Friday, October 8, 2010

A sip of energy

A few days ago, we had Mr. Chandrashekar, CEO of Java Green, address us. It was a sheer pleasure and honor to listen to him, as his speech was very much like the fresh coffee you’d get in the Reliance’s coffee shop chain. For those who don’t know much about Java Green, it is a coffee shop with a technological difference – what began as a way to make customers stay longer, has now become the unique selling proposition of the chain. Java Green boasts of a high-speed internet cafe for individuals and video conferencing facilities available on rent for small and medium sized companies.

Mr. Chandrashekar had a very captivating way of delivering his ideas. He spoke about how Management as a practice is different from Management as a subject. When we study, we are always given data along with the problem at hand. The pros and cons, the constraints and the cushions are clearly defined for us. “Unfortunately, that is not the case in reality”, he said. “Data is a luxury in most cases. In many situations, we have to go to great lengths to get related data, if not the real data under question”.

He recounted an incident, wherein they had to predict the demand for Tomato Purée, in on his previous marketing assignments. Since the product was the first of its kind and didn’t have previous data for comparison they computed it based on the production, prices and demand for Tomatoes. Now, predicting the trends for tomatoes is tricky, as it depends on the monsoons and they had to get the data from Weather department. It all went to prove the importance of data and that evening, we realized the importance of all those appendixes that came with our case studies which we dreaded to read and interpret and resolved to love and respect them from then on!

The next important thing that we registered in our minds was that, the tertiary job was of primary importance to anyone sitting on top of the Management chain. Simply put, the feed-back of a salesperson was something which should never be neglected by the Top Management. This is because the salesperson is the contact point with the customer and he knows the needs and wants of the customer. Every CEO who wants to know the success of his/her products, must be sensitive to the feed-back of the Salesperson, as they are a direct-line to the Customer’s mind.

Last but not the least, Mr. Chandrashekar also gave us some insights on the trade-offs that we could end up having in our Management careers and urged us to take the responsibility of our own decisions. It didn’t take us very long to understand what he was talking about. Like every other stream, peer pressure could take a toll on us, and he impressed upon us that priorities and preferences vary for individuals and hence our decisions - a point very well taken, Sir!

Contributed by Narmada K- BFS Varsity (V Batch 2010-11)

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