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

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.

 

 

LIVE THE MOMENT !!

Each and every one of us has their priority. We are so involved with them that we work day in, day out to achieve what we want. We must do it, and if we don’t we will never achieve what we have desired to do. Some of us are all day busy writing blog, some are busy doing their monotonous jobs, some are busy developing software, some are busy in sales, someone is busy making a building. Our life cycle as well goes in a similar fashion, as students busy studying, as a professional busy earning, as old people busy with health and doctors. Trust, some are busy sleeping, most are busy worrying. Frankly speaking that the world has been crafted in a way, it keeps us busy.

 

Life is not necessarily made up of all these complicated things. Instead, it is that moment in your life, those 30 minutes, that one day, which makes the difference. If fell very sad when people don’t understand those situation that the life creates, that went utilized.

Say, you have been trying to say talk to someone, who was at one point of time very close to you but due to some misunderstanding you are not in talking terms. You are sitting in café, and all of a sudden that person arrives. You look eye to eye, and then get busy in your work. You are aware that the person is sitting two tables behind you and you are willing to approach; and then your mind starts cooking; what if he does not respond, what if he behaves rudely. Understand, you did not have any plans of meeting the person, who never knew that he would come, at that time at that café, but he is there; these moment are creating of the nature. Stop thinking. Just get up and site and talk.  If you have to say sorry, say it. If you want to speak out your mind, speak it out. But make the move. Say, you have a friend, you had an argument with her and you knew that it was not your mistake but a misunderstanding, and you always wanted to talk to her. Every-time, you used to go to college, you always thought that you would talk to her and patch up, but somehow it always got pushed to next day. Time passed and summer vacation was announced. All during the vacation, you prepared that after the vacation; you would meet her and talk it out. The school resumed. She was not there for the first day and then a week passed. On the 10th day of the school, you came to know that she passed away and you never got a chance of saying sorry to her. This is the situation with most of us; we wait for the time but when the time is there we don’t act. Tell me is there any guarantee of life.  What you have to do, you have to do now. It is this moment that is right, who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Say, you know this guy very well and some where you have feeling for her, but no commitments. You are good friends. There is college picnic and there are about 30 people in a group. You reach the picnic spot; somehow a situation is created, where you both are along and you feel like kissing her. Do it. Don’t think. If you start thinking, then it’s gone.

Say you are driving to home, that day it was raining heavily. I was one of those days, where you could have come home early. Just minutes before you reach home, you witness an accident. You choose to help the person. You help him, take him to the hospital, the doctor attends the patient and in the mean time you call his relatives. They all come. As you wait with their family members outside, the doctor come and tells you, it is because you bought him on time, he survived else he would have died. Feel it. It was the decision at that moment on the road that saved someone’s life.

  • You want to laugh today, laugh. Don’t think you are in a board meeting or in a classroom.
  • You want to say sorry to some say it. Don’t think, by saying sorry you will lower your value. Someone said, ‘’saying sorry does not make you small, it only exhibits that you value the other person more than you’’
  • You want to cry, then cry. If it pains, let I pain.
  • You want to help, help. Don’t think what will happen next.
  • You want to go out with the family, leave today. May be you don’t get time tomorrow
  • You want to start you business, start it.
  • You want to get wet in the rain, go out. Don’t think what if I get cold. If you get cold, you can take care of it, if you don’t go out in the rain, then you may have to wait for another year of the rains to return.

All these moments are creating of God. We are very small to understand it. So when these moments come, we should not think much, what you need is a good intention and a pure heart, and never hurt anyone’s feeling.

Don’t wait; do it now, may be tomorrow, time and situation may not permit you to do what you want to do now.

Live the moment !!