Tag Archives: Business and Economy

The Rise of Indian Entrepreneurship: An Outsider’s Perspective

By Ankit Chandra

entrepeneurship

Well to begin with, I do not want to be an outsider on this for long. But be that as it may, I am not involved and hence the topic…

I am excited to see that the bumbling energy in India about entrepreneurship is shining bright.  Bright enough to be visible to me sitting in the US. I think if there has to be a healthy way of life in India, it has to come from the society and not the government. Especially when people are so cynical about what the government does. Anyways its beyond the competence of a few minds to think up the growth strategy for the entire country! Lets the collective wisdom do the evolution of thought. The government should just sit back and create an environment where the society is able to do that.

What makes me this excited is that I can see this simple process in action now:

  1. Common people, with all the humility in the word common, face issues in their daily lives.
  2. Common people hence know what problems irk them more
  3. Common people think of solutions
  4. Common people come up with enterprises to solve the issue
  5. Other common people consume the service and compensate the service/good provider

imagesAnd hence the circle of an issue and its solution was completed, with no visible sign of a government intervention. No matter how big/small the issue is, someone might want to earn a living out of fixing a problem. A win-win, where someone gets to earn money while reducing one issue in the society and everyone moves ahead!

I have begun to see an entrepreneurship fervor in India, which I see here in the US. Anyone who wants to open a startup/enteprise can work hard and open one! and thats a biig change from the erstwhile India. what is more exciting is the nature of startups. Many of these are about things which at best can be thought of as unusual, at least for India…

Here are 3 such startups I think are interesting. This list is in no way complete or exhaustive.

  1. http://www.tulliho.com : This is an awesome idea for people who wanna get Tulli! (drunk) a yelp-esque website catering to people in Indian cities, helping them find good bars and pubs.
  2. http://saleraja.com : Another site catering to the shopping needs of people, where you can get to know about sales going on in different places.
  3. http://www.babyoye.com : this site helps you buy stuff for your new kids. Sort of reinventing the buying experience with the web
  4. http://windchimes.co.in : A social media company for Indian companies to use socail media advertising

None of these companies are using the ‘outsourcing’ model. Its democracy at its best: for the people by the people. They are interesting because what they offer would have been laughed at some years ago. I can just imagine friends, parent just yelling ‘are you out of your mind’ etc etc..

I guess not anymore 🙂

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Dysfunctional Organization Cultures And Falling Corporate Empires

ganesh article on Culture

Ganesh Subramanian from IIM Trichy writes why without transparency in communication organizations would invite doom. 

A friend of mine called me up a few days ago seeking some suggestions to come out of the problems that she finds herself in, in her company. She works as a recruitment executive in a firm. She said that a week before her recruitment, the firm had rolled out offers to candidates who are joining a multinational firm, which is a client of this recruitment firm. Despite slogging for a week and achieving targets which have never been achieved before, there was little appreciation for the work done. Forget appreciation, there wasn’t even a mention of the work in the subsequent team meetings by her boss. To complicate matters, the recruitment team was asked to report to a lady who is supposedly well known to the boss. Now this lady is new to the business of recruitment having moved into this role only a few months back and behaves more like a school teacher than a team lead. In this scenario, my friend was contemplating quitting her job and she says that the organization culture is bad beyond repair.

In another example, a CEO of a firm is known for his frequent outbursts of anger, shouting at his subordinates, in front of others. The CEO’s behaviour has percolated down to the individual business units as business unit heads shout at their subordinates because the CEO shouts at them. The funny part is that this organization had a 360 degree appraisal system for assessment of performance. No wonder that the employees of the organization are scared to death when it comes to rating their superiors.

These two examples set me thinking on how organization cultures can make or mar organizations. Organizations such as those mentioned above fall into oblivion and get into a very bad cycle because nobody knows how to change this bad culture. It is very obvious that the cue has to come from the top management. The behaviour and the culture of the organisation have to be driven by the CEO and carried on by the business unit heads.

For sustainable growth of organizations, there must be transparency in communication, freedom and autonomy in work and more importantly an environment where everyone feeds off each other’s growth which in term helps them grow. The HR in the bad-cultured organizations become the scapegoat in the whole process as employees blame the HR for anything and everything little realizing that HR in such organisations do not have the power to overhaul systems in one go and they are mere spectators in the whole game.

To conclude, top management must be proactive in setting the right environment for a thriving organizational culture and must give the HR department the full freedom to maintain the culture, suggest changes for betterment and even change it.

HR – Support Function to Strategic Function, the Irrefutable Paradigm Shift

BusinessPartner

Ganesh Subramanian writes on how HR has come a long way from being a support function to a strategic function and why it deserves a lot of importance

HR as a function has come a long way from the days of personnel management to being an integral part of any business strategy. As much as this awareness among the business community is pleasing, it is equally depressing to see that still a vast majority of people, be it employees or businesses, view HR as a function that doesn’t deserve respect or importance.

