It’s time to move from operational agility to strategic agility: Sanjay Behl, CEO, Raymond

Behl was speaking at the Pitch Top 50 Brands, which were unveiled at a glittering ceremony at Leela Gurugram

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Jul 7, 2017 8:28 AM

At the unveiling of the Pitch Top 50 Brands of 2017, Sanjay Behl, CEO, Lifestyle Business, Raymond Ltd, spoke about the importance of strategic agility for businesses to stay relevant in today’s time.

Behl spoke about the evolution of business processes and business establishments across the country and the speed of this change in business “The most defining things thatexist in the world today did not exist12months before in any form. Even if we look at the vocabulary of Indians now, terms like ‘demonetization’did not exist earlier. It became possibly the most written word in the last 12 months. Another one is ‘GST’, and although it has been happening from 2001–02, it has become a reality now; we stand in a different India today discussing a new lexiconwith the word GST.”

Talking about how Pitch Top 50 Brands adopts a holistic approach in deciding the winners by taking into consideration changing business dynamics, Behl added, “Even if we look at the Pitch Top 50 Brands, there are almost 15–20 brands that did not exist five years ago. And that is the largelyunpredictablechangethat marketers are witnessing today. Hence, there is one fundamental change that is happening and that fundamental change is to move from operationalagility—which we used tovalue—to strategic agility. I don’t think ‘fast enough’ is good enough now. I don’t think adapting is relevant anymore. It’s not about efficiency either; it’s all about a differentiated business model.”

Stating that the new marketer has to take the chaos in his stride and find a way to deal with it, Behl further added, “If everything seems under control, I would say you are not growing fast enough and that there is some problem with the organisation. I would say, let the chaos persist. As mentioned before, today’s business is not about operational agility anymore, it’s all about strategic agility now. Do we have courage as business leaders to be agile in our strategy? We base our strategy on business models and processes and even customer preferences, product technologies and competition but any or all of them can change. What does not change is the mission, purpose, values and the spirit of the business. As brand custodians, we are also the customer custodians.”Elaborating further, he said, “Customer custodians are the ones who are closest to the customers and they know exactly how the customer behaviour is changing or getting influenced. Finally, I would say that the world has moved from disruption to ‘discruption’ (destroying and then recreating) and that is becoming the new normal across businesses.”

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