China Plus One Strategy

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What is China Plus one strategy?

The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the whole world and disrupted the entire global supply chain. It prompted companies to invest in other countries around the world to not depend on China wholly. This strategy is called China plus one strategy

How did China manage to attract initial foreign investment?

In the early 1980s, there was a spike in labor and manufacturing costs in western
countries. This made Western companies shift their manufacturing base from their
native countries to China, where cheap labor, low production cost, and enormous
domestic consumer markets for the companies to invest.
 

Significant reasons why companies are looking for alternatives to

Chinese?

           A) The political ideology that China follows.
           B) The spike in labor cost.
           C) Geopolitical conflicts with neighboring countries.
On the other hand, the consumer market in India is already established and ready with cheap and skilled labor. Promoting employment of the youth will be highly beneficial for the country’s economy and attract foreign companies to the country.
 

How can India appeal to foreign investors?

Tariffs: Decrease import taxes on raw materials and machinery. The tax levied on raw material imports is about 40.8% and 29.8% after GST on machinery, making foreign companies think about their options upon investing in India.
China Plus One Strategy

Infrastructure: make transportation and infrastructure better and invest in special economic zones to attract labor for the factories.

      A) The road connectivity in the country poses a significant problem as the quality of             roads is below average in some parts of the country, which causes a delay in                   transportation and increases the cost of maintenance of the vehicle.

      B) The airports and seaports are still not capable of handling a large consignment.

      C) A faulty logistical approach also poses a problem that leads to companies                         reconsidering their options.

      D) Invest in making good schools and hospitals around these economic zones to                  ensure the quality education of children of labor.

Address the power problem: Govt has to focus on giving power at a subsidized rate and invest in renewable energy sources to remove dependence on fossil fuels.

       A) Invest in modernizing power transmission to long distances. Most of the power                lines are still not underground, which poses a problem during natural calamities.

       B) The government has to ensure that the power is supplied to each part of the                      country so that the factories in remote areas can function smoothly.

 

China Plus One Strategy

Try to promote the growth of small-scale industries and establish a communication channel between these small-scale industries and the MNCs and promote collaboration between them.

Promising stores of natural resources.: Ensure a proper supply of water and metals and minerals to these regions.

Try to make the policies & transactions transparent and make the system less corrupt. Also, there should be a reduction in government red tape, and the role of bureaucracy in making industries should be reduced.
 
Strongly investing and introducing new technologies and communication channels in manufacturing and transportation. The government has to aggressively support and promote skill development to ensure jobs for the country’s youth.
 
Resolve political ideologies and avoid clashes to ensure peace in the areas and attract the interest of foreign companies.
         A) The Center has to cooperate with the state governments to reduce the clash between the center and the state.
         B) Ensure stability with proper policing in the area to prevent antisocial elements from wreaking havoc and preventing rioting.

Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

India has the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world; with a steady year-over-year (YoY) growth of 8-10%. Home to 55,000 startups, 34 unicorns, and 52 promising startups with a potential to become unicorns by 2022. India is a bustling land for startups and entrepreneurs with cut-throat competition at every stage. According to a Nasscom and Zinnov report, over 1,600 tech start-ups were registered in 2020, making it the highest ever added in a single calendar year.

With such hovering contention, you need to have an extra edge over your counterparts to succeed and to make it big in the current business scenario. So, with this notion, we CEVians, had a debate session on the topic  “Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?”

Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?

MINUTES

In favour of the idea:

  • An MBA program covers a range of concentrations or specialisations that allow students to acquire the fundamentals as well as expertise in a specific aspect of a business, such as finance, marketing.
  • You get to meet and interact with like-minded people; which is an opportunity to build a powerful network and connections.
  • This degree is not just theory, the curriculum involves various case-studies of real-life business scenarios.
  • It’s easier to gain relevant working experience for a person with an MBA because it is considered a valid credential among recruiters. While for a person without an MBA, it is a tougher task. 
  • Investors are more likely to invest in a firm if it has a person with credentials and experience. In case of lack of proven experience, having an MBA degree can bring better reliability for the firm.
  • After setting up the business, people with an MBA can plan the future strategic plans for stabilization and further expansion of the company.