What are the reasons for this incongruent view? The blame is to be equally shared between the practitioners of HR and the working population. In a lot of companies, especially the smaller ones, there is usually a single department that takes care of HR & Administration. What this does is blurs the distinction between HR and admin and for an average employee both of them are one and the same.

A HR is expected to repair a fan or mend a creaking chair in the same vein in which he/she does performance appraisal or recruits an employee. The employees who act as if they are apostles of good behaviour during the interview look down upon the HR. Everything is blamed on the HR, right from miniscule salary increments to lack of holidays to uninteresting work.

On the other side, HR in mediocre companies immerse themselves in sub-functions like recruitment and performance appraisals and strive hard to conform to metrics. They end up doing mundane run-of-the-mill jobs losing sight of important HR functions like career planning, employee engagement, etc.

From a labour function in early days, HR has moved on to be a business partner and then to being viewed as a strategic partner. Good companies have recognised the value of making their people function a part of key decisions. These companies are smart enough to realise that business decisions of the future need to be made keeping in mind the human aspect. The recruitment team in these companies understand the business very well and ensure that the job-person fit is tailor-made.

It is a well known fact that most of the CEOs have their hands full dealing with people issues in their career. As one goes up the corporate ladder, a business problem always manifests itself as a people related issue. It is obvious that managing people is the most challenging task that companies and specifically HR have to grapple with. A same marketing strategy can make 100 products successful and standard revenue targets can make years of annual reports appear better, but no one solution can work when it comes to dealing with people as each human is different.

Let us start recognising HR as an important part of a company wheel and give it and the people who are involved in it their due respect.

Finding the right talent

The Variations Presented By The 5th P Of Marketing

Marketing-Mix-via-Juice-Marketing-Group1

 

Our anonymous Marketing expert talks why the 5th P has many definitions and almost every professional presents a variation to suit his/her convenience. 

To a lot of people, the 5th ‘P’ of Marketing has been determined by the business, in which they are in, try asking a person in Logistics or Supply Chain management and they would call attention to packaging.

To an advertising agency or a brand consultant, the 5th ‘P’ would remind you of positioning, for a person inclined towards human resources and insights, the 5th‘P’ would be people. Emerging trends in communications place the 5th ‘P’ to be participation.

Today from productivity to perception to passion, if you ask 5 people what the 5th ‘P’ is, there are 7 different definitions relating to this subject. According to me, the 5th ‘P’ is determined by the business you are in and the 5th ‘P’ is more likely to reflect your profession more than anything else, if by chance, your version of the 5th ‘P’ does not reflect you profession, chances are your profession relates to the second oldest profession.

5th P

Social Etiquette – The Forgotten Good-natured Behaviour Code

Commercialization has taken precedence over most of our good values! Is advancement in Science inversely proportional to advancement of ‘human-ness’? Ganesh Subramanian discusses our behavioural code which has changed with our so-called ‘advancement’ in this post.

good beh1

The biggest fear of advancement of mankind is that in the mad pursuit of developments and an equally insane dash for material possessions, somewhere there is a risk of losing our social values and a possible deviation from accepted behavioural norms. With crass commercialization of almost everything in humanity, good old values like respect for others, maintaining public decency, respect for elders etc., are well on their way towards a fast-tracked capital punishment.

The simplest example for illustrating this argument can be seen in the ubiquitous use of mobile phones. The problem is not in using mobiles per se, but in the way in which it’s being used in simple conversations. Often, while travelling in buses or trains, we see some strange specimens (let us say, Mr. X) shouting at the top of their voices into their mobile phones. Somewhere I feel that it won’t be a bad idea for Mr. X just to scream what he wants to say without actually making a call. The loud enough voice of M. X can be easily transmitted and heard via air without the need for 2 mobile phones and the network. This kind of behaviour demonstrated with scant regard for others in the surroundings is completely deplorable and irks others present in the vicinity. By the time the bus/train journey is over, all the passengers are sure to have a good knowledge of the entire background of Mr. X, courtesy the mindless telephonic screaming.

Another behaviour that can’t be called courteous is the failure to apologise when someone accidentally elbows others or stamps on the others’ feet accidentally in a crowd. Behaviour in restaurants, behaviour in traffic signals, behaviour while we wait in serpentine queues for some service – the list is never ending when it comes to exhibiting unacceptable behaviour. A funny incident that my friend narrated springs to my mind here. My friend and his college classmates went to a coffee shop for hanging out. One of his friends, after ordering for milkshake wanted to tell the waiter not to add ice to his beverage. As the waiter had moved away, this guy shouted at the top of his voice in his native language with a localised slang. This act attracted the eyeballs of all those who were present in the shop much to the embarrassment of the guy’s classmates. Some may feel what’s unacceptable in this. But the point, I am trying to make is that even small instances like this could have been handled subtly with a good understanding and awareness of the presence of public.

good beh 2

All these instances point to the fact that good social behaviour has taken a backseat in this age of commercialization. It is upto each one of us to understand that what irks us also irks others and we must ensure that even if we can’t become role models of social behaviour, atleast we do not end up being a bad example of socially acceptable behaviour.