Management News

Shaping The Rural Future

The rural consumer growth story presents one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to expand their footprint to new geographies and markets. While several corporates have established a firm footing, startups too are investing to claim a share of the pie—about three billion consumers.

In this exclusive to Indian Management, Vijay Mahajan, John P Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas and author of Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries, talks about the forces boosting rural prosperity, shifts in consumption patterns, and the need for marketers to understand that aspirations are same across markets, whether rural or urban...

To Read More Subscribe

 

Blurring lines

A new rural reality is taking shape. Marketers have to recalibrate their strategies accordingly.

different from the urban consumer. He was a lot less affluent, lot less literate and simplistic in his demands and looked up to his ‘city’ cousin...

To Read More Subscribe

 

Building on legacy

First-generation entrepreneurs make for awe-inspiring stories.They spot an opportunity in the market, set up a company, and get onto building it, all the time fighting against odds.

Take the case of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of the Tata Group. It was his vision that got India its first steel manufacturer, power generator, and the first hotel to have electricity...

To Read More Subscribe

 

Is your business well tuned into new and powerful customer behaviours?

Welcome to the tech generation of customers! Smartphones and access to web-enabled services have created new and interesting challenges for businesses today. Not sure why? Just consider a typical day in the life of today’s well-connected consumer...

Jeff and Mira have had a long day. Their commute home was mostly silent. The long, hot summer day has sapped their energy and right now they can only think about finding a few minutes of rest and relaxation at home.

To Read More Subscribe

Living to Buy

The Indian consumer has become an offbeat, mobile, and flexible ‘turbo-consumer’, greatly emancipated from old-class cultures, being unpredictable in his tastes and purchases, on the lookout for emotional experiences and wellness, quality of life and health, brands and authenticity, and immediacy and communication.

The development of the modern consumption society has conditioned an environment that is heavily loaded with objects, signs, and interactions based on trade exchanges. The production of manufactured goods increases year after year and the provision of services continues to grow and diversify.

To Read More Subscribe

Data and machines hold the key to the customer insight process in the future

The customer is alive. For now. Till machines become our customers. And they shall be more alive, I guess. Let us talk about human customers for now.

Alive customers are rich in insights. They live, they breathe, they move around, they see, they touch, smell, taste, and are forever insight-dropping entities. Every move of theirs, and indeed every breath of theirs, leaves back clues. So many clues that one is unable to harvest all of it. Not that too many are keen to harvest them either. And that is a separate subject altogether

To Read More Subscribe

Serenading the empowered customer

The digital age has ushered in an era of transparency in business.Today's customer is better informed about what is being bought and from whom; he or she has access to other customers, who increasingly influence the purchase decision.

Rather than the brand telling the customer what he or she should want, it is now mostly the other way around.

To Read More Subscribe

Can agility be taught?

The need for agility in corporate learning has become a catchphrase lately. Every business wants to be agile, but only a few are successful at being so. Achieving the required level of agility will help companies adapt rapidly and better manage the costs of a fast-changing environment and customer behaviour.

Learning to be agile is an attitude. Agility is a group of practices that will help leaders continually improve, progress, and employ new tactics to face the increasingly complex situations in their organisations.

To Read More Subscribe

Smart Check

As an employer, choosing the right candidate for a job from among several applicants is key to building a firm foundation for any business to function. From being able to manage a team efficiently and possessing exemplary conversational and problem-solving skills to having exceptional work ethics, employers have a list of requirements that need to be fulfilled.

This results in recruitment being not only the most important task for an HR professional, but possibly one of the most challenging as well.

To Read More Subscribe

Mind Matters

The current cynicism about humanity’s value within organisations is the result of the ‘no-emotions-allowed business culture’ that has been the global norm for generations. With so many companies treating people like instrumental (human) resources, is it any wonder we feel inferior to machines, which have no emotions to suppress?

While managers have been increasingly exploring the impact of emotions upon performance, their attempts often betray a rudimentary understanding.For example, there has been far too much emphasis placed on the personae of top leaders, as if a pantomime of caring were enough.

