-Chief Executive Officer
HAMDARD LABORATORIES (INDIA)
Please speak to us about the evolution of the brand and about the CEO.
We started the professionalization drive at hamdard in 2007-08. This was a closely held company, where business held under trust so this is a charitable organization and all its profits are dedicated to charity through our deed, through our document that we have at this point of time, so we decided to professionalize this in 2008. We partnered with Ernst & young, they did it on this organization. This is just a base both in terms of supply chain management to sales and distribution and marketing and also with respect to hr how to get good people, how to get talent on board and how to keep them aligned to the business strategies and I was leading this transformation exercise as a project head. So when we received our first report we had to aligned people on board so E&Y also helped us to move from a transition they made for us a transition structure that this structure would take you up to 500 cr. and after 500 cr. you’ll have to progress towards formalized structure , a target based structure because you have to get good people on board who are able to handle much more responsibilities than what they are handling today because I have been working with organization from more than 20-25 years and was selected as the company’s Chief Trustee.
Hamdard has very legendary brands such as safi, roohafza, joshinaetc what you do in the progression and modernization of the brands?
We also had the transitional plan that what do we do next, what will propel hamdard from 500 to 1000 cr. so now you had to take up opportunities so E&Y also helped us identify those opportunities so at this point of time we are following two or three basic opportunities . One is respect to our flashed brand roohafza so with roohafza we transitioned in the last two years we transitioned to a smaller pack that is 250 ml we launched that package in the south. Which is doing well in south which was the weaker market of ours so that was the first phase? Then we tried something at a economy pack also that is 1500 ml. last year in September we launched 3 variants of our brand roohafza in a new avatar with fruit juices that we call it as roohafza fusion. The fusion of fruits with roohafza so we did a test market in last September October just in a small market to take a view on the customers about the packaging , about the appeal the taste, which you would like to have we did the formulation right. We have now done a full blow launch of the roohafza fusion. It’s just launched in the starting of April. We have launched it in the north in Bombay and another market what we have is hydrabad and we are about to launch in Kolkata. So this was the first thing that we could do with roohafza our flashy brand. And 2nd thing that we are doing from the last 2 years is the wellness so these are the strategic calls that were taken.
Wellness has been showing the modernization outlook in promoting unani , how do you educate consumers , people comes to healthcare ?
It’s a tough job. we already knew it will not give results immediately but this is like educating the customer, educating the n consumer because ayurveda is very-very reverent and roohafza was basically today we are covered fssai food portion but at one particular time this was a medicine it was taken by the people who were suffering from heat strokes it basically helps you retain water so it was basically a medicine same is the case with safi which is the second biggest brand. Safi is also a unani item. All our products all our items, it is written there that it is a unani medicine but it is considered as herbal everybody thinks that it is natural. We tend to go with the natural and the herbal products rather than actually specifying that it is unani. All our products state that it is a unani product.
As a CEO how well synced are you with the vision and values of the brand ?
I think because am more of a operation man, my training has been through operations because we are the product driven company now we are transitioning towards the marketing and sales driven organization because normally people think that’s the way it works. Marketing and sales cannot happen without a solid product at the back. So we were fortunate enough that we had products like roohafza, safi on our portfolio so that was a very big help of course. That was a very good launch pad for us. We spent heavily in the last 5 or 6 years because of the savings that were bought from the transition moving from 3 tiers to 2 tiers we got a saving of 4%. We got good people we structured or organization pretty well and we invested heavily in to our operations. Today we are proud to have a factory like manesar and 2nd facility that we have in manesar is safi and joshina and herbal extracts and all these things that we make.
What kind of marketing push do you think that you required as a brand to get youngsters to consume hamdard products like Safi?
When we launched fusion that was exactly on our minds because fusion is a ready to drink .its not like a sharbat that you have to make. That was our basic principle to how to get to the youth , how do we get out of the home , as safi is everyday home product . fusion is one of those iconic things that we are doing to an iconic brand like roohafza and we are taking it out of the home we have just launched it in delhi , Haryana , gurgaon . The response is pretty encouraging. We have strategized that placing the product first, get the material into the market and then bombard it through the advertising. in the may 1st or 2nd week the advertising will also start . Our first interval to take the iconic brand to the customers, to the people (the new generation) who probably moving away from the sarbat and getting back to roohafza. It’s a biggest challenge. Our team has done a pretty good job to get a product right.
How do you balance your work and life?
As I told you Hamdard is a public charity and in Muslims there are two type of public charities one is trust made for the son or family and another is for Allah that is almighty so this is the almighty one . How I look at it as one is my assessment and my family’s assessment how I am working. Another thing is how I think that i am functioning and the third thing is if I am not able to do it correctly how will answer god. I was ingrained with 5 fundamentals which I always follow first is when I am stucked with a decision , the first thing I think about is whatever I am doing is it going to benefit this organization or not. Am I doing this for the upliftment, am I doing it a short term or a long term thing. The second thing is while doing all this I hope I am not violating any law of the land, it could be a small law or a big law, it may be a small pf complaints of a contractor or bigger things like service tax. Third thing is when I am taking the decision is it following in the systematic procedure, the forth thing is while doing this am I able to aligned my team to this objective. And then I also look at alignment and the motivation. I need motivated people for this job and convince them that you are doing the right thing, take the views of course and them motivate them and the fifth thing is fairness, justice and impartiality. Because I believe clarity comes from the mind but the conviction comes from the heart. The policy that I follow is that I live my life on a day to day basis, in the night I leave everything to god and sleep off. I have no cons, I should be a satisfied person in the end that I gave my best.