Saturday, September 8, 2012

65th Week@XIMB

65th Week@XIMB - 2nd September to 8th September, 2012

2nd September - I submitted a team project report on Asian Paints in SDM. The whole process of data mining, compilation, editing and printing with the team was good learning.

There was scheduled SREI Sahaj CEO Talk on Sunday afternoon. Topic of Talk was challenges in the service delivery channel and route to market strategies in rural India. It began late on time but went quite fantastic overall. The Key learning - 'Positive dissatisfaction' is a good start for a young professional like us. There are more standard operating procedures and compliance in a big company, hence it is not a good option for fresher to start their work there.

Guest : Mr. Sanjay Panigrahi , CEO of SREI Sahaj

No rural people will pay for information on weather and government schemes. So business for information directly to the end consumer is not a viable option currently. Delivery and Management should be the key focus for a good business model in rural India. Most companies in India has strong urban model while only Agri-input companies can claim to have dent in rural market. Few companies like Unilever, Dabur and CavinKare has partial success in this rural arena. People who had worked in rural branches of SBI and RRB's have also knowledge of rural mindset. Amul is like any-other MNC in front end while rural in the back end.

How to identify and define rural area ? This is a bigger question in front of companies. (I agree with this questioning as one sure way to get the wrong answer is by not framing the right questions). LG has defined an are below population of 1 lakh as rural. That is an absurd definition. The worst criteria is population as consumer behavior differs due to cultural aspect in different part of India. Assam and Bengal are more outgoing for education than Bihar and Orissa. One of the good method employed by companies to classify rural pockets was distance from highways.

Largest expenditure incurred by companies on advertisement is taken by DD due to its outreach. Local broadcasting channels like Mahua TV and Sarang TV are a good way to reach rural audience of particular region. Government has credibility in rural area that is lacked by private players. There are nearly 77,000 branches of banks and 1,36,000 of Post office (data not exact) in India. Yet, that number is quite low. Along with high operational cost, due to to this trust factor, local MFI's and banking correspondent were used by leading banks for lending in rural India. This shows the importance of trust in making transaction with rural customer segment.

There is more need of micro management in India. Everything is okay not great at policy level but implementation is bad at panchayat/block level. Private player has also to manage and engage daily with governance complexities and lack of infrastructure. There were three critical steps that changed India in last decade : First, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and The Golden Quadrilateral. This made rural area more accessible for product/service delivery. Second, increase in funding through various social welfare schemes. And third, rural labours were paid remittance through a safety net like NREGA.

There is huge generation of data that require intelligent MIS and data analyst. There is more need of knowledge before investing time and money in rural India. There is need to understand domestic market more than ever in recessing market example tolerance level is more in rural customer. In this quest for understanding rural consumer, answers can be dramatically different and contrary to the popular belief.

3rd September - A very hectic day amid regular classes. I gossiped a lot in the night for mental relaxation. Last class of SDM. It ended with overall on an high note with a surprising good TED talk video.

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

4th September - There was group presentation in ESM on Organic Farming in Cuba. I wanted to raise several statement of protest in the front of Professor. I rather restrained myself in the end.

5th September - There was last class of QRM that lasted for 45 minutes. I had talk with our Professor. She told us few things about rural management education and pedagogy in India. There is dearth of teaching cases in the area of rural management. This shows lack of research and funding in this field.

Key Learning : Writing up field notes immediately is one of the sacred obligations of field work. Sometimes maintaining this diary becomes both boring and painful. I repeat same behaviour every day and expected to churn out a new insight. There are confront unpleasant facts, including lack of acceptance, ambiguity about a question and gaping holes in the analysis. Believe Everything and Trust Nothing is mantra of the observation to see clearly throgh ideological maze.

While Managers are prepared for risk aversion and to achieve profits, an entrepreneur is a risk taker. In rural setting, business development and community mobilization becomes a key task for anyone. Trust is something on which business works in rural areas.

6th September - A great news for XIMB RM 2011-2013 batch. Our batchmate Sreevidya Gowda (India) was chosen among the TOP 50 INDIAFRICA BUSINESS VENTURE Winners. Nirmal purifier has been designed with the intention to provide access to iron free safe drinking water at low cost. The design was a semifinalist at the Dell Social innovation challenge and a finalist at the Acara Challenge conducted by University of Minnesota.

Listening to the New Amul Manthan Song

The Manthan music video has an unique emotional appeal. The lines like 'khush rahe tera beta beti' in the new music video shows how it is because of the efforts of a rural milk producer that nutritional requirements of a child to a urban mother is taken care off.

7th September - HRM paper over. Do you know who is Amanda Ammann ? I was also not knowing about her details till now. I meet her few times but she never revealed her real identity and just enacted as a normal exchange student.

8th September - MFM paper is over. The tragic story of making mistakes in balance sheet went on this time also.

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This Blog is meant purely as a personal diary of a rural manager in making. It exists to record information, experiences and opinions about various issues encountered in the line of duty. Any person, institution and organization mentioned here doesn't assume any liability for its contents. This is not a deliberate attempt to defame anyone. And if you have actually read all that is written in the blog and aren't mad at me, then thanks for your time and patience !


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