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

 

Distribution – FMCG (There are no distributors today)

Distribution is one of the critical success factors in the FMCG business. Through distribution products are made available to each and every retail outlet that caters to the end consumer, fulfilling the consumer needs and generating business.

The distribution in the FMCG business is a very lucrative business, mainly because you just need to deliver the product. The company personnel ensures in-store visibility, marketing, promotion and all sales related activities. As a distributor along with on time delivery, the credit given to the retailers also have to be managed.

The distributor margins are very thing. As explained above, the distributor just acts as a small logistic partner, small time investor. Over the past I have seen most of the distribution companies running in losses or shutting down. The margins are so thing that if the systems, especially the back end and cost is not managed properly, the distributor will never know when the losses happen. New companies usually give 8-10% of margin to the distributors; in some case 12% also; but companies that are established give about 4-6% on the higher side. To operate in such kind of margins, a very strict control is needed. If this is not controlled or known, the distributor will never know whether he is making losses or doing business for charity, where after cutting all the expenses what he makes is a meager 1-2%.

Top companies have a system called distributor ROI, which itself is a vicious circle. They have highly skilled employees, who on the paper show that the distributor is making sustainable margins, where on actual terms the distributor is not making anything at all, but are camouflaged with the turnover. In one of the companies that I have worked, I have practically seen how the top personnel of a leading FMCG companies calculate the ROI of the distributor. If the calculation come to an amount that is equivalent or close to the top employee of the company, they will make the distributor re-invest.

Therefore before moving to the distribution business certain check points are needed.

  • Distributor should not aim for only large brands; he should have a mix match of large and small brands. While the small brands are difficult to distribute as the order quantity is less, they still yield good margins and in the long run yield more benefits.
  • The distributor should always have a kitty of companies with him, ranging anywhere between 10-15 companies. Then the logistics make sense.
  • A lot of money is blocked in the credit note as well, which most of the time is disputed.
  • Cost should always been monitored, and PnL should be made every month.
  • Should look for getting CFA for the company for which they are distributing.

 

I have served for last so many years into the business of FMCG; have seen distributors who have come across such kind of situation. Most of them closed, others corrected and re-align the business, and very large distributor who have evolved. Would like to cite a couple of examples

Jay Foods: One of the leading distributors in Pune who is into the FMCG business. He has multiple products with and one of them was a very large business enterprise in India and it was this company that was substantially contribution to its turnover. I have met, interacted and discussed with him so many time during my visit to Pune.  On one such visit as I was talking to him, he told me that he has given up the distribution of this large company. I was a little bothered to hear this as it was his major business. He then explained me that – although the company gave him a large turnover, he was earning no substantial money. What he meant to say me was – the return that he was not good with respect to the money he had invested.

He is still into FMCG distribution with selected brands giving good margins. But most important he is into manufacturing of his own products and is doing good business.

VS Logistics: Another enterprise into the business of distribution of FMCG products. He has been into the business from a very long time and has evolved every time. During one of my discussion I was debating with him on the challenges of distribution and told him that he has to be careful with the overhead and the actual return that he is getting, he came up with a very revealing answer.

  • He understands that the in thin margins it is difficult to run a business. He has keep good people in the business who are working and updating him about the business
  • He is also into the business of CFA for most of the products that he distributes. ‘
  • More than staying with the team in the office doing all the back end work, the CEO, of the company is more involved in ways and means of generating new avenues to create business. He has tied up with leading e-commerce Company and has exclusive right for all India distribution.
  • He has kept able staff in his team, who does the entire back end with a lot of precision. They have been giving guideline and checkpoints. In any case if they get into an alarming state, immediate corrective action is taken

 

I don’t call VS Logistic as a distributor; I would better call him as a Biz Enabler. Companies who are not only looking at distributor but also a total supply chain solution provider, who would contribute in giving business solution, then VS Logistic would be a  ideal person that they are looking for.

Aparna Enterprise: A distributor located in Pune with a turnover of more than 100 Crore.  Sometimes you are so large that all you have to do is manage the business and rest will follow. The best thing that I have noted about the company is that they key peoples of the company are working with Aparna, since long, may be for a decade or more. There are employees who have been working with the company since its inception. Notable things are :

  • Although being a large business enterprise, the CEO of the company is a down to earth person. There are people who are successful and show an air in them while taking to them. But this gentleman, being very intelligent and hard working, has build his team. One of the reason because of which he has been able to retain people is the way he deals with them.
  • The key peoples have been upgraded with the change of time.
  • There is good team work; it is not that if a person is on leave the business will fall, there are other people who work for extra hours to ensure that the work is done on time.
  • The best of all no matter how big or small the company is their dealing is very cordial.

This business enterprise is a classic example that good companies are made by retaining good people and to retain them, you have to ensure that the basic need of respecting people is fulfilled. This is one thing that lacks in most of the business enterprise today.

Suryam Enterprise: I would not call him a distributor; the company is lead by an entrepreneur who has extremely clear goals and work with clear direction.

