Message From MD September – 2020
01 September 2020
All of us celebrated Onam yesterday. Kerala is a land of vibrant festivals and each of them is celebrated in a grand, wonderful way. With so many interesting stories behind these rituals that take place, attending the festivals is one of a kind experience. Onam is one such festival that lures every Malayali and makes them proud of the intriguing culture and unique rituals of Kerala.
This year, Onam celebrations amidst COVID-19, was quite different and low-key. Staying with our families and celebrating Onam with love and homemade sweets was the new trend. I hope ONAM has rejuvenated our body and mind to take up any task in the coming days.
As all of you know, we have entered a new normal and this era requires a new mindset. As the world trying to rebound from the pandemic, many business managers are confronting the new normal and the prospect of slow growth. Managing in this new era will be different and much will rest on how willing the senior management team are to stray from their comfort zone and challenge the traditional ways.
It is often said that we must learn from past mistakes so we don’t repeat them. Less said, but equally valid is that we need to learn from past successes. We have studied past recessions and have distilled what we learned. These are the days, we have to go on the offensive. We have to invest in success. We know times have been tough, but the best time to go on the offensive is when your competitors are weak.
Being tough times, let’s focus on our customers’ minds, so we can take advantage of their changing attitudes and behaviours. The new normal demands more advertising and marketing expenses. They are usually among the first to get slashed in tough times, even before market research. The irony is that because so many firms cut their advertising budgets, advertising costs tend to fall during this period, meaning that the few companies that advertise aggressively get much more attention at a significantly reduced price. The era also demands to invest in the future through opportunistic mergers and acquisitions and strategic divestments. We also have to employ game-changing strategies. With customers trading down and businesses cutting back, now might be the right time to develop a low-cost business model. It also might be the time to shift from selling products to selling services, or outcomes. Or time to reinvent the current business model. Everyone in the team have to be a leader by setting clear expectations. Motivating the organization when tough decisions have to be made requires a well-balanced approach.
Leaders need to track progress rigorously against milestones, intervene when necessary, and communicate any changes in direction. Leaders also need to celebrate success and recognize team members who achieve the best results. We also have to invest heavily on people. Retaining the best talent will become an even bigger challenge as slow growth limits career advancement opportunities. It is important to actively manage the attrition of lower-performing employees in order to ensure that there are career opportunities for the most talented people.
Wish you all the very best for a successful September.
Sunil Kumar V
Founder & Managing Director