BJP vs Anti-BJP and The Toothpaste Strategy

Well, finally BJP, the ruling party in India, faced the consecutive second drub at state elections. This time in Bihar, one of the most populated states of India.

I agree its easy to do failure analysis rather than projecting the fail in advance. However, let me attempt this in lieu of one of the strategy which I conceptualize (The Toothpaste Strategy), some of the key observations which I noted in BJP “going to election” strategy and probably what led to their debacle (in my view) is as follows:

  • Shri Modi unnecessarily participate in state elections. Given the international reputation of this great leader doesn’t require of him to participate in the state elections as such.
  • It is true that BJP not took lessons from its fail of Delhi state elections. There also they brought the high stature of Shri Modi in the state elections putting his reputation at stake. Its a dangerous and a loss making strategy.

    Sometimes it becomes fairly easy for  David to hit Goliath.

One doesn’t need a missile to kill a person. One simply needs a pistol.

  • The votes of anti-bjp are consolidating successfully while bjp supporting core voters are somewhere in the range of only 30-40 %.
  • Marcus Antony, the famed Roman General, after the murder of Julius Caesar famously said

    Even 12 mangy dogs can kill a lion.

Now how the The Toothpaste Strategy plays a significant role here and can well explain the failing of BJP

Traditionally Indian voters have always been lured by multiple parties within states with different ideologies, and attract the voters’ loyalty in name of castes, or other agendas. But its very surprising to note that all these parties except bjp and very few others, overwhelmingly or covertly supported congress at the centre and at the states.

Now consider there are 2 companies X and Y, manufacturing toothpaste. Now X has almost 10 different brands under its umbrella with names a, b, …j while Y has only 2 different brands with names r and s (just to illustrate). Hence for an end user its like having 12 different toothpaste brands on offer irrespective of which are the two parent companies. Here one can take HUL and P&G for understanding purpose. (Disclaimer: this blog  has nothing to do with these MNCs).

But here is the big game in play. For a typical Indian voter he is mislead that he or she has 12 different parties to vote for. He chooses accordingly in name of loyalty towards a particular party mostly known for one of the key agendas which the voter is concerned for. Very tactfully these parties launch their candidates under central leadership of X to suit their goal that any of the 10 brands get successful in terms of winning the public taste. But finally their allegiance is to none other than the central leader of theirs which is X.

While the poor Y never understood how it is having only 16% chance vs 84% chance of X given that Y has only 2 brands to lure consumers while X has 10 brands. Poor Y is always under the illusion that it is fighting against X. It never realizes it is basically r and s are fighting against a, b, ….,j. So Y is loosing the battle from last many decades and only comes in power when there is nationwide anti incumbency vote surge.

It is worrying to note that these 10 brands brazenly make a consortium and fight the poor Y and then make fun of Y that they defeated it.

Its basically hilarious that almost every Indian party is against bjp.

When Modi ji don’t speak on petty issues then opposite parties make hue and cry why Modi ji is not speaking. When Modi ji speaks on state issues then opposite parties says that how demeaning Prime Minister of India has become of, that he is speaking on local issues. Its wickedly funny.

I’m not here to support bjp or any other party but my point is that there should be fair game at least.

Or what if if it goes like this that “everything is fair in love and war”

My recommendation, that better is USA electoral system that there are only 2 school of thoughts i.e. Democrats vs Republicans. At least there it is fairly easy for voter to decide where to go.

Not like in India, that voter is going to aap and aap is going to congress from back door.

God Bless India!!

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Indian Organizations VS Foreign Origin MNCs: Key Differences

It is a known fact hardly 4-5 Indian Companies are able to make an entry into Global Power list of Top 500 Companies, I mean Fortune 500.

The Fortune list worries me. Despite being a nation with 1.2 Billion population which translates into a very big market; and a good talent pool of aspiring youth, why we are lagging.

