comes to advise a business and based on his past experiences gives direction. The world is changing at a very rapid pace, a technology that was path-breaking becomes obsolete soon. In the digital world, every 2-3 month’s something new comes. The old people have to give the way to the new one. It is very dangerous to take advice from someone who is only speaking. It is very wise to take advice from someone who can actually implement it also.

Typhoo is today a leading player in the speciality tea and tea bag category. It product ranges extends from black teas, flavoured teas, green tea, organic tea etc. It was great to be a part of this brand and work with Mr Mukherji.

You can get in touch with me on sharp2816@gmail.com or call me 9702277967.

Vijay Singh Sokhi

Founder Director

Sharp Consulting and Implementing Company (www.scico.in)

Krishna and Kotler

‘Krishna’ and Mr. Kotler

It is very amazing to note how the rich Indian Vedas and the modern day management are related, yet differ in their approach. Both are form different school of thought and equally important.

‘’Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani’’

Bhagvad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 47

The first consultant can be dated back to about 5000 years ago. He said, I will only advice and not pick up any weapon. It was the epic battle of Mahabharata and the consultant was ‘Krishna’. When the warrior Prince Arjuna, had put down his weapon stating that I cannot kill my relatives, the commentary was delivered by ‘Krishna’. The subject can be discussed in volumes, but in this article I am keeping my focus to only on the above verse and in context to what I have to express. Here, ‘Krishna’, says. ‘Only actions are in your control and not the result. Focus on the fighting well, don’t worry about the result, it is not in your or anyone’s control.  Arjuna, you don’t know the outcome of the war; don’t fight because you have to win, fight because it is your Dhrama to fight. Giving your best during the war is what you can do.’’

In modern day business, everything revolves in result. Result oriented marketing, sales, budgeting etc. The management and the people cannot control the target at all, but all discussion, appraisals etc happen only on target based. In fact, today most of the companies while hunting for the candidates to take up the business further mention in the JD – target oriented, result oriented etc. So much emphasis on target, what about the process? How much does it mater or it does not matter at all ? Growth is such a strong emotion.  Hook or crook target must be achieved.  This creates pressures which in turn creates – unhealthy abusive environment, health problems, wrong business practices and overall bad impression.

Targets are so critical that if one achieves it, he grows in the company and after some time when the same employee gives growth that is stagnant, the same people who once appreciate his work start doubting his capabilities.

Let’s change the focus and create a hypothetical company, where everything – the system and process are in order, and upgraded with the change of time. Do you think they will every have to struggle for business? If the set processes are followed correctly, target has to happen and it will not be superficial. It will be something that can be sustained for long. People are kept motivated, upgraded with the change in market dynamic; there is no way business will not grow. System and process when followed correctly make people responsible. It is responsible people who make a company. The most critical aspect is to keep on upgrading the systems and process, the market is changing at a very rapid pace, what seems relevant today may be relevant tomorrow, leading to static growth.

The 4 Ps of Marketing – Product Price Place Promotion ‘’ The Marketing Mix’’

Philip Kotler

This is the most effective modern day tool used by companies to achieve business objective. The answer to all you questions lies in this. I have high regards for this model. I had learnt this in my management days and then through my work life, I have implemented this, until now when I have explored my understanding on this subject. Most of the companies where I have worked and the people who I have interacted, the most common question is – growth is constant and we are unable to grow, there is huge pressure of growth. Be it a start up or established company everywhere there is this challenge for growth. If any organisation needs growth it has to be in line with the 4 Ps.

Product: Increase product

Price: Increase the price**

Place: Incase distribution

Promotion: Increase communication

The above 4 are the only ways in which you can increase growth and nothing else. No matter what schools of thought you come from if have to grow you have to do one of any of the four. The ways in which you do could vary, but the bottom line remains the same.

Mondelez India ( Chocolate Div.)

Till the time I had not gown up to an adult, I was thinking chocolate means Cadbury ( now Mondelez). Today when I go to the market, I see Cadbury almost everywhere – Malls, Mom and Pops, Chemist, Sweet shops almost everywhere, actually it is omnipresent. My understanding is if it is present everywhere, and there are limited new avenues of placement, from where the incremental sales come. With the growing awareness in people that sugar is not good for your health, people have become conscious about consuming chocolate. If we talk of promotion, almost all the avenues of promotion are covered. Emotion drives the category, all the ads connect emotionally. The chocolate category is an open category and there are lot of new entrants, the consumer number** remaining same, any switch over will hit sales. Name the channel and they are there Retail, HORECA, CSD, Travel, Gifting; almost all is covered. Products diversified in Chocolate, Supplements, powdered juice.  With all the loops being closed, imagine how critical is even 1% of growth is? Or how difficult will it be for the sales team to retain growth? So pressure increases, all to control what Targets.