 

Against the idea:

  • An academic degree doesn’t guarantee knowledge; practical experience is more valuable.    
  • MBAs are expensive; better to invest that capital in your business idea.
  • In today’s world, you can easily learn about the necessary concepts through readily available learning resources on the internet and MOOCs.
  • For professional networking and work-related opportunities, there are various business-focused social platforms like LinkedIn, AngelList, where you can easily connect with an investor or a recruiter.
  • An MBA will only help you manage risks or avoid unnecessary risks, but setting up a business from the ground is a completely different story which they cannot ‘teach’ in business schools.
  • MBAs were originally designed to meet the demands of ‘administering’ the business in the early 20th century. Since then, the specifics of customers and the business environment have completely changed.

CONCLUSION

A professional degree like an MBA can certainly help you in understanding businesses better; it is not mandatory. Nothing can guarantee success in your business. According to a report, out of every 5 business leaders, 2 do not have an MBA or a postgraduate qualification. This further ascertains the fact that pursuing an MBA or not, is explicitly a matter of choice.

Customer Service in any Organization

Reading Time: 6 minutes

AUTHOR: SUKESH MATHUR

For any profit-based organization, it is often said, “Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company. It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers, there is no company.” This belief has helped many companies achieve success in their respective fields and in this blog I have discussed what really is Customer Service and share my experience of more than 30 years in the field.

So, product service is basically the provision of support (service) to the customer before, during, and after the purchase of the product. Whatever be the situation, the employees of the organization have to adjust themselves to the varying personalities of the customer to ensure success in the field of customer service and the overall success of the company. An organization that values customer service has to spend more resources on training employees/customers than an average organization.

Customer Service in any Organization

An important mantra that any organization should follow while training their employee is that they should believe in proactive customer service rather than reactive customer service. Proactive Customer Service refers to effective planning earlier to tackle all the situations customers put you in. Whereas, reactive customer service refers to acting spontaneously to the complaints of the customer. This often causes a panic situation in the company causing many extreme steps that could further affect the reputation of the organization. 

 

Role of Customer Service in any Business

Contrary to common misconception, Customer Service also plays a vital role in the overall sales process of the organization and generating revenue of the organization as in today’s industry a lot depends on the reputation of the company. Due to this perspective, customer service should be included as a part of the overall approach of the systematic improvement of the company. It is important to understand that even one good customer service provided can change the entire perception of the customer towards the company.

Customer Support doesn’t limit to just solving a client’s problems with the product. Once the customer buys the product from the organization, it is the organizations’ prime duty to help the customer that he/she uses the product right and cost-effective. To ensure this, the organization has to assist the customer in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of the product.

 

Customer Complaint Registration Process

Customer Service may be provided by a person (eg. service or sales representative) or by automated means such as digital kiosks, web sites, and mobile applications.

In the case of a person, a service representative is assigned for taking the complaint directly from the customer. He is basically the point of contact with the consumer for the company. He takes complaints from the customer and assigns the same to the concerned service engineer. The service representative ensures continuous feedback to the customer on the status of his/her complaint until the resolution of the complaint and subsequent feedback to the company from the customer. This has been the go-to mode of customer service for many years but the disadvantage of the method is the time constraint and difficulty in communication between many layers. But these problems are now getting minimized with the help of Automated Customer Service.

One of the advantages of Automated means is an increased ability to provide 24 * 7 hours service, which highly compliments with customers’ needs. Also, customer service is becoming data-driven. So these automated methods could be really helpful. Some of the most popular types of Automated Customer Service are :

i) Artificial Intelligence

ii) Touch-Tone Phone

iii) Online Commerce (Websites)

 

i) Artificial Intelligence

AI customer service technologies can highly reduce the workload of customer service representatives as it solves minor and some major frequent issues easily. Customers can visually interact with the company’s model and solve their complaints at their own level with the help of proper technology.

