Message From MD January – 2020
02 January 2020
Welcome 2020! Let us celebrate this exciting, colourful, grand, magical New Year 2020 with a great big smile. I wish you a year full of happiness and prosperity. May this year give you the opportunity to follow your dreams, to love like there is no tomorrow and smile unconditionally.
2019 was really challenging and we were able to discover different and innovative paths to success. It was the team spirit and collaboration which helped us to tide over the difficult times. Big thanks for the great understanding and congratulations to all performers whose efforts made us survive and exist amidst the worst business scenario of the recent times.
THE 20 MUSTS OF 2020
As an organisation we must have some clear vision, considering the external environment. 2020 is a reality with greater challenges than the previous year. For me it will be a successful year only with the following 20 musts.
- 100 % adherence to all legal norms
- Total customer centricity
- Strict financial discipline
- Adherence to timelines
- Total quality
- Transparency on all matters
- 100% dedication and hard work
- Positive communications
- Great team work
- Identification and deployment of right talent
- Aggressive move forward
- Speedy and steady growth
- Zero litigation and friction
- Profit in business
- Safe working environment
- Innovation and practice
- Empathy and concern for environment
- Responsibility to society and social norms
- Commitment to our culture
- Keeping the brand image high
India as a country is going through an era of complex socio-political issues. 2020 may not be different from last year. The greatest challenge for any brand is whether it should take a stand on such issues. Anything we say will impact our brand narrative and potentially our brand value, which may either move up or down. Interestingly our customers, employees and media silently wish that we take a stance. Our brand ambassador and versatile actor Mr. Prithviraj Sukumaran took a personal stand on the recent citizenship amendment act. We’re seeing it in the US where the large tech firms are being pushed by their employees to take positions on certain legislations and new laws. Brands in India have generally played safe with regard to politics and socio-economic issues. A Forbes CMO Survey conducted last year among the marketing managers showed that only 20 % thought brands should take a stand on politically charged issues. In India it will be definitely a much lesser percentage. The attitude is “It’s safer to be silent and quiet”. But on the other hand, almost two-thirds (67 percent) of the costumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue, according to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study. The same survey shows that 59 percent believe it is easier for people to get brands to address social problems than to get government to act. This is going to be the toughest call of 2020. Every brand will find it difficult to address this issue.
What should we consider before taking such a stand? First of course is the question of authenticity. If our brand is built on certain values, then it is more logical to take a stand. Secondly, it is also about ownership – if we are answerable to shareholders, then we would need to weigh their response to any financial implication. But if we are a privately owned organization, then it’s entirely the owner’s call and his conscience and personal values – in this case the brand becomes an extension of his personal beliefs. Third is the question of our audience – if we are clear that more of our potential audience/customers are for our stance than against it, it could turn out to be a good decision in the long term, vesting the brand with preference and authenticity. Fourth is about our team members – if they have influence and are in short supply, signalling our alignment with their values could be very positive. And if we do nothing? If no one else in our category takes a stance, then the situation stays the same. But if a competing brand decides to use this opportunity to break in, then we will be positioned automatically. Finally, we should think many times before taking a stand on a non-business issue, that too against an establishment and governance. A very tough call indeed.
Dear all, once again I wish you a prosperous and successful year ahead.
Sunil Kumar V.