Message From MD, May – 2023
01 May 2023
The beginning of the new financial year has been promising, and we have already witnessed significant changes that will impact not just the Indian realty sector but every other business, directly or indirectly. I hope these changes will bring positive results, as evidenced by the first month of the year.
As we move forward, I want to remind you that finance is attached to all strings of your life, be it lifestyle, debt management, children’s education, or health issues, directly or indirectly. Making smart financial decisions to balance income with outflows is necessary for a balanced life without stress on financial matters. I encourage each team member to consider this aspect on a personal front.
At the organisational level, we have taken hard decisions to promote talent, acknowledge knowledge, train the right resources, and be strictly lean. We have decided to have an emergency fund, invest in the health and life of key personnel, prioritise paying off and structuring debts, reduce overheads, and review and revise estimates to finish. The success of these goals depends on the team’s support and absorption of these ideas. We must remain disciplined and work towards achieving financial success throughout the new financial year.
I would like to share an incident that occurred last month when we launched our project Asset Identity at Technopark Trivandrum. While the project was selling well with incredible velocity outside our family, the response from our existing clients at Trivandrum was cold. Many felt that they were not loyal to us, while others shared their views that some customers would like to upgrade only if we provide a resale platform for the existing units possessed by them. In a nutshell, customers were pointed with disbelief.
I recently received an email from an online jewellery store informing me that my loyalty account would be discontinued unless I made a purchase on Akshaya Thritheeya Day. This approach to loyalty seems questionable to me, as it’s entirely based on a purchase. Loyalty should not be a transactional relationship, akin to “I won’t be your friend if you don’t give me your pencil.” While I am entirely devoted to the Rolls Royce brand, I haven’t bought one for various reasons. Similarly, someone who likes a brand may not purchase it for pricing, occasion, availability, or location. On the other hand, someone who dislikes a brand will only buy it if it’s the only option available.
For the jewellery store, continuing the loyalty program would cost them nothing. I have yet to earn any points, and their only investment in me has been to provide a plastic card, which is a sunk cost. They send me the occasional mailer, which also costs them very little. In my experience, it can take years for a brand’s desire to convert into a purchase. So, why fire loyal customers?
While I used this story as an example, I believe there are at least three reasons customers are reluctant to make repeat purchases. First, customers are exposed to multiple messages and brands daily, and sometimes it blurs together. Therefore, they only remember brands that are different from the crowd, those that solved a significant problem, or those that spoke about their specific needs. Secondly, many customers will try to switch brands for the sake of variety and novelty. Lastly, people are habitually disloyal, and to stem the tide, businesses must give them their best shot. The key is to know and provide the best possible experience, personalise the connection, and find a real audience among the customers. By doing so, customers are more likely to comprehend the brand’s value and become repeat customers. However, if they show reluctance, we must understand that they may be happy but not thrilled.
Lastly, I want to emphasise that people won’t return to our business simply because we haven’t given them a reason to. The moment they complete their first transaction with us, customers are ours. Customers also choose us as their favourite brand immediately after their first purchase or service begins. So we should not outrightly ask them to come back again. Instead, reward their decision to do business with us and provide invitations to return. They should never feel that we haven’t asked properly and timely.
I wish you all the best for the coming month and hope that we will all work towards achieving our goals together.
Sunil Kumar V
Founder & Managing Director