Two of the most significant ways AI is augmenting customer service is through AI-augmented messaging and AI email tagging. AI-augmented messaging enables customer service agents to handle a big part of customer queries with the help of chatbot assistants.

Customer Service in any Organization

ii) Touch-Tone Phone

Touch- Tone Phone refers to the customer service dealt with an augmented machine voice that interacts with the customers. It usually involves IVR (Interactive Voice Response), the main menu, and uses the keypad as options to react according to customer’s needs. You might have come across them when you dial mobile connection customer service. (Press 1 for English, 2 for Hindi!)

Customer Service in any Organization

iii) Online Commerce

In the present era organizations are enhancing and maintaining personal experience using the advantages of online commerce. Online customers are invisible and not connected directly which makes it very difficult to effectively communicate with them. Also due to this invisibility, it makes it even more crucial for the organization to create a sense of personal human to human connection. Artificial means of service enables the companies to provide automated online assistants to customers through websites. These methods highly reduce the operating and training costs for the organizations.

 

Measurement of Customer Service Result

It is very important to keep in check the service provided by the company to the customers and hence Measurement of Customer Service Result is very crucial. Customer Service could be measured in the following ways:- 

i) First Response Time

ii) Restoration Time

i) First Response Time

This indicates how fast an organization responds to the complaints registered by the customer. To ensure minimum response time, an organization must have sufficient manpower for engineers and technicians. Without manpower, it is very difficult to maintain a good first response time which further affects the company.

ii) Restoration Time

Once the response is provided, restoration time is the time by which the customer complaint is completely resolved. To ensure minimum restoration time, the company must have Trained and Manpower and Sufficient stock of Spare Parts.

If the engineer gives a prompt response to the customer’s complaint but he is not well trained by the organization on the product, he/she would be unable to understand the customer complaint and act on it. Hence the restoration time sways away from the target time. Again if a response is given and the engineer is well trained, but if no spare parts are required to solve the complaint’s problem, the restoration time is affected. So have a proactive customer service, the organization should always be well prepared. I have seen all types of situations and it is very important to be in constant touch with time.

 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

 This term is frequently used by the marketing team of the company. It is a measure of how products supplied and services rendered to the customer has achieved or crossed the customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is defined as the number of customers or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with the company, its products, or its service index exceeds specified satisfaction goals.

In marketing, the managers found customer satisfaction measuring system very useful in managing and monitoring their business. It is observed as a key performance indicator within business and is also a part of the scorecard analysis of the company. 

In today’s competitive world, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. In a nutshell, Customer Service or Product Service has been a key industry for the past many years and with the advancements in current technology, customer service will find a new path but the score would remain the same.

Customer Service in any Organization

Introduction To Organisational Behavior

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why Management is an IMPORTANT study for Engineering Students?

“successful engineering projects rely more on non-technical skills than technical skills.” It’s not like that technical skills aren’t important, because the car we drive will not be able to run without technical skills of an engineer and it will not be safe to drive until a skilled Automobile engineer works on it. Any skilled engineer working on any particular project will not be successful unless there is an equally skilful project manager involved in it. Doesn’t feel right? Project Management Institute’s (PMI) 2016 report The High Cost of Low Performance: How will you improve business results? Showed that $122 million was wasted for every $1 billion invested due to poor project performance. So gaining some management skills to an engineer is very helpful.

What is Organisational behaviour?

Organisational behaviour (OB) is an important topic in the studies of management. OB is a study & application of knowledge about human behaviour as individuals and in groups- in the organization- strives to identify ways in which people can act more effectively. OB is the field of study which investigates the behaviour of the individual group and organizational structure. Why do we need to learn OB?
  • Knowledge is replacing infrastructure. In past years companies are interested in developing the infrastructure but later they realise that knowledge is more important than infrastructure.
  • Self-Leadership is succeeding command control management. Self-motivated man does not want leader-ship so it reduces the cost of supervisors.
  • Companies are looking for employees with emotional intelligence, not just technical smartness. Companies are not hiring employees with high IQ but also for their high Emotional Intelligence EQ, because a person with high EQ can handle the workload and give his best performance in a critical situation.
  • Globalisation has become the mantra of corporate survival. Before the globalisation, the companies were only selling their products to their local areas but after globalisation that companies selling their products to different countries which requires the understanding of global policies.
Organisational behaviour includes topics like psychology, sociology, political science etc. Psychology includes the study motivation, humanities, emotions of an employee. Sociology is the study of one kind of working environment. Political Science helps to understand the different government policies, which can be helpful for business.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hi Guys, What’s up?