To Read More Subscribe

Good leaders are always great managers

It is important to have a plan and a roadmap at every stage of one’s career. One needs to set stretch targets for oneself if one is to go on the path of success. There are almost no short cuts so all the people who talk about luck are sadly mistaken. Good luck chases those who work hard. That is what is true and nothing else.

Typically, one needs to constantly look at learning every day. There is so much to learn and so much to do. If you are not constantly new skills, you can be certain, you are going towards stagnation. I am also quite old-fashioned when it comes to job changes.

To Read More Subscribe

GST – Taking the rough with the smooth

The GST is here, finally. It has been a long and winding journey with many an ambush along the way. The idea of GST was first mooted in 1994—and since recommended by the Asim Dasgupta Committee in 2000 and by the Vijay Kelkar Committee in 2004—in which I was privileged to be a member.

The GST is easily India’s most daring and potentially impactful reform since Independence. It is expected to liberate industry and trade from the jumble of central, state, and local taxes and provide a simple, tax regime that will inject efficiency, widen the tax base, and turn India into a truly single market.

To Read More Subscribe

A New Beginning

The challenges with the present tax assessment administration are unequivocal. For long, organisations have been loaded with twofold tax assessment, entangled standards, and uncompetitive expense rates and structures. Central and state governments have not been able to control leaks from the framework, and ultimately, general society has been bothered with higher costs on goods and services. However, once GST is implemented, the Indian economy will be set on course for record growth.

To Read More Subscribe

Mixed Bag

The launch of GST from 1st of July 2017 is expected to herald a new era of simplified tax in the country. After its implementation in France in the fifties, over 150 countries have adopted the GST law in one form or the other. And its adoption will make India one unified common market. GST is essentially a tax only on value addition at each stage of production. Uniformity of tax rates and simplification of procedures will reduce compliance costs and phase out multiple central and local duties. And taxes should reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services and increase competitiveness in the international marketplace.

To Read More Subscribe

Macro Impact

Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a landmark change in the Indian tax structure after Independence. It is expected that it will simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the country as it will do away with the multiplicity of taxes at the State and Central levels which has resulted in a complex indirect tax structure. Though MSMEs welcome and are looking forward to its roll-out, the GST regime has both positive and negative implications.

To Read More Subscribe

Boost for Brand India

The long-awaited and much-speculated date of implementation of GST has finally arrived. The 1st of July 2017 will usher in one of the biggest reforms in the history of India’s tax system.

To Read More Subscribe

Embrace the Digital

I ndia is on the threshold of major reforms in manufacturing, one of them being the digital transformation of supply chain. Presently, the nation is home to more than 51 million SMEs that perpetually seek conforming ways of doing business to make it big. A sector so dense cannot flourish on traditional ways of business and should rather adapt Embrace the digital to more agile, flexible, scalable, and smart manufacturing processes.

To Read More Subscribe

The Game Changer

The next time you visit Disneyland in Orlando, you may notice folks wearing a wristband. It is not a fashion accessory; rather it is a technology innovation involving finance, operations, and logistics. The wristband operates as your mobile wallet to pay for your rides in the amusement park, thus more convenient than carrying cash and cards in a crowded place and risk being pickpocketed. It operates as your entry ticket, helping you avoid long queues; as your hotel room key if you are staying in one of the hotels in the park, ensuring you do not carry the physical key and risk losing it; and as a location finder for your children, in case they get lost in the crowd.

To Read More Subscribe

Checks and Balances

Fintech is starting to fill some of the traditional roles played by banks, and new mobile banking and payment technologies are making it easier to improve customer experience. The emergence of fintech startups and new disruptive technologies are changing how banking is being done and the way financial services are being delivered.
Spurred by competition from such startups— who are introducing new consumer initiatives such as peer-to-peer and marketplace lending and crowdfunding—banks are increasingly turning to technology to improve their processes and business models in order to redefine customer experience.

