Message From MD December – 2019
02 December 2019
November was promising, with rays of hope and renewal starting to stream in our windows. Efforts taken have started producing results. More prospects turned to customers, three sample units were inaugurated, DDUGKY started functioning, curtains were raised of Kochi Design Week in association with Govt. of Kerala, purpose retreat team 2022 consisting of 35 members was announced, we celebrated our first teenage birthday, the most awaited “Exploration India” sales campaign got started, and so on and so forth. But the global fear of economic slowdown still prevails, and we have to be optimistic and fight against the negativity in the market.
Economic slowdown or behaviour change of customers? A million dollar question of the present time.
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” – Bill Gates
One of the best examples of how we both overestimate and underestimate changes of the future is the evolution of consumer behaviour through the last decade. Take a minute and imagine the world we were in 10 years ago (it’s hard to believe 2009 was 10 years ago). Back in those days, the way we shopped for products was drastically different from the way we shop today. Most of us still trusted brick-and-mortar stores, we didn’t have price comparison services, and we were at the mercy of large corporations for discounts. More specifically, in just 10 years, we went from a linear, retail-focused model to today’s iterative, digital-centric model of customer behaviour. Existing conventional ways of business may get disrupted by the new behavioural changes in the demands of the consumer. So shall we admit we are also under the shadows of disruption created by the changing consumer demands? If so, the economic slowdown felt now is only a symptom whereas the real illness is the change in the consumer behaviour.
The goal of this message is not to explore the history of marketing frameworks but to take a peek into the future to see how we, as business owners, can adapt to this new and ever-shifting world. I think understanding the customer from multiple angles, and that too through different aspects of our business, collectively, can help us change ourselves according to the changing demands. We may be able to achieve the same by practising sustained collaboration.
Ask yourselves whether our organisation values collaboration, you will get a big YES for an answer. But If you ask another question, whether our strategies to increase collaboration have been successful, you will definitely receive a different answer. In successful collaborations, team members find that perspectives of other team members as well as customers are more valuable than their own. Successful collaborations always try to teach each team member to genuinely listen to one another and the consumer; to approach discussions with empathy, not opinions; to become comfortable with feedback; to lead and follow; to speak with clarity and avoid abstractions; and to have win-win interactions. I think practising this is the new success mantra, to work together and understand the customer better. Understanding the customer well and redesigning the current mode of business is the only way to get out of the economic slowdown.
Friends, we are entering the last month of the calendar year and I hope that the coming year, 2020, will be a game-changing year for all of us. Let’s close this year with resounding success through learning collaboratively and meeting the expectations of the consumer. Have a delightful December in all aspects.
Sunil Kumar V