I have been thinking to become rich since I was a child. Who doesn’t wish to be as rich as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or even Mukesh Ambani Right? So Which job gives lots of money? Wait Wait! Did I just said job? Doing Job can never be a solution if you wish your Income Vs. Year graph to be exponential Instead of making it linear.

Hope the above paragraph would trigger the word “Startup” or “Entrepreneurship” in your mind. In this blog, I will give you a basic idea about how the journey of an Entrepreneurship would be.

 

I am inspired to write this blog from the workshop I have attended on start-up to VC by Jay Krishnan at IIM Ahmedabad.

The first step:

The very first step for a startup is to decide what will be the most suitable idea for our startup. For the selection of the startup idea, we need to ask few questions to ourselves:

  1. What does the world need?

  2. What do we love?

  3. What we are good at?

  4. What we can be paid for?

 

Let’s defined few words using the above questions.

  • Passion: If we love something to do and we are good at doing it, it is called our passion.

  • Profession: If we are good at something and we can get paid for it, it is called our profession.

  • Vocation: If we can get paid for what the world needs, it is called our vocation.

  • Mission: If we love to do something that the world needs, it is called our mission.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

Dunning-Kruger Effect:

The Dunning Kruger effect, first coined by David Dunning and Justin Kruger in 1999, is a cognitive bias that influences everyone’s perception of their own abilities. Simply put, people are unreliable resources for evaluating their own skills and shortcomings.

 Example:

Suppose you are a manager at a software development company. You have hired one software developer. Suppose his name is Rahul. He is exceptionally good at developing code but lacks a few critical programming skills. You have recognized it before hiring him and set up training sessions for this reason.

But When you mention Rahul’s programming skill gap to him, his reaction baffles you: “What are you talking about? I am exceptionally skilled at programming. I don’t need training. In fact, I am one of the best programmers in your company.

 

Here, not only Rahul is unable to recognize his weakness, but he overestimates his skill in comparison to others. His lack of knowledge on the subject makes him unable to see his own errors.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

The Physicists Formula:

Albert-Laszlo Barabasi’s formula for success is as follows:

S=QR

Where S is success,

Q is a person’s ability to execute and

R is the potential value of a random idea.

 

What does this mean for strivers?

  • The math proves that the more ideas you have, the more times you plug the value of R. So greater will be the chances of success.

  • You can be successful at any age. All that matters is that you continue producing the same quantities of ideas.

  • The Q-factor in the above equation will remain unchanged.


Self-awareness before confidence:

 

  • Q-factor is for success. You either have it or you don’t.

  • There is an upside in accepting you are naturally lousy at some things and that, no matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough at that to generate massive success. Face that reality and avoid wasting your energy chasing a fruitless dream. Instead, you can pursue other opportunities you are better suitable for.

Strategic foresight:

 

  • By definition an entrepreneur’s job is to create change, whether it is just locally or internationally, an entrepreneur is trying to change the world in whatever way possible.

  • As an entrepreneur, your job is to bring the world to a future that only you can see.

  • Strategic foresight is about looking into the past for recurring trends that apply to the future. Taking in all the information available at present and actively implement strategies to shape and inform the world you want.

  • In other words, Strategic foresight is essentially the ability to make informed and educated guesses. However, it is more than just trying to predict the next market trend.

  • While it is impossible to predict the future, what you can do is learn how to employ tools like the strategic foresight.

Entrepreneur’s journey (My perception):

According to me, There will be 4 zones after being an Entrepreneur.