To Read More Subscribe

Final Frontier

In April 2016, during a Facebook earnings call, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to an investor’s query regarding the introduction of chat bots to its Messenger service. His response was, “...the biggest thing that we’re focused on with artificial intelligence is building computer services that have better perception than people.”1 The idea of having computers with a better sense of perception than human beings may seem like a far-fetched science-fiction dream, but in reality, we are possibly less than a decade away from achieving it.

To Read More Subscribe

Fintech versus banks: déjà vu?

The recent dismissal of Lending Club CEO, the charismatic French entrepreneur Renaud Laplanche, for allegedly mis-selling loans to a Wall Street bank, caused a media circus about the future of fintech, raising concerns whether these ambitious startups had the right controls in place to keep up with their growth. But the fintech industry was already on shaky ground before this news broke. Initially dubbed peer-to-peer lending (individuals financing individuals), it has evolved into ‘marketplace funding’ with large institutional investors such as pension and hedge funds, and even banks, making the loans to individuals.

To Read More Subscribe

Communicate Strategically

The caller, early Monday morning, identified herself as the CEO of a large commercial real estate firm. I listened as she introduced herself again, reminding me that we had met a year earlier when she had accompanied her daughter, who had just finished graduate school, to our training centre—to be groomed for her rise to executive management in the family business.
“I need to meet with you today,” the caller said. “Preferably this morning. Can you come here? Or I can come there if I have to. . .”
“What can I help you with? Can you tell me a little more about what the issue is?”

To Read More Subscribe

Winds of Change

In ‘family business’, family is all about emotions and business about economics. They cannot be separated, but a slight skew towards one imbalances harmony. Tata, a legendary example of how a family business can grow strategically, recently faced a dispute regarding succession planning that challenged the company’s long-term sustainability as a family business. Finally, they chose someone capable from within.

To Read More Subscribe

CSR: Outcomes matter more than compliance

In April 2014, India became the only country to fix the quantum of corporate social responsibility by law. Many countries practise compulsory reporting of CSR but not compulsory CSR spends.
The stipulation of allocating 2% of corporate profits for CSR was predicated on the promise of inclusive and responsible growth. Yet, the rationale of compulsory charity was questioned, and some saw it as a tax by other means. The CSR law has been in force for three years, and the surrounding debate around its validity and effectiveness refuses to go away.
The numbers suggest that the law is working. There has been significant increase in CSR spending in the first couple of years of the law being passed.

To Read More Subscribe

A catalyst for change

India is the only major country in the world that, by law, requires firms above a specified threshold size to spend 2% of their net profits on CSR projects. This law came into effect in April 2014. For the latest fiscal year, Indian firms collectively are more than complying with the law.
According to PRIME Database, India Inc spent R9,309 crore on CSR projects in 2015-16, which was R163 crore more than the amount required by law, and R703 crore more than the previous year.
The general reaction in the Indian media has been positive and this suggests that the law has been a success. However, the law is only apparently successful—compliance with the law is not a good measure of its success. What matters is not the amount of money spent, but rather the outcomes achieved. In fact, the law mandating CSR expenditures is harmful to achieving the nation’s goal of inclusive development.

To Read More Subscribe

Beyond compliance

India was the first country in the world to make CSR expenditure by companies mandatory—this was done via Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013.
According to CII, 1,270 companies spent R8,185 crore on CSR in 2015-16 (up by over 25% since 2014-15), with a focus on health and sanitation, education and skills development, and rural development. Other countries are now looking to replicate elements of the Act based on the Indian experience.
The world has set for itself 17 global sustainable development goals (and 169 targets) to be achieved by 2030. India’s performance on these goals will be critical for them to be achieved, within which the Indian corporate sector’s contribution to social development would be an important component...

