A Case Study – The transformation of a sales team in a Mumbai-based MSME business through the right culture 

I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

In the complex business world, a few things should always be kept simple. Simplicity in vision, mission and impact. 

In conversation with Dinkar Rao, we unlock the fundamentals of building the right teams which directly points us to work towards the culture.

Here is a set of simple questions to help us get an insight into this subject matter

Q. Would you say a company of any size requires the right culture?

For any leader to create an impact, it requires the right culture. Leading an organization with one, ten or hundred, the leader sets the right culture that transcends the topline and soaks into all levels of the company.  Much like Rome, culture is not built in a day. 

For an instance, if there is a culture of being non-responsive to processes, this gets into the DNA of the organization. Right or wrong, every company has a culture that dictates the functioning of the company. 

An entrepreneur essentially creates a movement centric to their mission just like that of NGOs to create a social impact. This movement essentially creates an impact that creates the culture and vice versa. 

Q. Can you share your experience of coaching an MSME which enabled their growth?

I wish to pick one story from our experience of business enablement, that I am associated with for quite some time now. I once worked with an entrepreneur who is an IIT alumnus, a hardcore technology enthusiast,  with a great acumen for product development and customer-centric focus. He holds the balance between product and people. 

When he first interacted with me, it was quite a small organization in terms of team size. The very fact that he was ready to get on with an enabler at a stage of the pandemic where we weren’t even sure of businesses sustaining, was conforming to his seriousness of growth. 

This is the headstart for culture in an organization. 

His daring step of taking up a coach to grow his business also resonated with his long-term vision and belief in the mission that his business was set to advance. The result was that the topline doubled in a year, his net profit tripled and the sales team grew fourfold. 

This is a clear example of what impact-focused coaching and enablement can have on a business entity. 

Q. What is the nature of your engagement with this entrepreneur and the company? 

We had a very simple nature of engagement that was continuous and consistent. We would be engaged at a specific time of the week, every week and only deal with one thing at a time. This brought a laser focus to the critical areas that needed our attention. 

The way we say in Martial arts, that a person who knows how to kick should practice it for 6 months and attain mastery over it, even in business we should expertize one area at a time. The commonality in dance forms, businesses and martial arts is simplicity. 

The simplicity of purpose, the simplicity of focus and the tenacity to focus. 

Q. What is the difference between mere coaching and enablement?

The emotion of involvement is what draws the line between sheer coaching and enablement. Rather than trying to part meaning between those terms, it makes sense to look at the impact a certain type of engagement can have. 

When we say enablement, it means that we build focused engagement for all processes and challenges that require our attention. It could be getting prospects, making conversions happen or building the right culture. The primary difference between coaching and enablement, the way I see it, is that we have the opportunity to enable a team to build culture as a way of life and not as a response tactic. At a fundament level, the coach and the entrepreneur would share a rapport where the ideas hold primary importance that is communicated with diplomacy and emotional intelligence. 

Change happens at the top line first and then flows vertically downward. 

Closing remarks – 

Imagine a company where communication happens without apprehensions and the team rejoices in contentment, that is the organizational values that we enablers hold ourselves true to. I have also worked with SaaS-based tech organizations where the primary focus is to build emotionally intelligent teams that strike the balance between product and people. 

Anything superficial, be it on LinkedIn or in the business arena, fizzles out. An entrepreneur, a business and a team can’t fake their intention. The intention creates a connecting movement that the entire organization remains in tandem with and this is the culture that seeps in at all levels, irrespective of the size of the company. 

To quote Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook,

I think as a company if you can get those two things right — having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff — then you can do pretty well.” 

Mr Dinkar Rao is the Managing Director at Groval Euler’s Consulting, enabling organisations to build a high-performance Sales and Service Culture. He believes in Leadership Culture Creation for Better Growth. You can reach out to him on his email ID – [email protected].

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