  • The company keeps all the data with it, which all the distributor do, but they have a little edge of other, they also do complete understanding and analysis of data
  • For all the companies that the company is working with, the CEO keeps himself abreast with what is going the market in terms of the industry and then talks about it
  • Suryam has worked with start-up and then grew along with the company. It takes a lot of patience to wait for a brand to develop
  • Suryam has certificate of appreciation from Indian School of Business for one of its project in the business

For all the companies that want business enterprise who want robust growth, then he would be a strong choice.

 

Concept Marketing:  Of all the people I have mentioned, according to me the best person in the business is Concept Marketing. The CEO of the company is an incredible person. He was one of my distributors in one of the companies that I have served.

  • The turnover that this company was handling was not very high, but he was very good at what he was doing.
  • With less turnover, his income was close to the company that was doing business that was more than thrice his size.
  • He has micro level understanding of his business.
  • Key success factors that ingredient for what he did were
    • He had the actual cost, with all the detailing
    • Had good rapport with the end customer
    • Had great service to the customer. He has very less difficulty in retaining customer
  • What he did is what most of the other people in the business doe, but his way of doing was excellent

Although he has a conservative approach to business, he is an ideal person if someone has to know the basic of distribution. Today he has given up the distribution of the companies that he was working earlier, and is currently running his own brand and as I said earlier, makes good money.

These are few examples that I have given, but there are a lot more – Jalaram Trading, Gulmohar Enterprise, True Value, Bajori Foods, Concept Marketing, Hasmukh Enterprise, TJUK ….. all of them have evolved in the business.

For me, I don’t call them distributors, I call them ‘’BUSINESS PARTNERS’’

 

 

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Vijay Sokhi

FMCG – Foods Professional

Business Consulting, Change Management, Sales Management and Motivation

Start Ups – II Idea

In continuation with my earlier post

 

All the start ups are born out of idea.  It is the nurturing of the idea and the continuous effort that a company puts in building the idea that leads to the formation of a large business enterprise.

But the very concept of idea is not enough; it has to be backed up with proper data and study. Some of the very practical point to be noted while we are in the process of building up the idea is:

  • Idea is come like a spark and also go like a spark. Studies have shown that out of various ideas that are generated; only 1-2% of them really see the end result.
  • The most important thing to note is that a lot of money goes in building up the idea. Sometime you are so close, so close; just an inch more before the final concept, and you realize that it cannot move any further from here. E.g – You want to create and app for a super smart phone, that can act as a seismograph device, alerting you before an earthquake. Sounds great, you start working on it and after investing a lot reach a road block.
  • Sometimes company develops a very nice product, so good that it’s practically has all that you need to make it a success. The product is developed and launched in the market, bombarded with marketing, people go crazy, buy the product take it home, and finally realize it is very difficult to make.
  • There are so many products that are launched, every month but only a few actually become successful. Companies now adopt a secure way of brand extension, to launch a new product

This and a lot more are the shortcomings. But there are successes, and these are mostly because a lot of markets study, brainstorming and analysis is done to launch the product. It is important to understand that any idea that is build up on an assumption is most likely to fail. It is only those ideas that backed with proper data and understanding has a chance to succeed.

=============================================================While most of the people choose to work with established brands, I have chosen to work with new brands, new products. After working with one of the largest MNC’s – Hindustan Unilever Limited, I have worked with start-up ventures likes Typhoo and Vegit.

If all the talent wants to work with top notch companies, how will a start up evolve, create economy, create employment and create empowerment.

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Vijay Sokhi

FMCG – Foods Professional

Business Consulting, Change Management, Sales Management and Motivation

Happy Diwali

Hello Everyone!!

This  is my first blog and I hope that I keep on adding values to all by sharing knowledge.

Each and everyone of us in the world is fighting within ourselves. This fight is with the darkness inside  us, that is known to us only. Someone or the other is fighting to overcome the addiction to lust, jealously, hatred, financial crunch, internet/mobile pornography, alcoholism, job instability, unfulfilled desires and so on…. But all during this fight, we know that something is wrong and although we want to  overcome we are not able to do it.  Every day we get up and take a pledge that, today I am going to work on it, and somehow or the other consciously, unconsciously, we give up and end up doing what we don’t want to do.

No matter what, the intention to get rid of bad things, the first step towards improvement . The road is tough and the only way one can come out of it is dedication and effort. Effort does not mean starting aggressively and then being unable to live upto the schedule. Taking small step at a time will yield big results. Eg. If a person is addicted to alcohol, even reducing a day in week will be a good thing to start. Very soon once a day will improve to two or more and eventually you may reduce the carving to minimal and finally it will go.

Diwali is a celebration of light over darkness. It is the celebration of good over evil. Let today be the day when you take  a pledge to move a little step towards light.

Hare Krishna

Man walking toward a cross formed by light reflecting off the grungy walls of an underground culvert.
Man walking toward a cross formed by light reflecting off the grungy walls of an underground culvert.