On Tue, 6th April 2010, CEO Connect organized a talk by none other than Shri D R Dhariwal, President of Birla White, recently voted the best company of the Aditya Birla Group. The topic for the talk was ‘Challenges in Marketing in Tomorrow’s World’.
Sh. Dhariwal, shared with the audience his immense industry experience and the wisdom gained by years of dedicated hard work. He began by pointing out how much had changed in the world and how differently business decisions are taken in today. Adapting to these changes and responding to them in a pert manner, is the challenge that we face today. How well we face these challenges, decides our future.
The concept of the power of an idea was illustrated by relating the success story of Birla White. A relatively non-hot selling industrial commodity, facing stiff competition from the traditional grey cement, White Cement was a real marketing challenge. Innovation was the key which unlocked the doors to unprecedented growth for the company. Now Birla White has more than two-thirds of the market share and last year was adjudged the best company in the Aditya Birla Group of Companies, by eminent jurists such as Mr. O P Bhatt and Mr. Nandan Nilekani.
The turnaround did not happen by magic. It was a concerted effort, based on the mantra which formed the crux of the message that Shri Dhariwal conveyed. The mantra was ‘see differently, think differently, understand differently and the results will be different.’ It sounds simple enough, but applying it to daily business, was how Birla White showed its true power. Building new products with white cement, finding alternate uses, implementing programs such as ‘wealth from waste’ and getting people at all levels within the company to generate creative ideas – all this was what Birla White did differently.
Shri Dhariwal pointed out that one should have a measure of one’s progress, because what cannot be measured cannot be controlled. He added that one should strive to understand one’s customer. The latent needs should be identified. Moreover, relations should be maintained with sincerity, and not as a formality. To this end Birla White implements the ‘Voice of Customer’ program to stay connected to their customers.
In closing Shri Dhariwal said that we should spend time on ourselves. It is an investment that will pay rich dividends. He very correctly mentioned that in today’s times we sometimes forget ourselves, where we are headed, what we’re really trying to achieve. He asked the students to spend time on their dreams; to believe in whatever ideas they have, to work on them and see them through to success. One of the most memorable statements made by him during the talk was while replying to a question on recession affecting the performance of the company. His answer? ‘Recession is a state of mind’. Now that, is a different perspective. A kind of difference this world could do more with.
Edwin Antony, MBA 1st year