In last one decade I got chance to work both in Indian Major Business Houses and Foreign MNCs. I also discussed many times with my friends about the companies (and their strategies) where they are working. And I noticed striking different ways of doing businesses. There may be some common grounds but not many. Let me narrate few of major different styles of the two:

(Consider IP for Indian Player and FP for Foreign Player.)

IP: no long term career plans for their recruits. Indian Managers are used to hire from a pool of many and give little importance to your talent. They want sycophancy. HR in India is more often used to daunt employees from freely speaking rather than understanding their grievances.

How many Indian Companies are ready to sponsor their long time employee for upgrading his skills via MBA programs. Rare it is.

FP: typically Indian setups of Foreign Players are localized now. So they are not very diff. from their Indian counterparts. However globally they have good career paths on offer and HR is a strategic department which can be used for variety of expectations.

IP: no thrust on Innovation in general. There are few exceptions such as Mahindra, Godrej, Tata, etc. But the names are few. IP don’t see much benefit of Innovation and investment in R&D.

FP: globally they have inherent culture and thrust on Innovation. It doesn’t mean one can change working practises, but yes top management is well aware of importance of Innovation and investment in R&D.

IP: offices or production lines are untidy in general. Non luxurious attitude is common in Indian setups (but don’t misunderstood this for “modesty”, it is more near “stingy”)

FP: These companies are good in making hell lot of money by their superior business models. Offices are swanky by large. Its visible they follow high standards e.g. stationery is freely available, woman employees can ask for office cab if they get late in office, travel in Business Class, etc..

IP: no long term business strategy. Averse of risk taking. No global expansion plans.

FP: by default they have tendency to go global. MBA hires are sought by these companies in their Business Development and similar roles.

IP: Long term employee concept in India has decreased a lot. It is common that increments are to the tune of 2-10%. So employees keep looking for opportunities in other companies where they can switch with an increment for say 25-30%. (FP: Increments are on higher side and can be in the range of 10-20%.)

 

 

 

FP: Training first, and assignments are clearly defined. Put it like this, whatever you work there is some end result.

There is some Displacement from your efforts.

IP: No training, start working from day one. There is chaos. Employees are leaving always and filled by young graduates. They start working on those positions and in parallel keep looking for jobs in other companies. Growth is slow. Promotions are rare. You are encouraged to change job for a promotion in your role.

There is no Displacement from your efforts. Only you are covering Distance.

FP: Growth is fast accompanied by Global Exposure. Talent recognition is debatable. If you work abroad in those companies you can climb to the top out of your hard work but same might not apply in Indian offices of these MNCs.

IP: not system driven but People dependent. Paper work is common. Job transfer or change in job profile is less.

FP: highly process driven. Paperless working style. Transfers and job roles changes on a faster note (It can bring stress).

IP: it is common in Indian set ups that even till last working day of a resigned employee no hand over is taken from him. Moreover, worse is that when some new one joins he is expected to take the charge from day one.

Over the period you are expected to be good in making lies and passing the buck to others’ court. Else you are doomed.

FP: they go for immediate replacement and hand over of work. Files are saved in central folders. Even important projects if you are working on, then email is not used as person’s name. It is like scm@xxxx.com, or hr.director@xxxx.com. Hence employee is well aware after his departure nothing is hampering the daily working of the company.

 

Now comes the advantage part of Indian Players:

IP: Job safety is higher. Firing or pink slip is uncommon. Not careful towards local taxation, rules, etc.

FP: Merciless. If the company is not performing good, actions can be taken by top management in form of reducing employee strength, etc. MNCs don’t believe in false kindness at workplace (according to them). Very careful towards local rules and won’t take any decision in that regard.

IP: sense of belongingness. Since it not a foreign headquartered company, chances are good that you can interact top management and one day you can  reach till there based on your performance. I mean chances are higher to reach to top in Indian set-ups.

FP: there are few examples where PIO made to top management of major FP such as Indira Nooyi, Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Nikesh Arora, etc. but names are few and they were able to do so because they worked in their country.

