How do you define the word ‘leadership’ when it comes to building up a business?
Leadership in my view can be described as a commitment of one being a role model for his or her team and offering them the desired help as and when needed. It can also be called the art of directing, guiding and giving people power to think and take the right decisions. All this can be brought into effect with communication across all levels. Leadership lies in establishing two-way communications. Thus, fulfilling commitments, effective directing and efficient communication makes a successful leader.
What is the toughest challenge you have faced in building up Tata Tiscon?
A product is always known by its brand. Twenty years back when I got into this profession, the toughest challenge was changing the perception of a commodity market into a brand market. A very significant task lies in translating the concept of commodity into a brand and then communicating its value. Understanding this and making others realise the same was an important and challenging task. To sell a product, its brand should be widely known and accepted in the market.
How central are people or employees to a brand?
People are everything. The end result shows how closely employees are associated with the organisation. Brand personality speaks everything about the brand. It is a very critical aspect to know and understand people around you, even when you don’t get to meet them personally. Thus, it’s difficult to understand and gauge how people would respond. This response has to be managed by communicating with them when and where required, even if you have to get down to the field for the same.
What is the first thing that strikes a consumer’s mind when he/she thinks of Tata Tiscon? How do you make this clear through your brand communication?
The most important thing is trust on the product as well as the service. They both go hand in hand. Along with it lies the promise of always standing by your commitments rather than just letting them go. We, as a brand, have always been very focussed on it. Customer advocacy is most important for an organisation and that can only be achieved by communication. Maintaining communication channels at all levels helps in understanding the employees and the customers. Efficient communication gives the solution to all problems.
Where do you see things five years down the line? Please throw some light on the market share too.
Tata Tiscon is a strong brand with a 14 per cent share of the market. It is possibly the largest player in the segment. Our network is 5,000-dealer strong across the whole of India, out of which 1,200 form an integral part of the company. Also, we train our workers to create and develop the ecosystem in a way that we get in touch with local workers including architects and engineers and we direct them rather than just selling our product and forgetting about how they are used.
Managing brand operations on this scale is extremely taxing. How do you work on your concentration levels? And what do you do to relax?
Well nothing is taxing as long as you are passionate about it. Passion for your work does not make your job look like a task. Thus, developing a passion for your work is the key to managing stress.
Although we have the talent and wherewithal, Indians have not really managed to create an iconic brand like Google or Apple from the scratch. Where do you think we lose out?
This is something not correct to say. We do not lack anywhere. As of now, the only difference I see is the environment in which companies like Google and Apple took birth. They started in developed nations and hence it wasn’t difficult for them to establish themselves. These brands travelled down from developed to developing nations and thus it was easy for them to influence the masses. Our brands are strong and they have a really bright future. They will speak more when they enter the developed markets sooner or later. Both our knowledge and commoditybased brands have much higher capacity and are an outcome of much more creative minds than theirs. And thus our brands will create a very significant ripple when they enter the developed nations.