Hi! I am Arun Chattopadhyay
Veteran Marketing Leader
Copywriter & Content Writer
Business & Management Coach
From my early childhood, I had a knack for figuring out how things worked. My dad used to buy me toys, and instead of playing with them, I always wondered how those things moved around. I was itching to open the covers and watch how the mechanisms were working under the hood.
As a five-year-old, I could not put those back together, and the toy would be broken within a few days! We were a lower-middle-class family, and my dad used to get upset about my ‘destructive’ nature. Still, my mom encouraged me and told everyone that her son would be an engineer someday.
You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective
Early Career and Frustration
One day, I became a textile engineer. But my thirst for doing things differently and experimenting with systems stayed with me. You see, in a manufacturing setup, as a floor supervisor, you have to follow the set-out norms strictly, and you don’t get many opportunities for experimentation.
That made me frustrated and look beyond production management as a career. I needed to broaden my horizons and look at the industry from 35,000 feet up.
I discovered that in the textile industry, or any industry, the sales and marketing guys get the most freedom to find solutions to new and constantly evolving challenges. They get leeway from the upper management because, among all the departments, the sales and marketing department remains closest to the customers.
So, I decided to switch my career to sales and marketing in textiles.
Was that easy? Heck, no. It took me a few years of networking and research to land a regional sales job with a famous and large textile company. And I had to compromise by agreeing to accept a lower salary than my then-production job of 7 years, which carried almost no value to my new employer.
The Right Decision
Looking back, I know I made the right choice. Over time, I got a better job, and my view of the world grew from the shop floor to the whole country. I did not need to see the same boss and workers every day. Instead, I worked with owners of client companies, agents, distributors, heads of the departments in various locations of my company, and a team of similarly minded colleagues and bosses. To enhance my career prospects, I changed jobs a few times and gradually moved from sales to product management and marketing.
When I interacted with customers most of the time, the pattern became clear. Three of the most important observations were:
1. Companies with top-down command systems face most of the problems and
2. 80% of the problems are due to conflicts of interest among employees and conflict among different departments and even customers. The bigger the organization, the bigger the conflicts. As a result, performance and growth suffer.
3. 76% of companies where employees are empowered show at least a 25% increase in employee productivity. Those companies also perform better on the balance sheet and have a great culture. Their employee attrition also remains lower than the average industry standard.
The International Exposure
As years passed, I was offered a position in purchasing and logistics in Taiwan, which was my first exposure to the international market. That gave an insight into the best practices of international trade and commerce. The knowledge came in handy when one of my earlier employers offered me a position in India to head their export department.
After returning to India, I revamped the customer relationship management of the division by listening to the suggestions of the front and back end of the marketing staff and letting them find solutions themselves. The benefit? They took up ownership of the decisions, creating an atmosphere of trust and enthusiasm. The result was a record 80% jump in revenue from exports that the company had never had.
Most industries can improve their situation by looking at the “human factor.” Traditionally, we have depended too much on the HR department to manage employee affairs. But today, the time has come when individual managers must work hand in hand with the HRD to deliver extraordinary results.
You can read my article to learn more about my article, 6 tips to increase employee productivity.
For more information about working with me, please book a free telephone call.