Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 93

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt BY SHEKHAR BAJAJ Chairman and MD, Bajaj Electricals Bill Cosby, American actor, musician and stand-up comedian, once said, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” There will be a point in everyone’s life when you look for a catalyst, the thing or the person that will change your life and put you right on top. All you need is the readiness to refuse to be trapped in mediocrity. I distinctly remember the early ’90s when India had just opened up to the world. The licence raj had come to an end. A lot of Indian players had no footing due to that move, and with a host of foreign players entering the country, these estab- lishments had slowly started to vanish. It was only those companies with solid fundamentals that survived, and few of them grabbed this as an op- portunity to scale higher. Bajaj Electricals was one of them. Even as kids, we were always taught to be emo- tionally strong. My father helped me become a self-reliant adult with the confidence to follow my passion and back my decisions. Through the years of my on-ground training, I was taught to deal ethically and win the trust of partners and consumers in this way. It was through these principles that we prospered. However, after a point, doing well was not enough. We wanted to make a difference. About a decade ago, we realised that there was a growing breed of the millennial generation that perceived life differently. The traditional methods of selling were not applicable to them, and they changed their decisions frequently. To tap this segment, we needed to reach more outlets and have an ar- rangement where we could replenish the prod- ucts on a regular basis to suit their needs. It was then that we started looking for a radically differ- ent solution. Around the same time, the entire senior team of Bajaj Electricals attended an event by the fa- mous Israeli management guru Eliyahu Goldratt. He spoke about the Theory of Constraints (ToC), a method which helps you identify the weakest link in your organisation and build strength around it. I knew the implementation of ToC would change Bajaj Electricals and increase its potential tremen- dously. While there was a short-term risk involved, the long-term success was assured. We decided to take the plunge. As the first measure of this implementation, we had to replace the regular forecasting model with January 14 I 2018 I BUSINESS TODAY I 93