Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 152

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt ‘It’s Still Day 1…’ Working backwards from customer needs is key to True Customer Obsession. BY AMIT AGARWAL SVP and Country Head, Amazon India his is something we keep reminding ourselves at Amazon, every day. In his latest shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos talks about an interest- ing incident at the company all-hands meeting, when he was asked what Day 2 looks like. “Day 2 is static. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.” The answer purposefully paints a gloomy self-fulfilling downward spiral, a stark contrast with the energy of a culture that is constantly innovating on behalf of customers. Fortunately, the letter goes on to offer a starter kit to retain the “Day 1” spirit, and provides a powerful lesson for all of us – True Customer Obsession is essential to ensure that it always remains Day 1. We have taken this to heart at Amazon. in as we work hard to transform how India buys and sells, and thereby transform lives. I have been very fortunate to be part of Amazon for nearly 19 years of my career, and observe closely the evolution of an organisation that 152 I BUSINESS TODAY I January 14 I 2018