IP: basic facilities such as peon service, etc. is there in place. Guards at office gates or factory gates gives you importance. You have fair degree of ownership and authority when you arrive in the office.

FP: you are made realized from day one that you are just a resource.

Now comes last but probably most important difference:

FP: Only 5 days working model. Rather I knew companies which are running offices in India on alternate Fridays off as well. Which translates into 4.5 days working model. There is huge importance to work life balance.

IP: I really don’t understand why IP HR insist on 6 days working model. Worse, people are even asked to come on Sundays. And it is common. Let me tell you. You work in a Factory or you work in Finance Sector, you can be called for 7 days working. IP simply don’t believe in employing sufficient manpower.

The above difference is probably the most critical difference and have key to failure of IP model. It clearly shows they are insensitive to their manpower.

We can see there are pros and cons in the two structures. But for sure IPs need to take some good practises of FP if not all.

I wish that more Indian Companies make to Global Order and Hall of Fame. Surely there is a long way to go. We need our own global biggies to bring more employment, fame, technology, and business in our country.

My thoughts only. God Bless!

www.rishabhagarwal.in

The Open Cartelization of Telecom Companies in India

India has now turned into a nation of “call drop”.

Talking on mobile phones is so much painstaking these days (from last 6 months at least).

Today morning I was going through an English daily where it was mentioned how the present Finance Minister of India Shri Arun Jaitly ji informed angrily to the visiting CEO of Vodafone Group that he now uses landline instead of mobile phones for talking.

A month ago same concerns was expressed by the present Communications and Information Technology Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad ji. He also tried to placate public anger over ever increasing “call drop” menace by issuing warning to the telecom companies. But I’m just wondering what he actually did on ground despite having all the powers and despite H’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Modi himself expressed his displeasure on this issue.

So finally Cat is out of the bag.

In my opinion its an example of naked cartelization of telecom companies in India, which is running since more than last many years. They together plundered the scarce spectrum which the nation witnessed in the form of 2G scam.

Its hard to believe how these companies which once were offering 1 GB data for less than 100 INR now offering to its hapless customers same for nearly 500 INR. Very surprisingly the rates instead of coming down has increased manifolds while quality of service (at least voice service) has actually deteriorated.

Same is with the call rates. While initially it was way cheap with unlimited calling options for affordable 500 INR schemes, per second billing of 0.50 paisa, etc. and now it is to the tune of 1.2 INR per minute pulse. Why they have switched to per minute pulse rate when the whole nation is suffering from severe call drop menace and they should have remained stick voluntarily to per second pulse option (if they could have considered walking on way of being ethnical). They are clearly busy in looting their customers brazenly.

Like “crocodile tears” these companies air misleading TV ads on useless topics that their internet is 44% faster than average (why you just don’t get specific), or get idea song, or 4G network, etc. etc. But none talk about “call drop” problem or something meaningful.

More surprisingly how come all these companies have nearly same strategy of call rates/ plans/ top-ups/ packs/ etc.. Nearly every company is having very close call charges, data charges, etc. with almost negligible differences. How??

One may also wonder why state owned public company BSNL instead of doing a good business has always showed deliberate actions to shoot itself on its feet and having negative growth throughout last many years. Can’t anyone smell something fishy in all this??

It is also now apparently known that all these private telecom companies are using spectrum for more profitable data services at the cost of voice services. The end victim is poor customer who uses mobile for talking rather than buying thru apps. It also appears that TRAI instead of protecting customer rights is rather having hand in gloves with these private telecom entities.

Consider example of Automobile Companies competition pattern in India, they are doing far better business and value creation. Almost every company is working hard to bring great 4-wheeler or 2-wheelers for their customers. In last few years one can easily observe how thru R&D these companies brought great models with greater fuel efficiency, low cost, etc..

Clearly there is no cartelization in Automobile space. In case of telecom companies everything is none other than a naked cartelization.

