Focus On What Matters Most
By J.N.Godrej
Let us work towards getting ‘efficiency premium’ in the form of better realizations and repeat business from our customers.

As the economy recovers from the second wave of the pandemic, we can clearly see a host of new opportunities for growth. These opportunities exist alongside a plethora of challenges triggered by the hugely accelerated changes all around and the widespread impact of the pandemic.

In these unpredictable and chaotic business conditions, what remains unchanged is an urgent need to strengthen and deepen our improvement efforts that will enable our businesses to achieve the goals set.

Regardless of the changes happening externally, I believe, if we remain focused on a few big things, we will become intrinsically stronger and more capable of achieving better outcomes in the future. Let me share five priorities that are vital to help us focus and align our efforts. These priorities are interlinked and need to be addressed in an integrated way. The first is, Health and Safety of our employees, our channel and supplier partners as well as those associated with us in the conduct of our business. We must establish processes and protocols and ensure their compliance for the wellbeing of all involved. Customer-Centricity comes next. To win, we must place the customer at the very center of everything that we do. If we design our work with customer at the core, we will end up working on the right things that matter most. We must strive to understand and anticipate the changing needs of our customers to orient all our processes and metrics to meet these needs. A customer-centric mindset must be at the core for designing and redesigning our product-service offerings, business models and such like. Promises made must be delivered upon so that we continue to build equity, which will ensure that more customers prefer us repeatedly over longer timeframes. The third one is customer insight based Ongoing Innovations in our products, processes, and practices to serve our customers better. Also, we need to renovate and at times, augment our existing offerings for delivering what customers want, at a lower cost. New products with shorter development cycles will create dynamism in our brands and help us stay relevant for the new emerging buyers. NPD cycle times must be progressively shortened to have an advantage in the marketplace. Some of our businesses have reduced their NPD cycles which is encouraging. These efforts will enable us to grow faster. The fourth area is Operational Excellence. Operational Excellence is even more critical in times like this as it enhances our competitiveness besides making us more resilient to external shocks.

Let us work towards getting ‘efficiency premium’ in the form of better realizations and repeat business from our customers.

This premium should be realized and enhanced continually through the ongoing improvement initiatives such as Kaizen, TPM, TOC and so on. Higher scores on safety, quality, on-time & full delivery, appealing designs and the service that delights, ought to be the outcomes of our efforts. Productivity of both, our people and capital deployed, must be improved year on year. The use of modern methods and technologies, especially digital, must be explored to enhance productivity. We have made some progress here, but we need to do more, quickly. The final overarching priority is to secure a Deeper Commitment from everyone for achieving the promised outcomes. Greater commitment becomes a reality only when people have a heightened sense of ownership towards their contribution. To facilitate this, we need to find and adopt newer and more effective ways of managing. Managers must see themselves as enablers who bring their unique contribution to the teams they lead. Managers must work towards removing barriers and demotivators so that people can give their best. We have no option but to get better at bringing out the unutilized storehouse of imagination, capabilities and talent of our people.

All these priorities must be pursued on the foundation of integrity and respect including respect for the environment.

To align our efforts on these priorities, constant communication is essential. Also, to trigger and reinforce new behaviors appropriate for the ‘New Normal’, we need to facilitate deeper conversations about these priorities at various fora so that we can learn from each other and shared understanding emerges. As we envision a brighter future for G&B, let’s work together to make a continuous, irreversible progress on these enduring and game-changing priorities.