  1. Death Zone

  2. WTF Zone

  3. Fun Zone

  4. Sock it Zone

 

Let’s have look at the graph of this journey with respect to the above zones and try to understand it briefly.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

When we start our journey as an entrepreneur, we will fall in the death zone within a short time period. Startups never go on track initially or never goes as one expects. You will feel many times to quit in between starting to death zone. If you have patience and your startup has enough potential, you can reach WTF zone.

From the death zone to WTF zone, you won’t understand what is actually going on. You will get to know things which one can apply to change or modify for the betterment of the startup. You will come across lots of new ideas to modify your startup. If effective ideas are implemented properly, you will reach to fun zone.

Obviously, you will have fun here! Your startup will get stabilized here and you will have a good amount of profit too.

In the end, there is a sock it zone. Last three zones are very common. Every entrepreneur passes through it. To fall in the sock it zone, you require lots of experience and talent as it is the zone in which you will expand your startup to a higher level or you can say at the national or global level.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

 

This graph explains the same thing in a different way. It is actually the same thing explaining in general perspective.  

EXAMPLES:

i will give two real-world examples.

1. We know in India, there is a problem of water supply in many rural areas. Women usually carry water over their head or shoulder and walk for some kilometers to bring it to their house.

Cynthia Koenig, an entrepreneur who studied at the University of Michigan found the solution to this problem as waterwheel.

 

This startup idea is simple, it is not costly, it is effective and easy to use.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

2. In India, tea and Coffee are the most popular drinks. There are many café and stores selling good coffee and tea. In most of the stores, you will find a latte machine for making a coffee. Poor people selling coffee or tea at the roadside, can not afford to buy a latte machine.

 

The guy shown in the picture below made an idea to make his own latte machine with some “JUGADS”. This too can be a very good startup idea as it is very cheap, effective and useful for the people who can’t afford costly latte machine.

Journey of an Entrepreneur

Conclusion:

At the end, we can say that Entrepreneurship and startup are the subjects that don’t have a well-defined syllabus. But have some few critical aspects/rule that you need to be creative, passionate and observing to get that one spark in your mind which can change the world for better.

 

Certainly, the field of startups is not at all a plain-sailing and also subject to great risks and failure but these are basic grooming cradles of large companies which later turn out to be a multinational. History has been the greatest proof so will be the future. So, if you have the courage to keep high stakes at your professional life, if you believe yourself more than anyone else can, and if you have the fire in you change the world for good than startup is best fit for you!    

Talent Management: Use of Technology and Analytics

Reading Time: 5 minutesIntroduction

Technology and Analytics play a vital role in talent management, acquiring manpower, maximising every stage of the hiring process. In this era of transformative cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning, the complexities of talent acquisition and talent management have accelerated into high gear, driven by longer life spans, cultural and ethnic diversity and a highly-competitive global recruitment landscape. Without the proper utilisation of technology and analytics, talent management can become an operation bottleneck that will suppress the growth of operation. The technology source used by companies are social media, job portals, out bound hiring, social networking, e-mails, messages, tele-calling etc. are commonly used for targeting the prospective employee. In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s become obvious that people, practices, and systems must become nimbler too. Within this landscape, forward-thinking companies are using technologies and data segmentation to analyse smaller and smaller segments of their workforce as they develop strategic human capital plans, target job candidates and tailor employee benefits to match individual values, personality and behavior.

Technology driven Talent Management

Technology also allows for more in-depth analysis and reporting which provides managers more and better information to make the best decisions for getting the best out of the employees under their supervision. Using analysis tools and metrics, top performing employees can be groomed for leadership roles instead of the company having to depend on outside candidates. In a global market that continues to generate increased competition for the best talent, a company that fails to develop from within risks the loss of continued growth and market dominance by failing to retain their best assets as well as attracting top new talent.

Managing talent effectively places considerable demands on any organization. The sheer scope of the task means that a successful strategy becomes much likelier when technology is utilized. For each talent management function, most companies have traditionally used various standalone applications. Storing these applications and the data generated on each user’s personal computer or network servers at the firm is normal practice in these circumstances.