Its a matter of concern that despite India now has a change in Central Govt. known for high ethical standards, this cartelization is still running without any brakes on it and Competition Commission is doing nothing when this cartelization is obvious.

Wake up companies until it gets too late and be ethical.

Thnx

The Volcanic Effects of E-commerce, a disruptive innovation and its impact on the Future

Rise of the E-commerce of-course is a disruptive innovation with far reaching impacts on the future.

The rise of Amazon (Globally), Alibaba (China), Flipkart (India), Snapdeal (India), Jabong (India), Indiamart (India) is phenomenal. 

What are we looking at then in coming years.

E-commerce will impact a range of regular life common things.

1. Now Factory is next to the door of the end user. All the middle men role is getting eliminated. Result e-commerce is already able to pass on 30-50% savings to the customers. Which is huge. Perhaps long lying idle items in the remote inventories are being offered even at discounts of 80%. The beauty is that a person can simply buy a product of its use which was lying unused in a shop 1000 km away. That is the power of e-commerce.

2. E-commerce will encourage innovation on a whopping scale. For example, we have seen how hotel booking websites are reaping benefit of this technology. Rooms lying in inventory in non busy area hotels (not on the main streets) are now on offer for cheap, and consumer is happy to lodge there in order to save big bucks. Hence, an hotel with innovative customer pleasing abilities other than savings also now have huge chance to make money which earlier was not possible. Lets take another example, a painter now stands chance to showcase his paintings to the global audience rather than to few hundred that too at a costly rented hall.

3. Death of show rooms and shops:

I see this as the biggest impact of e-commerce.

It looks to me that now it is almost impossible to run a show room say of electronic goods or mobile handsets in the era of e-commerce. The inroads is not only limited to the high end items. Now e-commerce companies are delivering children napkins, day to day toiletries items,any thing you say.

Obviously slowly slowly running a shop can no longer be a profitable and feasible option.

My worry is what these people will do in near future.  A mass level un-employment can get generated out of this lieu. In country like India, a big chunk of population is engaged in this day to day small scale shop businesses. India has yet not matured to the kind of economies which is in USA or other OECD countries. So what these people will do.

If one recall, there was good degree of protest and Govt. of India finally never allowed global big retailers like Walmart, Carrefour, etc. to enter into India despite these companies great lobbying efforts. However now this is passe. I think in e-commerce era, the impact has been already way higher than anything else.

Its both positive and negative. On one hand it is removing inefficiencies while on the other hand a big number of people (in millions) will have to consider earning options in a new manner.

4. Death of Malls: in last 10 years in India, Malls witnessed a splurging business environment. But no longer external factors look in their favor in the era of e-commerce and big LED TVs.

The generation Y is fond of watching movies in halls. However with affordable 50 inches 4K TVs coming down the line and HD Dish Services, movie watching patterns will change for sure.

Similarly people going to Malls for shopping will no longer be motivated that much. With the kind of discounts on offer on any e-commerce website, traditional shopping at malls will see a huge decline.

Remedial Measures:

1. I’d suggest that it is no longer going to be profitable to be in shop business of any product which is on offer on any e-commerce website.

It is now a Red Ocean scenario.

Probably one might need to prepare him self for employment in corporate sectors, or free lancer career profiles, entrepreneurship, or something similar. It will still take time to understand where this chunk of population will migrate for regular earnings.

2. Malls: for recreation purpose they will continue to attract people. However now change require in terms of services on offer at Malls. It can be, in-house ice skating, games, coffee shops, etc. which can continue thriving.

Future:

Future will be very different from now. In next 10 years these transformation will keep happening. However if we talk about after 20 years, in my view, we will see ubiquitous drones, tall Eco-friendly skyscrapers, thrust on solar energy, sharp drop in fossil fuel usage, smart cities, seamless data connectivity, driver less cars, etc. can be part of normal life. Its incredible and exciting.

My Thoughts Only!

God Bless!

www.rishabhagarwal.in