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

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.

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.

 

 

That Cup of Tea !!

It was raining heavily that day. I was looking at the rains and then my phone rang. I picked up my phone.
Hi Rahul – How are you?
I replied – Fine and added ‘Who is this?
She said – Parul
Parul is one of the closest friend of Minisha
Oh Parul – ‘How are you?
‘Good. Minisha has sent a message; she wants to meet you now’
I had proposed her yesterday and I knew that today I would get answer to my question
I replied –   Where?
Near the Church across the river
I said – 30 min
Done!!
I was elated and the rain got heavier.  I took my bike key and rushed to start it. Due to rains it had conked off. It tired hard but it did not start. I felt that before my life could start, it stopped. This was not an opportunity that I wanted to let go.
The saviour was my by-cycle. Without thinking much, I put my phone inside a plastic pouch, and took off forgetting to wear the rain coat. That day I felt the rains were warm. The cold rain drops felt on my body that was perspiring and turned warm. I was racing. To get acceleration, I lowered my head. Finally, I reached 5 minutes behind schedule.
She was sitting on her bike, near the Church, with her raincoat on. I was thinking, how could  I take my by-cycle to her. So I parked in near and started running. By time I reached her I was 10 minutes late.
As I looked into her eyes, everything slowed down. I could see each drops of rain, crystal clear.
Wet hairs, dreamy eyes and her wet body made me go crazy, but I controlled my emotions and approached her.
‘Hi’
She replied ‘Hi’, ‘ So’
I replied – You look great
Deep down, I was thinking she was looking god damn sexy!!
Minisha – I get proposals every week. I have become so experienced that when a person comes and proposes me, I can look into his eyes and feel, what his intentions are
Rahul – What do you think about me?
Boys as usual, always in a hurry.
Minisha-  I don’t know, but I would like to give us a chance. So I had given you a call.
Rahul – So it’s a yes!
Minisha – It’s neither a yes nor a no.
Rahul –  Then what?? (Getting impatient)
Minisha – I want to spend some time with you and then come to a conclusion
Rahul (Understanding): That’s all right.
Minisha – Where is your bike..
Rahul – It’s a different story, leave it
Minisha –  I have to leave now, I somehow managed to come here with the help of Parul. If I get late, I will not get this chance again.
Rahul – When do we meet next?
Minisha – In two days time, I will call you
Rahul – Will be waiting to hear from you.
Minisha –  See you
Rahul – See you
She stated her bike and left. It was still raining. She moved a little ahead and then turned back. How will you go back?
Rahul – I will manage
Minisha – Come let me give you a ride for some distance.
Rahul – Oh Yes
He sat behind the bike and they moved.
Rain was heavy, so she drove slowly. Rahul wanted to touch her but kept his hand behind.
They moved on. After going a distance, Rahul asked her to stop. It was raining so the visibility was less. Minisha was not very familiar with the location. Rahul asked Minisha to park the vehicle. Then he took Minisha by her hand and move in to a shop.
He said to the shop owner to make two cups of masala tea.
In the meantime both of them were standing a looking at the rain.
The waiter came
‘Sir your tea is ready’
With this cup of tea, my love story started.

…to be continued….

Sales : And how crooked can it get

The only part of the business that yields revenue is sales, rest all is a detail. Each and every sales personnel is busy getting numbers.  More sales more revenue more profit. All strategies have to convert to sales. The new era is Marketing Linked Sales Activity. Robust sales happen and then a stage comes when no matter how hard you try the sales does not grow.

Through my experience in the market with both established brands and establishing brands, I have gone through this period. My exposure to both side of the spectrum enables me to see things a little more clearly.

Let me state an example. There is this chocolate company, they has been in business since long. They are available in every possible distribution format, you name it – Traditional format, Modern Format, Chemist, Sweet Shops and almost all the other places where it can be placed.. It has grown phenomenally and now reached a possible maturity stage. But the pressure to get growth is always there. Now what this pressure does is that it build up lot of unrest in the team and that is where the crime stats. Dumping!!

There is a very common question in the sales business, what is the primary. All sales growth is calculated in primary and it must, as this is the most reliable way to calculate sales. But these primary numbers are a trap in itself. And if it is startup, it is criminal. Actually, it will kill the baby before it can stand on its own.

Primary in line with secondary and closing is all right. But most of the top companies build up the primary on the distributor. The top companies get top distributor with no issues with investment.  And, if they get a distributor who has good money with him and lacks understanding of business then it’s a gold mine. However, if the distributor knows about the business and understands that he is loosing money at the end, he will never stick. Therefore most of the companies that build up the business on primary looses in the long run. Attrition of distributor is now a major concern.

The definition of secondary has also changed a lot. You have to get sales, keep low stocks at distributor points, so what you do is increase the secondary. While the sales and stock statement of the distributor is healthy for some time, eventually it comes down. In this case what a clever salesman does is, he builds up stocks at the outlet though his relation. Eg, an outlet has a sale of Rs 10 lacs. You have pumped a sales of 15 lacs in the outlet for month1 and then 15 lacs in month2, so by the time you have reached the month 3rd you already have one month stock lying. So the outlet does not give order for Month 3 and the sales drop, so does the primary and what happens

You have done all in the sales front, now what, what to do to get the profit.

The Production Team already is working with optimum utilization of resources. But still, the pressure move to the them to lower the cost. In doing so a lot of combination is the products change. Eg if you are in the RTD category  and say in the instant mixes tea/coffee and you have to increase profit, just increase the sugar content, lower the tea/coffee extract, the cost will come doing. If you are a small brand you may loose customer, but if you are giant MNC, once consignment does not harm much. Other industry has other modes of reducing the cost. Clever companies know how to this very nicely. They maintain the quality though out the year. But towards the year end the change the combination to increase the profits.

There are other ways also to increase the profits – reduce people, consolidate assets and so on.

No matter what, in some way or the other all product reach a point beyond which sales become difficult. But growth is important and must happen.  And it is not complicate, a cool head and a cool approach, will solve the problem. Some of the points to ponder are:-

  • Do in need to move into new area
  • Do I need to create more SKU
  • Have I reached the potential of the store
  • Do I have to take more Share of the Space

(each of these needs a lot of detail understanding)

 

While most of us say, sales is the game of number, I think it is beyond this. Sale is game of the customer acquisition. In fact sales is a function of customers. The more the customer you have got, the more the opportunity to sales. When you have one, then all you need to do is to add the range, create the excitement. Sales numbers will follow.

LIEBSTER AWARD NOMINATION

which song do you relate the most with?
Stand by me. John Lennon
what are your views on love at first sight?
Electric
what makes you stand out?
Ability to tolerate situation and when its out of the limit, I am not a nice person to know
what is your favorite lie?
Don’t lie most of the time. Heard a story when I was young, to hide one lie you have to tell more and more lies. Its a bottomless pit
if you could know one thing about your future , what would it be?
Can I make a movie ?
on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird are you?
5
do u identify yourself as an art lover?
Yes
which picture best describes your city?
Serene and beautiful
what is your favorite childhood memory?
The love of my grandparents
you know how some scenes from our life get stuck in our head? describe one?
I went into a political mess during my college time. I had an outburst on one of my friend, who never told me why she was angry with me. I made a confession in the college in front of all that my behaviour was not good and would not repeat such a thing again
would you choose money or fame?
Both

SONG OF THE FORLORN

LIEBSTER AWARD MUKTHI

This is my second award nomination!!!! (too many exclamations??) so Mimi nominated me for this award! thanks a ton mimi!liebster-award-rules.jpg

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