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Kartik Raina, Dalmia Consumer Care: Consumer Centrism is not about targets, it is about deliverables

12-February-2004
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Kartik Raina, Dalmia Consumer Care: Consumer Centrism is not about targets, it is about deliverables

The essence of a successful organizational structure? In Kartik Raina’s (COO, Dalmia Consumer Care) words, the essence lies in defining the modal points of interface, support level for manpower, enabling and catalyzing talent, providing adequate support for information technology and support levels for node infrastructure. These were some of the thoughts discussed in Alliance India’s daylong seminar on ‘Corporate Restructuring-Readying the Enterprise to Meet Future Challenges’ in Mumbai on February 11, 2003.

The seminar featured the likes of Kartik Raina (COO, Dalmia Consumer Care), Arvind Mishra (Partner, Ernst & Young), Jagdish Kapoor (Chairman, HDFC Bank) and Advait Kurlekar (Director, Management Consulting, CEDAR Enterprise). The purpose of the seminar was to identify the need for corporate restructuring in the dynamic social ethos, the key considerations of financial restructuring, effective strategy planning and the must haves for a customer centric organizational structure.

In the session on ‘Creating a Customer Centric Organizational Structure’, Raina dwelt on the necessity of people management and conflict control. He said, “Choosing the relevant HR strategy is vital in the scheme of things. There is a need for choosing the right HR associates/partners and for identifying the gaps inherent in the organizational structure. A good HR person is one who diminishes the need for human resource in the first place. Recognition/Reward Ethos is vital, as is the need to implement development plans.

“In addition, when it comes to consumer feedback and evaluation, we need to note the distinction between ‘need to know’ and ‘nice to know.’ There needs to be adequate impetus for information technology, adequate training to develop man power, review frequency and the ability to handle bad news within an organization.”

Arvind Sharma (Partner, Ernst & Young) started his presentation on ‘Leadership and Change’ by quoting Joel Barker: “A leader is a person others opt to follow to a place they would not have gone by themselves.” Sharma highlighted the importance of organizational leadership because of the challenges faced by organizations today. He asserted, “A leader within the corporate field needs to set aggressive targets, long term goals and needs to touch base with the employees on a one-to-one basis. There needs to be no bulldozing or intimidating of the employees and the reality lies in the questions posed by employees. A leader needs to have adequate conviction and passion, needs to have a certain amount of trust in his people in addition to the expertise. It must be remembered that often the idea is more motivating than the individual itself.”

Sharma added, “The problems lie in the fact that 67 per cent of the top management does not directly meet the customers. Also, they are not able to verbalize the selling point of the brand. Leadership ought to show in all aspects, such as planning, direction and control, operations, technology and information, processes and finance. However, it must also be remembered that leadership supersedes strategy and technology processes. Even the best strategy wouldn’t work if you have less than exceptional leadership.”

Sharma summed up a leader in the corporate field as an individual who sets organizational direction and values, monitors and evaluates performance and growth, understands customers and employees, serves as an anchor for employees to rally around and acts as the spearhead of change.

J. J. Irani (Director, Tata Sons Ltd.) made a presentation on ‘ The need for Corporate Restructuring in the dynamic environment’; Jagdish Kapoor (Chairman, HDFC Bank) spoke on ‘Financial Restructuring - Issues and Key considerations’ while Advait Kurlekar (Director-Management Consulting, Cedar Enterprise) dealt with ‘Effective Strategic Planning-Transforming Vision and Mission into reality’.

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