To Read More Subscribe

Unequal balance

The business community is an essential ingredient of our democratic society and it has a duty not only to create wealth but also to promote the ethical and social goals of the community. Unless it fulfils both these functions and there by plays its due role as a responsible section, it will not be able to ensure its own survival.” — Ramakrishna Bajaj.
The Companies Act of 2013 has proved to be a landmark in India’s economic history. Social welfare, community development, and inclusive national development have been firmly reasserted as business responsibilities.
Though discussions on the social obligation of business to contribute to the nation’s development have been going on since at least 1965, the Companies Act formalised and streamlined this obligation, putting it at the centre of corporate consciousness....

To Read More Subscribe

Break away from the traditional

Has mandating CSR served as a catalyst for change?
Mahindra’s core purpose is to challenge conventional thinking and innovatively use all our resources to drive positive change in the lives of our stakeholders and communities across the world to enable them to ‘RISE’! In line with our core purpose, our CSR vision is to focus our efforts on girl [children], youth, and ‘Break away from the traditional’ farmers by innovatively supporting them through programmes designed in the domains of education, health, and environment, while harnessing the power of technology. Hence for Mahindra, CSR goes beyond just adhering to statutory and legal compliances, it focuses on creating social and environmental value for our key stakeholders....
<

To Read More Subscribe

Risk management, a strategic imperative

Risk management is becoming a key issue for CEOs and boards. Globally, companies are becoming familiar with the position of the Chief Risk Officer. CROs have direct access to the CEO and boards, and their influence is growing across the hierarchy and processes of the organisation.
As companies become more globally connected and data dependent, risks have percolated across every aspect of businesses. Growing volatility in politics, policies, input availability and prices, demand, competition, supply chain, technology, finance, and other areas has exposed the limitations of leaving risk management in the hands of only a few.

To Read More Subscribe

Building Resilience

I am a preferred flyer with Emirates and choose the airline for all my flights to the US and select parts of Europe. March 22, 2017, the UK and US governments imposed a ban on passengers carrying laptops in the cabin from six airports around the world. Dubai is one of them. This is an external risk. I will now fly through a ‘US and UK friendly’ airport. However, Emirates will be directly impacted. They have deployed their best assets on those sectors. If Emirates has not factored this risk, given its business model they will find it difficult to mitigate it. The impact will touch every bit of Emirates—financials, brand image, fleet management, customer loyalty programmes, employees, investors, and many more. This development is a clear indicator of how risk has changed in the last two decades and the speed of its change in the last five years. <

To Read More Subscribe

The best defence

The cyber world never stands still. Emerging threats and new zero days makes it even more volatile and active. Adding to this volcano are over a million new IoT devices that are getting connected to the internet daily. Experts predict that as many as 25 to 50 billion IoT devices and sensors will be deployed by 2020, for an average of 4.3 internet-connected devices for every man, woman, and child on this planet. Adding more fire to this volcano, organisations have evolved from person-to-person transactions to a fully digital business model—the networks have evolved as well, become increasingly complex, and more difficult to defend.

To Read More Subscribe

Reputation on the line?

I like what Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.” It takes a long time for an organisation to build a reputation and brand to become what they are known for and what they stand for in the eyes of the world. It takes time and effort for a company to sustain its reputation by engaging individuals through their diverse culture which is reflected in their day to day performance. While it takes a long time to build a reputation and brand image, it does not take too much time to destroy one. The fall is too steep and it takes a miracle or an extremely painful journey to rebuild lost reputation. And mostly, it will not be the same.

To Read More Subscribe

Shaping the Future

In today’s service-led, cloud-centric, and API-connected business landscape, monolithic software struggles to keep up with the rapid development of new innovations, tools, and platforms. In this ‘always on’ and ‘always connected’ world, it is no longer feasible to release software products on a multi-month or multi- year development cycle. Microservices is the architecture of choice for companies seeking a highly scalable, costeffective, and resilient approach which helps them operate in a fast-moving business climate....

To Read More Subscribe

A Fresh Lease of Life

An underperforming company is one in which return on investment drops below the cost of capital, and shareholders rightfully ask whether the enterprise should be wound up, assets sold, and the freed capital be invested in more lucrative opportunities. Recent amendments to bankruptcy laws in India to tackle NPAs suggest empowering asset reconstruction companies to act like receivers who focus on winding up operations...