The talent management is critical to the firm’s well‐being and an integrated solution can positively impact on performance, employee loyalty and business strength. The advent of cloud computing has provided companies with a feasible alternative. Many of the headaches associated with the conventional approach can be eliminated using a solution that offers:

Cost effectiveness: There is no requirement for a company to regularly invest in hardware, software and in‐house IT support services. Corporate servers are removed from the equation as applications and data are hosted by the provider’s own network.

Flexibility: The dynamic nature of the technology provides real‐time access, upgrades when required and the capacity to swiftly adapt the application’s configuration and processes as user needs evolve.

Integration: It becomes simpler to merge the various talent management processes currently handled in different parts of the firm. Better integration with other HR functions is likewise attainable.

Wider application of training and development programs: The problems associated with conventional technology systems invariably meant that talent management activities were confined to high performers. Because cloud computing allows all employees appropriate levels of access to the system, scope exists for an organization to maximize the potential of its entire workforce.

How Data and Predictive Analytics play a crucial role?

From talent acquisition to performance management, HR departments are trusted with some of the most vital functions in an organization. When it comes to HR decision making, organizations want to make sure that there is no guesswork involved and are increasingly turning to predictive analytics to make data-backed decisions about the future. When it comes to setting key organizational priorities, items like big-name client wins, product launches, and high-profile partnerships must be secondary to the happiness of your people. Engaged, high-performing talent is a prerequisite to achieving any other business aim. The problem are the HR leaders and managers typically rely on guesswork to assess employee happiness. Lacking data-driven insights, such surface-level prognoses are often inaccurate, resulting in high attrition rates and higher turnover costs. The good news is that AI tools and predictive analytics are available to help HR leaders and managers identify the peaks and pitfalls of performance on individual, team, and corporate-wide scales, and reward employees accordingly.

AI and predictive analytics give business leaders the ability to benchmark compensation, identify flight-risk employees, and determine compensation boosts by deriving data that they would previously have had to ascertain through gut instinct. To understand its employees and how to keep them highly engaged, companies need data about what makes employees stay, what makes them successful and what can be done to build business strengths like leadership, innovation and customer service into the workforce. This will come from strong people analytics. People analytics looks at highly relevant data about people to solve specific business problems such as sales productivity, customer satisfaction and employee experience. The goal of predictive analytics is to provide structure, consistency, greater insight, and improved accuracy to the talent-management strategy.

To make the most of an integrated talent management solution, these following components should be considered: –

  • A cloud-based SaaS solution, which enables scalability, flexibility and cost efficiencies.
  • Mobile device optimization and mobile apps that facilitate real-time talent management across borders and in remote locations.
  • Integrated social media applications to harness the power of the world’s social networking sites for finding and attracting new talent.
  • Integrated HR analytics and Big Data applications for predictive workforce planning.
  • A solution that is reflective of regional needs to ensure localized compliance, adequate flexibility and cultural adaptation.
  • A simple and engaging platform that supports speed and reliability with cultural characteristics built into the user experience.
  • A support model that provides both high- and low-touch assistance through direct and partner channels, as well as regional support that caters to local languages and time zones.

Conclusion

Human resources are in the midst of a transformation. Consumerization of the workplace, changing workforce dynamics, and an increasingly competitive talent landscape have raised employee expectations from their workplace to new heights. The result is that talent management is being redefined with the use of technology and analytics in new and innovative ways, to meet the dynamic business shifts. Once an organization understands the enabling and empowering role of emerging technologies, it can develop tactical solutions for HR function and long-term strategic plan on organizational design. The trend toward automating hiring has companies developing software to take bias and discrimination out of the processes, as well as reduce costs and speed the time to hire.

The long-term talent strategy and plan inform what training and development that an organization needs. Along with this virtual cycle that is both top-down and bottom-up, emerging technologies play critical roles shaping business models, employee behavioral and aspirations, as well as technology enabled programs and tools that an organization can should adopt to ensure that it is prepared for adapting its talent management to the rapidly-changing market and becomes more competitive every day.

 

AUTHOR

Sanidhya Somani,

Btech II,ECED.

CEV - Handout