‘Krishna says – Target is not under your control?’

‘Kotler says – Nothing is beyond the 4 Ps ‘

Where to go now?

Incase you need to have more view on the subject above you can write email on sharp2816@gmail.com and have a discussion.

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Vijay Sokhi

FMCG – Foods Professional

Operations, Business Consulting, Change Management, Sales Management, Start Up Implementation

Don’t push someone to the wall. Beware, may be he is building his anger!!

Many a times we encounter people who we take granted. We know that what we are doing to the other person is incorrect and this person keeps quite. You keep on pushing them, because you are noticing that he is keeping quite. You keep on playing around and the other person is watching and bearing. You play tricks with him and he still keeps quite. You have a feeling of victory on him and ensure that you keep him engaged in the loop and keep him under you. He keeps quite all the time.

There are two types of people who keep quite:

  1. Type 1: Who cannot do anything? There are those kinds that stay calm and have no ability to take actions. No matter what you do, he is meek and follows your direction. Once you put him under you, he remains under you throughout his life
  2. Type 2 – The most dangerous one. This person is the one who may be keeping quiet for many reasons – he regards you a lot, he want to protect the relationship, he knows he can trust you. He also keeps quite and takes the beating. He has the ability to take beating to the extent that he wants you to take him to the breaking point. For example if his breaking point is 10, he will push it to 15 or to 20, but after 20 he could be the most lethal person in your life. All through this time he just builds up on his anger and once you push him to the wall where he realizes
    • You have been playing around with him
    • Breaking his trust
    • Fooling around

Then God save you. In fact these people when they reach that breaking point, even God cannot save any one. The next is next is destruction.

I am an Indian and belong to the rich heritage of India and take lot of learning form you epics. One such epic was the battle of Mahabharata. An important character in the Mahabharata was Shri Krishna. He did all that he could to avert the war. The Kauravas had put the Pandavas to a situation where they had lost everything in the game of dice, including their property and wife. They were sent to exile for 13 years and there after 1 year of incognito. After their return Shri Krishna acted as a peace maker and told the eldest of the brother of Kauravas, Duryodhan, to give the lands to the Pandavas that was rightfully theirs. Duryodhan said no. The eldest of the Pandavas, Yudhistir, request to give only 5 villages to the Pandavas and they would be satisfied. Duryodhan replied, he will not give land even to the tip of the needle point. This finally led to the bloodiest war in the Indian epic history. The Pandavas were pushed and lost everything, went to exile and were quite, peacefully would have settled for five villages, but Kauravas refused and the result was the end of the Kauravas. In the war there were losses for both the Kauravas and the Pandavas, but when you have decided that relation is not being honored by someone you value more, than you want to destroy the other person, even if you get destroyed in the process.

Therefore, we must not play around with people who behave properly even if they are subdued. You never know, maybe they are building their anger. If you push them too hard reaction is imminent.

Personally speaking, you need to build up on your anger. This is needed for all those who think that you are a looser and cannot take action. You must not bow down to injustice at all, but take it on you till the time you can and then explode. It is because we are bearing this injustice, we empower people to take advantage on us and also others. Be it your job, your personal life, the society or anywhere else, you must speak out when needed.  Someone has to bring the change and it has to be you.

Fight Back!! Be the Change

 

The Perfect Business Model

Each and every one in the biz world is in the search of the perfect business model. However, difficult it may seem, everyone will devise it, make a fine print of the road map and move in. Once inside the market, the reality looks is quite different. The board consists of the top not brilliant brains, then why is it that the biz model is not delivering.  Next, is to hire the top consultants who can make the biz model. They are skilled in this and the perfect business model is devised. They charge a exorbitant model to give you the model. You are convinced with the biz model and implement it in the market, as it is made by people who made it are marketing gurus. You expect the magic to happen, still something does not seem to be working, projection and realistic numbers are miles apart.

Why is it that if I have the right business model, I am not being able to make the big leap? I am trying to put a though in this through a more practical approach.

First, there is no such thing as the PERFECT BUSINESS MODEL. You may devise a model, but the model has to be implementable. What seems working in the broad room in a Microsoft sheet, my not be applicable in the market. The model has to be devised; it is important and without it going to the market is suicidal.

The market is very dynamic, any model that is devised, has to change with time. No matter how adamant the management is because the model is built by successful people, until and unless it adapts to change in the market due to taxes, competition, and other unforeseen, un accounted variation; it is going to be futile.