To Read More Subscribe

Learning Curve

The great Swiss clinical psychologist Jean Piaget once remarked that the principal goal of education should be to create people who are capable of doing new things, people who are creative, inventive, and discoverers, and not simply repeating what other generations have done. This approach has permeated various societies through the ages, and is finally also shaping the argument for Indian education moving away from rote learning.

To Read More Subscribe

Astep in the Right Direction

Promotion Board (FIPB) is also a good sign which underlines the continued liberalisation intent of the government;it is good for both startups and established cornpanies on the lookout for growth capital.The only additional rnove this sector could have benefit from are some new tax benefits to further safeguard the interests of the IT industry,which is under tremendous pressure from anti-globalisation sentiments and new visa reforms being tabled by the US administration.

To Read More Subscribe

Tech Gains

The IT sector can now be a true partner to new skills initiatives by enabling technology to provide support to trainers and mentors and address the gargantuan task of getting 300 million Indians ready for employment and entrepreneurship through compelling content served through technology platforms.

To Read More Subscribe

Budgetis Not taxing

The budget reduced the personal income two rate from 10,0 to 5./0,on income in the,2.5-5 lakh slab.This is a Political & amp; good move since a majority of salari taxpayers in a middle-income nation like India fall in this slab.It increases disposable incorne by, 12,500 in the hands of all whose income is, 2.5 lakh and above.But those with income only up to 5 lakh will see an effective impact of 10,000 not 12,500.

To Read More Subscribe

For a smooth glide

in place, a family business can survive for many generations. In a family-owned business, the influence and control of the founder is usually considered indisputable and the whole business revolves around him or her, which should not be the case ideally. But there are times when such leaders have to step aside and let others carry on their legacy

To Read More Subscribe

Rising to the challenge of succession planning in family firms

challenges that families and businesses across the world face during a succession process. These include cultural issues, the transferral of family assets and competency. The first three are:
• The challenge of succession culture
• The challenge of transferring family assets
• The challenge of being competent

To Read More Subscribe

Managing leadership change

Letting go is one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of leadership. Controlling and deciding what is to be done, when, how, and by whom—all of these become habit-forming and heady, and difficult to let go. It is particularly problematic in organisations where the CEO is also the dominant stakeholder, or belongs to the promoter family.

To Read More Subscribe

Back to the Future

Business schools are facing an existential crisis. Their legitimacy as providers of management education and repositories of management wisdom are being challenged as never before. Worldwide, declining enrolments in MBA programmes—the traditional standard-bearer of management education—are one symptom; the increasing marginalisation of business school research and its divorce from the needs of industry is another

To Read More Subscribe

Breakout growth strategies

I wanted to tape this lecture about the future of the MBA degree programmes. I believe MBA degree, as we know it today, is not sustainable. Like many good products, it may have probably run its course—unless somebody redesigns the programme, certification or accreditation is changed, and the financials are made much more attractive. I would suggest several ‘breakout strategies,’ non-traditional strategies to create growth in the future for the MBA programme

To Read More Subscribe

Beyond the classroom

The education system today is designed to impart distinctions to students through the use of terminology/language and concepts, that allows them to see the nuances of the field of study which are not apparent to others. For example, a medical student gets equipped with language (and of course concepts) that allows him to see human body differently from someone who has not studied medicine.

To Read More Subscribe

Are you work-ready?

Sydney D Harris famously said, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” He makes an important distinction—a mirror only reflects what is in front of it, while a window provides a vision to what is beyond.

To Read More Subscribe

Revamp, need of the hour

In the past few decades, business school education in India has changed significantly. Though the number of schools has gone up, the quality of education provided by a large number of them remains questionable. Within the ambit of quality education, it is the curriculum, faculty, and the precise manner in which it is delivered that constitute the most important components.

