Management Gurus in the Neighborhood
“Obvious obviously is less obvious” is a best fit for management. It is common that we ponder through Management books, success stories of organizations and biographies of honchos to learn the strategies of management.
But we hardly realize that management skills can be learnt in our daily life from a hawker, street vendor and an autorickshaw walah or even from animals and birds. We fail to wonder why there exists a small Frankie/sweet corn stall in the doorsteps of a supermarket, why some retail fruit shops also have an attached fresh juice counter or why a petrol filling station also sells various other consumer goods. We seldom notice the competitive strategies employed by the grocery vendor against the bigwig retail rivalries. We never knew that there exists a rational motive behind every action that is unobserved. As we relate the managerial success in terms of business turnover, we neglect the people who deserve attention. It greatly depicts our ignorance when we underestimate the so called simple things around us. Managerial success could be achieved if we start looking at management in a broader perspective and relate it in our endeavors. Below are the strategies employed by unrecognized management gurus in our neighborhood in two different sectors.
Share Autorickshaw – The Poor man’s BMW
Having a drive in a share auto rickshaw would make one realize that it is the easy to access and one of the most economical mode of transportation, as the fare incurred is also shared by others who use the autorickshaw. It is also one other service that targets the bottom of the pyramid and makes profits. The Rickshaw walah applies the same management philosophy that every other manager does i.e. effective utilization of the available resources to make profit.
- Analyzing the Market Demand - He chooses the timings based on the maximum demand targeting college and office goers in the morning and evening. With a limited seating capacity in place, he selects the best possible route to obtain the maximum profit. He chooses the optimal route based on the demand, Fuel price, Traffic in the route, and also the wear& tear of the auto rickshaw due to adverse road conditions.
- Selecting the target Market – Understanding that the fast and economical mode of transport with an ease of comfort is the need of the hour he targets the lower and middle strata of the society who are cost sensitive.
- Competitive marketing – He sets the price to be either in par with or lower than his major competitors (Other modes of Public transport like buses). In addition he offers an extra luxury of on-demand destinations rather than fixed destination and also assured seating.
Though it was started as a service targeting the lower and middle segments of society, today it has emerged as a transport widely used by a daily wager to an IT professional. Thanks for the service for eliminating social disparity by bringing together people in different economic segments.
Kirana shops into Change Management:
The traditional neighborhood kirana shops are adversely impacted with the advent of the supermarkets (Reliance, Spencer etc) in the retail sector. The retail supermarket bigwigs offer customers a wide range of goods with profoundly attractive discounts and provide shopping ambience and convenience altogether in a single roof. In the past few years, several small and medium scale kirana shops which are unable to combat the competition from the rivalries have started winding up their business.
Inspite of this, some kirana shops are able to counter the stiff competition by employing changes in the structural and functional part of their business, thus retaining their market. They have begun reinventing themselves to match with the customer’s needs and started offering services that the big retailers could not provide.
- To tackle the change and to sustain their stance in market the kirana shops roared back adopting the below strategies,
- The kirana shops started offering home delivery of goods with no extra cost and also with no minimum margins set for the delivery, which is not feasible for the top bananas.
- As against their contenders, Kirana shops render credit sales for the customers in a monthly basis to attract the middle income groups.
- Kirana shops also facilitated a more customer centric environment by revamping their infrastructure to enable self service of goods and also started offering discounts to influence the customers who are price sensitive.
- Some Kirana shops also started renovating themselves into niche product markets as per the demand rather than offering wider range of products.
As kirana shops are largely driven by the trust and personal relationship of the customer with shop owners, they are in a better position to understand the customer’s needs and hence started to act accordingly.
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