Secondly, implementation is the key. It is very easy to give the so called “Gyan’’, but tell me honestly how many people who devise the plan actually want to implement it. When there is a problem in implementation, the sales team is targeted and then changed. New team comes in, and they are not given time to understand things, the hiring happens with targets. People are pressurized, tarnished and they finally leave.

Third, sales team is the key. You have to keep them long, nurture them and make them equipped to take on the business. Of course, the one who is not willing to take on the challenge and full of negativity must be asked to move on with regard.

Finally, there are no perfect business model, but the right business model, that can be adapted. It is the people who will take you though. If you are looking for someone who can build, implement and adapt, you must send me and email on sharp2816@gmail.com and have a discussion. The first conversation comes free.

The true capacity of a person (You are a brand)

What pride does a person hold, when is carrying the visiting card of a top MNC, say – HUL, Kellogg, Future Group, Nestle etc. This visiting card is so powerful that you can just walk through any account, any retailer, and any distributor and so on. They are always on top of situation and this is the image what the brand creates. When confronted with other less know company personnel , they carry an attitude in them, exhibiting that they are the best of the lot, sometime leave an impression on the other person, that their opinion does not matter.

Let’s look at a situation, take the brand out of the person and let him now create the business. The challenge starts now. At this point it is not the visiting card that works; it is the person who now is a brand on his own. There are two behavioural developments that happen due to this. Let’s look at each of them.

One – When the shift is made from a large company to a small company, the difficulty is immense. Most of the people are unable to find out why they who were once very successful with top companies are unable give significant perform.

Of the various finding that I have derived, the one most important finding is that, with large companies the brand does 70% of sales, the balance 30% is to be done by you. So most of the time, people are camouflaged with the success of brand, relating it to their success. This delusion creates lethargy in the mind of them and when they make a shift, they are unable to perform in brands that have less awareness in the market.  Bluntly speaking, they cannot work with products that are push product and are not supported by advertisement. Therefore you see most of the time people who work with brands are unable to replicate success when they move to smaller brand. Even if they do the success rate is very low.

((A small anecdote: People have funny reasons to work with brands. In one of my interaction with a person who was working with a smaller company, came to me and told me, ‘My family is unable to find a bride for me. The bride’s family is looking for someone who works in a branded company. I work in a moderate company, so no one is interested. Moreover you see, had I worked in a branded company I am also qualified to get a good, dowry.’’ I was so amused with such a reply that I had no reaction at all.))

Two – There are some other people, who are truly good and have the capacity to adapt. When they move out, initially they face a lot of difficulty but slowly and steadily they develop and are able to replicate the success. These are those people who have the right ingredient to create bigger success. Believe it or not, they are brands in themselves and will survive in any situation and make the turn around.

Creating the brand call YOU:

Practically it is the type 2, that are in the future successful Entrepreneurs and Independent consultants, who create their own business. They do face initial hiccups but are eventually successful. All their success is based on the moves that they have made on their own, not depending upon someone. If faced with problem, they would never run away, instead they would look it in the eye and solve the issue in hand.  They keep on upgrading themselves and are always ready to adapt to change though the knowledge they have. They never take shortcuts, they know that the road to success in long and they have the patience to wait and do it the right way.

The best part is they never retire; they keep on learning and working till the end of life.

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Vijay Sokhi

FMCG – Foods Professional

Business Consulting, Change Management, Sales Management, Start Up Implementation

Why do most find the road bumpy after 40 years. The KNOWLEDGE EXPERIENCE MATRIX

I have been working on the matrix that I have created and after some research on the subject, I am putting it open for discussion. This is based on my learning, findings and understanding on how the experience that someone gains and the knowledge that someone acquires is linked as his grows in his career and why do some succeed immensely, while most of them fail. It also gives insights on why the age of 40 to 45 is very critical for anyone in his career.

To explain the relation between the knowledge and experience; I have devised a 2X2 Matrix. Based on this matrix, there are 4 derivatives:-

Matrix 1

These are those people, who are highly knowledgeable and well experienced. They have worked in the market and have the ground level understanding of the market. They keep on upgrading their knowledge base, and sync it with organizational goal, to formulate strategies and then while implementing; they work the market to know how it is progressing.  Given their busy schedule, they may not have the adequate time, however, they definitely find time atleast 3-4 days a month to be there in the market and understand how the strategies are behaving.

These are basically successful Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, General Managers, Vice President etc. These are people with lot of humility and a lot to give. They keep on upgrading their knowledge base, through a lot of study and interaction.

