The Orphan child – Clean it

“Even though we were not clear about processes internally, unit head would have handled it better.” CEO, Aryavarta Cements Ltd (ACL).

This is a story of a ACL company, a super giant in cement manufacturing in Asia. With more than $500 mn in revenue and 3000 employees, Aryavarta Cements is a juggernaut in the industry. It is known for best people, state of art processes and controls, most innovative campaigns and ideas and fastest growing company in its segment. The competitor of this company is not even half of its size. It is the dream company to work for. What else can you ask for more.

Monday morning, 9:47 am, Indian Standard Time  (IST), Delhi city, services division was closed, four senior employees were fired, revenues worth $1 mn took hit and reputation worth millions was at stake. How did this happen!

Aryavarta home solutions was services division of ACL. Totally ignored and orphan division of the company. No revenue earning division. It was there for namesake. All new hire were given positions in Home Solutions. They can try and test their skills and then were moved to better divisions.

One such new hire, ignorant of the policies and legalities was given the unit head position in Delhi division. He ordered to stop salaries of the employees as they were not doing their job properly. He also created false accounts to show higher sales and fired two front line staff.

One such fired employee appealed to the High Court of India against the company and its policies. Ignorant company now looked into this division and started digging deeper.

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Punishment 

Immediate corrective actions were firing top employees in Delhi division, closing down division for a while. Other actions were:

  • Checking all process
  • Direct reporting of unit head to company head
  • Monthly meetings and plans
  • Appointment of a third party audit control quarterly
  • Supporting the company hierarchy by appointing General Manager for services division
  • Creating a employee grievance redress mechanism

Who’s fault it was, child who did mistake or the parent who ignored the child and punished him severely on mistake!

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Persuasion, not Selling -Just Saying

 

‘Selling is a natural skill. It’s developed a s a child. You may know it as persuasion.’ – Jeffrey Gitomer

Sales is just another kind of persuasion. It is hard to persuade people to do something, when they know that you want them to behave in  certain way. People do not want to be in control, yet sales people make them do what they want them to do. Yet persuasion is sometimes a very good tool and gives good experience.

 

One of the examples of the great persuasion is during my childhood. I was travelling with my family to a mall for a movie. The show ended at about 3:00 pm and we were coming out of the mall. It was the time to go home and relax.

We saw small kiosk near the exit where few students were selling Eureka Forbes aqua-guard, machine to purify water and reduce the Total Dissolved Salt (TDS) in the water. There were advertisements in television since last few months, but we never needed it so we just bypassed all those ads.

As we were bypassing the kiosk, the gentleman there grabbed our attention by offering a free demo. He also told that he can prevent various diseases in future. This grabbed my dad’s attention and we stopped for the demo. Demo is very powerful tool for persuasion coupled with words and facts.

He did chemical testing, changed the colour of regular water as compared to purified water and proved that regular water had germs. He then also gave the literature and facts from authentic sources about the germs causing the diseases.

He asked us to taste the water and purified one actually tasted better. He then calculated the price of the purifier and then divided it into per day pricing. He offered free warranty, service and 30 day no questions replacement guarantee.

 

It was a great machine. But did we really wanted it or the demand was just generated by him! we do not know. We bought it finally.