To Read More Subscribe

Case Study

Mozart Home Appliances Private Limited is a mediumsized home appliances company situated in Mumbai. It was founded by two school friends Ajay and Atul in the year 2005. Since childhood, Ajay was passionate about science and technology. He obtained an electrical engineering degree from a top-notch technology institute in India. Atul, on the other hand, always had a flair for business management and commerce.

To Read More Subscribe

A case for teaching more than just the class

Over the decades, the case method has become entrenched and ingrained in the b-school ecosystem. It is the dominant religion of management teachers. Pioneered by Harvard School of Business in 1920, it now has universal following. It has become the default and de rigeur teaching method, as it is believed to engage students and teachers better than the lectures.

To Read More Subscribe

Innovation and design: From design to design thinking

Design is the new alchemy. Some of the most valuable companies in the world, such as Apple, Samsung, IBM, and Nike, owe their wealth not to market dominance but their ability to conjure magic through design thinking and innovation. In fact, design thinking today is no longer restricted to products; it covers service offerings, operational process, and even policy-making.

To Read More Subscribe

Making India a Global Marketing hub

while it is important for India to strive to become a global manufacturing hub like China, the country is perhaps more suited to become a global R&D hub.

To Read More Subscribe

The Future of Work

It is the best of times and the worst of times for those who work for a living and even those who live to work.New technologies have made work less strenuous and employment less rigid than ever before.

To Read More Subscribe

The next wave

When it comes to dealing with big data, it is not the amount of data that is necessarily important. It is what organisations are able to do with the data that matters. Understanding what big data can offer, and unlocking the potential benefits, will help propel organisations towards a more secure and efficient future.

To Read More Subscribe

Big Data and How it is Transforming Business

Business managers have never known more about their businesses than they do now. Today's managers have unprecedented power to identify opportunities and tweak processes for greater efficiency and competitiveness. The presence of digital technology in every business action and transaction is producing extensive data on nearly everything. Importantly,the overwhelming volume, variety, and speed of data generation are beginning to be matched by the growth of computing power and the advancement of analytics tools.

To Read More Subscribe

Age of Marketing

Reports of the marketing's death are greatly exaggerated.if anything, marketing is back in the saddle and directing bussiness after a decade of rule of the CFOc,thanks to the unprecedented changes in the market.

To Read More Subscribe

Creating Bonds that bind

To quote Harry Paul, co-author of Fish!, "culture is like wind you really cannot see it but you can feel it...harnessed correctly, it create its own energy or has devastating consequences on your sorroundings that are noticeable. Same thing in an organisation where there is a culture."

To Read More Subscribe

Leadership Secrets

Striking a balance between generating results and fastreing relationships is the key to long-term success.

To Read More Subscribe

Organisational Culture

In the perenniel search for the secrets of success, it is easy to take the effect as the cause, Enterprise, leadership, or innovation often explain corporate success to the casual observer.

To Read More Subscribe

Cyber Security

Digital technology and the hyperconnectivity it brings along have revolutionised businesses and modes of communication. However, a high digital quotient has a negative spin too: it exposes organisations to the complex challenge of cyber threats. A massive treasure trove of data—financial details, R&D records, customer information, and so on—is potentially at a high risk of pilferage, upsetting your operational stability and denting your brand image. How best can you grapple with these perils?

To Read More Subscribe

A Wake Up Call

This year, my pre-Diwali shopping turned out to be a pleasant experience- considering that I did not have to wait in a long queue at the billing counter. I was in and out of a popular national department store in an upmarket Mumbai suburb in less than 45 minutes. While I was happy with the experience, it also set me thinking on the changes that were taking place, especially in retail in India. While the change is largely being driven by technology, the emergence of the 24/7 culture and a large youth population willing to spend have fuelled the demand for many products and services.

The country has also witnessed a new breed of entrepreneurs, and startups which are garnering record venture capital investments and increased valuations. In an age of constant connectivity and social media influence, retail to say the least is being revolutionised and for once the consumer is actually emerging as the king.

