Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 94

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt a replenishment model. Second, we had to cut out the wholesalers and offer our products to the retail- ers through our distributors only. What we were dealing with was about changing people’s mindset, unlearning and learning, which comes with a re- sistance and the whole lot of it. As Dr (Raghunath Anant) Mashalkar says, it is a conflict between the mind and the mindset. The first furore was internal. Some senior em- ployees felt it was a crazy idea. However, we were adamant, and as every battle pays its price, we did it as well. We lost a lot of sales and market share. We absorbed a lot of backlash for this, but the decision was made, and there was no looking back. We only con- centrated on what lay ahead. Before the implemen- tation of ToC, we received information on inventories with a time lag. Some prod- ucts that were in demand could not be made available on time due to this, resulting in revenue losses. Also, there was a problem of dead inven- tories which were mount- ing up, leading to increased working capital. But ToC changed all that. The main- tenance of inventory is now happening at the right level, and the dumping of products has stopped at the distributor or the retailer level. T he next thing we did was to eliminate sales targets for all salespersons, which was un- heard of. The only way a salesperson would be judged would be on the basis of the outlets he would add and the SKUs he would increase. No targets meant no dumping and no dumping meant right sales and reach. This shift from primary sales to secondary sales eventually resulted in a strong distributor network along with a strong backend distribution support. We now cover over 1,20,000 retail outlets, which we service on a weekly basis – a phenomenon we could not think of earlier. Internally, we named this process the Range and Reach Expansion Program (RREP). I always believe that conflict plays an important role in any company and RREP led to many. But in the end, it taught us all to maintain a good balance leading to improvement in margin and sales. Now that the consumer business was slowly shaping up, implementation of ToC in EPC came as a surprise to all of us. The EPC business was in bad shape, and we were ready to do anything that held an iota of a chance to put us back on track. W ith an attitude of nothing to lose, the EPC officials welcomed ToC whole- heartedly. What was touted as a tough business, succeeded within a year of implementa- tion. Things started shaping up and orders started flowing in. It is a miracle what one can do with limited resources. The hunger for success was so high that we outperformed our expectations. It was a bold move and today, we are on the last leg of its implementation. But what helped us With no sales target, there was increased efficiency and reduced stress, something Bajaj Electricals never had the opportunity to see earlier. Everybody here understands and respects and values work-life balance. I t is a way of life at the company through the process is the determination to carry it till the end and the ability to stand by the deci- sion we made. I must add that Anant Bajaj, our JMD, gave rock-solid support. I also feel that con- tinuous review was very important as it helped us identify the gaps and improve upon them on a regular basis. This decision also improved the organisation’s happiness quotient. With no sales target, there was increased efficiency and reduced stress, some- thing Bajaj Electricals never had the opportunity to see earlier. Everybody here understands and re- spects and values work-life balance. It is not just a term but a way of life at the company. When I look back, I feel I have grown as a per- son too. I used to empower people even before, but today I am also able to give them more room to make mistakes and learn from them. Moreover, I have now built a second life for my- self. I have enough time on hand to play with my grandson Vanraj, who is two-and-a-half-years old and who is always playful with no worries. I also make sure that I am at the dining table at 8 p.m. to have dinner with the entire family whenever I am in town (which is almost 22-25 days a month). 94 I BUSINESS TODAY I January 14 I 2018