Matrix 2

These are those people who are highly experienced in their field. They know all that is needed to do their work. Their knowledge base although good, is limited. They keep on excelling in their career and keep on doing well upto a level, beyond this they find it difficult to grow further. This is because of too much of involvement in their current work and less time in upgrading knowledge. Let’s understand clearly – at some point of time in the career, if one has to gown, he cannot say all the time that he has a huge experience with him (10 years, 15 years 20 years), he need knowledge that is broad and insightful. At this level most of the personnel don’t have the adequate time to acquire knowledge, this is because most of the time they are executing. Now, if you are not ambitious, and know your limits, its ok with you and you will keep on doing well. But if you are ambitious and want to excel further in life, this will add to frustration.

Most of the time people get stuck at one level. For those who luckily make the move to the next, are most of the time not able to do justice to the new role, and are bound to come back to the level where they were earlier. This is because experience will only help you to crack and interview; but getting the job done after you have joined in requires a lot of intrinsic expertise and that comes through knowledge. Again, knowledge is of two types, acquired and earned. There is a lot of difference in both. Acquired knowledge comes though discussion with friends and talking to people, this does help in getting some information, but the authenticity is always questionable. Earned knowledge, is where you make the effort to learn though reading of books, magazine and newspapers. This is more authentic and gives one a better understanding while targeting the next level.

Another caution in this is that most of the time, people try to replicate what they did successfully in their organisation earlier, in the new organisation. It is not necessarily true that what happened right with one thing in the previous organisation, will also be right in the new one. The product, customers, marketing all could be different. Most of the people do this; they replicate the old strategies in the new organisation they join. If they taste success it’s ok, if not they get blocked. I am strictly against using old strategies with old companies in new companies you join. Be careful, world is changing at a very rapid pace, what seems right today, may be invalid 10 years from now. So while all may look good now, if you don’t upgrade yourself, difficulty may start coming in 10 years later.

All of us must have seen in our work life, that most of the time we see people, only reaching upto one level. All through his life, he remains an RSM/Branch Head and quits at this level. In one way it’s correct. It needs lots of courage to access one’s potential, if one feel that this is what max he can do, he should remain where he is and continue his work.

 

These are basically successful Area sales managers, Regional Sales Managers, Key Account Managers, Marketing Managers etc. These are people with lot of insecurity, are try not to give more chance to their juniors, because of the fear that this person may rise and replace him in future. Some of them create a fearful environment, where the subordinate is only able to do the number and his job is secured. This is what he is doing most of the time.

Matrix 3

This is another interesting matrix. These are basically all those people who are pass outs from top notch biz school.  They are highly knowledgeable, upgraded with latest trends in the market. However, they are more of bookish and less of market. They are people who are bosses, sit in the office, have regular meeting, with a lot of data around, creating an ocean of data analysis and interpretation. As they come from large B-School, they never take advice, talk to someone as they know everything. They have the ability to make great business plans and presentations. Their presentation and ideas get them applause from the management, and they get the green signal to implement the plan. This is where the problem starts. Since all the plans are based on theories and studies, they start facing problems when it comes to implementation. What is written in the books is quite different with what happens in the market. As the plan starts to deviate, they loose the cool and start putting pressure below, as theoretically the plan should not fail, but practically it does. Until and unless they don’t move to the market to have a better understanding, executing plan will be difficult.

 

These are basically graduates from top notch B- School, with a lot of ego. Mostly they treat people under them as if their team does not know anything. They carry a lot of ego and attitude. They are not willing to loose and would do anything to get success, which unfortunately they don’t

Matrix 4

These are people with less experience, and less knowledge. The people on the base of the pyramid. It is always advisable not to give high responsibility to these people, they are good at doing monotonous task and they do it well. They are people who stick around in an organisation for long at the level in which they are, they are non-risk takers and sometime irritants to business, always poking, raising useless issues. Even if they quit an organisation, they will join at the same level or a level higher in the frontline.

These are basically successful Sales officers, Sales executives, Key Account Executives, Account Executive, Sr. Sales Officer. etc. They can only do the basic work that is important. You cannot expect much from them

While we all agree that people transform/elevate from one level to  the another, it is very important for all those who want to grow in their career, no matter in what field they are, only if they have a cusp of market understanding ( ground reality) and knowledge. The proportion of this may vary at each level, at some level you will need more of market understanding, at some you will need more of knowledge, but in any case of you aspire to reach the top of the pyramid, you need to have sufficient understanding of both. Above all one thing remains constant at any level – human touch. We must always remember, no matter how big the organization is people talk with people, the product never talks to anyone.

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Vijay Sokhi

FMCG – Foods Professional

Business Consulting, Change Management, Sales Management and Motivation