To Read More Subscribe

Hand in hand

Over the past half a decade, e-commerce in general has seen a dramatic growth in the Indian market. The success of Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, and several others in various product categories, from groceries (Bigbasket) to baby products (Babyoye), is a clear indicator of the gradual shift from brick-andmortar retail towards e-commerce—at least among those who were born in this era.

Comparisons and contest between the two is not new. We saw the same debate when organised retail stepped in and one wondered if the days of the local mom and pop stores were numbered. We even witnessed similar promotional efforts by the spanking new malls dotting the city’s landscape. Big sales, special initiatives such as Big Bazaar’s purana do naya lo (give old and buy new), and a number of promotional campaigns helped drive traffic and inculcate the ‘mall’ culture we have come to know so well. E-tail is doing pretty much the same—trying to drive adoption and inculcate the habit of online shopping.

To Read More Subscribe

Levelling the playing field

While everyone is talking about online stores and their lower price points, people who really do understand the e-commerce business already know that a lot of that price competitiveness comes due to VC money, which is being used to offer further discounts on the purchase price set by the e-tailers. What is hugely debatable is whether [this model of] e-tailing is fundamentally flawed.

As per the current regulation, FDI investments in multi-channel retail cannot be more than 51%. This means that e-tailers cannot be retailers i.e., directly buying goods from the manufacturers and selling them to consumers. As a result, they have adopted a marketplace model wherein some wholesaler or retailer is the actual seller, using the e-tail portal to complete the transaction with the buyer. In the accounting books, the goods stay under the individual seller’s name, until the transaction is completed. The e-tailer usually provides logistic support in terms of warehousing, delivery, and collection of payments.

To Read More Subscribe

When faith meets consumerism

Retailers in India, both offline and online, are at a crossroads. Initially massive discounts helped them garner customers and boost sales, but now they need to look further to build sustainable consumer loyalty. One of the aspects that play an important role in the way Indian consumers shop is their religiosity. For example, when a new car is bought, chances are the first trip the family takes is to the neighbourhood temple; priests also conduct new car-worthy special prayers. Marketers need to understand the Indian consumers’ religious proclivities and how it affects their day-to-day lives. Campaigns sensitive to these cultural differences will go a long way in building customer loyalty. In this exclusive with Indian Management, Ambi Parameswaran talks about the changing Indian consumer and how religion and rituals have become new avenues for seeking and spending cash.

To Read More Subscribe

The dark side of contemporary careers

Researchers and the wider world tend to view pursuing a career as a positive thing. Success in the workplace is generally seen as a worthwhile and desirable goal both on a personal and social level. However, career experiences can also be negative, even devastating, can reflect failure, and may prompt feelings of indecision, stress, disappointment, and regret that we would rather avoid. They also possess a ‘dark side’ where notions like deviance, dysfunctionment, and counterproductivity find their place. While this dark side is not a new concept, there has been little coverage for it in established career concepts and theories, or even in contemporary approaches. This is not only naive, but carries a real risk.

A purely positive view of careers may incur harmful outcomes on individuals and firms alike. The false hope produced by positively loaded career promises might transform to frustration and lower ambition, which in turn can lead to failure and missed opportunities.

To Read More Subscribe

Structuring teams for innovation

“Team work behind success of Mangalyaan” stated an article in The Hindu, when India made history by successfully launching an indigenously built spacecraft to Mars in her first try. What surprised the world was that the cost of the launch—US$ 74 million, nearly one-tenth the cost of a comparable launch by NASA. The team behind Mangalyaan comprised scientists and administrators from different functional areas who were experts in several disciplines such as rocket propulsion, payloads, range operations, range safety, schedules, and others. Although Mangalyaan is an extreme example of a radical innovation executed through successful teamwork, innovation teams are common in organisations. Innovation teams— those entrusted with developing new products, processes, or services—routinely grapple with complex issues that take them into unchartered territories. Such teams are particularly commonplace in complex manufacturing industries such as aircraft, automobiles, electronics, petroleum refineries, and power plants. Projects in such industries involve extensive task complexity, necessitating exemplary team coordination for successful execution.

To Read More Subscribe