Track Record

Experience

The following is a non-exhaustive set of cases which only represent a sample of work done. They are provided on a no-name basis as we maintain client confidentiality at all times.

Consumer Goods & Services

Firms operating in consumer markets increasingly face both new opportunities and new challenges due to sudden and discontinuous shifts. Players at every stage of the value chain – manufacturers, brand owners, and channel members at every level – are being impacted by demographic, social and technological changes.

Over a number of assignments, I’ve developed growth strategies for clients based on change-focused research through a mix of quantitative and qualitative research among consumers (“Voice of Customer”), trade channels (“Voice of Trade”) and manufacturers (Industry/ Sector profiling). This has helped clients focus on specific/niche customer needs and adopt new business models that can take advantage of growth opportunities, while adapting to today’s intense competitive pressures.

  • Strategic Plan for a large diversified Indian manufacturer of consumer products such as luggage, toys and furniture.
  • Strategic Review for a line of OTC nutrition products from a multinational pharmaceutical and foods manufacturer.
  • Market entry and financial feasibility assessment for a large industrial house in the UAE wishing to enter the dairy and fresh juice business.
  • Market entry and Financial feasibility assessment for a large industrial house in the Sultanate of Oman wishing to launch a range of bottled mineral water.
  • Corporate Plan for a major newspaper and magazine publishing group
  • Consumer Home Services Offering Design and Market Entry Strategy for a Major Global Telco

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Industrial Goods & Services

Industrial products are characterized by large volumes, commoditization, capital intensive plants, sold to industrial and processing customers and distinguished by a very high degree of price elasticity. Industrial companies are facing new pressures and find it increasingly difficult to squeeze out a competitive edge that provides adequate returns from their existing business models. The shift of focus is generally towards niche large-margin products typically made for specific customers.

Global consolidation is also beginning to have an effect on the Indian market, which is both extremely competitive and highly fragmented. It is also characterized by lower affordability and emphasis on basic manufactures. Companies would have to increasingly enhance their marketing and retailing capability in addition to developing brands and proprietary products to ensure long-term growth and profitability in this sector.

Industrial products are also characterized by relatively low investment demand and under-capacity or over-capacity cycles. It is inextricably linked to the infrastructure projects being set up in the country. As a result the fortunes of companies in this sector are directly linked to the general state of economy, with a less than modest rate of economic growth resulting in a downward spiral in growth and profitability.

I have in-depth understanding of the dynamics of this sector and have delivered a range of assignments providing macro-environment assessments, industry assessments and market research on products, segments and channels, feasibility studies, corporate plans, business plans, growth strategy, business models, operating models, organization design, capability assessments and roles/responsibility definitions.

My intensive experience covers sectors such as: Cement, Power Equipment (Power Transformers, Power Cables, LV Switchgear, Meters), Telecom cables, Chemicals (Bulk Pharma, Leather and Textile Dyes & Chemicals, Essential Oils), Ceramic Flooring and Sanitary Ware, Office Furniture and Office Partitioning, Auto ancillaries, and Telecom.

  • Strategic Review of Indian Temperature-Controlled Logistics (TCL) Market
  • Diversification Study for a large Indian manufacturer of heavy electrical products
  • Corporate Strategy and Transformation one of India’s largest electrical industry conglomerates
  • Strategy Review for a multinational dyes and chemicals manufacturer.
  • Corporate Plan creation for a producer of ceramic products.
  • Business Strategy and Transformation exercise for Indian automobile ancillaries company.
  • Multi-Country Market Assessment of the PSA Tapes industry in four Asian countries
  • Financial feasibility assessment of bottled LPG business for a large Omani industrial house
  • Business Case Creation for a spice oleoresin extraction project for Omani investment company.
  • Market Assessment of Slag Cement Usage in India for a large Cement manufacturer.
  • Demand forecasting for Cold Rolled Steel in 20 target industries.
  • India Market Entry Assessment for a large Japanese Telco

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Nonprofits

All nonprofits face the same basic challenge: how to use available resources to maximize social impact. Social needs are endless, and as a result nonprofits are pulled in many directions to address social needs. Nonprofits of all sizes must prioritize their activities in order to best direct limited resources. Equally, they also have to optimally use their resources through efficient operations. The choice between these sometimes conflicting objectives is usually decided on the basis of what action provides the most benefit to the nonprofit’s beneficiaries. The organization’s strategies and action plans therefore have to be developed through a rigorous process that achieves the optimal mix of resource balancing and beneficiary benefits.

My approach to strategic planning and implementation in this space therefore is extremely organization-centric, since successful development and execution will depend on understanding and working with the mix of skills, attitudes, services and financial resources unique to each client. The planning processes that I drive are extremely participative, and are based on a far greater usage of inter-personal discussions (team meetings, interviews and workshops) than would be used in a more ‘corporate’ setting. Alongside this empathetic approach I use high-performance strategy models that I’ve imbibed from my time at global consulting firms delivering engagements across multiple sectors and client cultures.

  • Creation of India Country Strategy for US NGO
  • Strategy Implementation for Indian branch of US NGO, including Change Planning and Support
  • Restructuring of Global Secretariat of International NGO in the UK
  • Business Model and Business Plan for Indian affiliate of INGO
  • Affiliate auditing parameters and Audit Tool development
  • Establishment of Governance – Structure and responsibilities

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Government

Government public services such as healthcare, transport, urban services, etc. are often in a state of financial distress. Public impatience with poor quality service, and reduced government support has driven an increasing acceptance of the need for public agencies to be run on quasi-commercial lines.

One route taken by several governments to reducing the financial burden on the public exchequer, while improving service quality and financial performance, has been disinvestment of government owned/public sector undertakings. Major policy changes in all the infrastructure sectors have also led to a re-look at the strategy by all the major players. In addition, there is an increasing awareness of the need by many organizations of bringing in international best practices.

I have carried out several assignments for government-owned and operated companies, and quasi-government agencies, that required services such as Public Opinion Surveys (Services Gaps and Quality of Services), Feasibility Assessments for Public Services, Strategic Planning for Public Organizations. Change Management and Pre-Divestment Support.

  • Department of Posts – Collaboration Opportunity Assessment
  • Business Planning for a large government-owned public transport company in the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Assessment of the feasibility of a post delivery system for the Ministry of Communications in Oman
  • Review of Yemen export market for large nodal export promotion agency
  • Strategic review of cooperative sector for Indian Cooperative Bank
  • Coastal Tourism Development Potential Assessment for State Tourism Development Agency

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Hotels & Retail Real Estate Development

Retail Space Development

Lifestyles and spending patterns have radically changed over the past decade. Driven by an expansive media,the average Indian household now provides new business to retailers. As a result, large Indian and overseas retail chains are busy establishing themselves in most towns, with mini metros and key district towns being the targets after showcase metro locations, due to the cheaper real estate.

As the industry is characterized by low margins and high growth, companies need to respond to the trends in consumer lifestyle and behaviour, and in India a focus on the mass market, with an emphasis on providing value for money and generating loyalty for repeat purchasing, generates volumes. Thus developing operational scale and developing the appropriate retail concept are both critical.

A number of formats exist in this sector, not all of which have found favor with the Indian shopper, who balances the convenience and low prices of a neighbourhood ‘kirana’ (unorganised) store with the quality and variety offered by a more organised competitor. Retailers must therefore research shopping behaviour in detail.

For Retail and Other Property projects, we provide:

  • Sizing and valuation of retail catchment areas
  • Consumer behavior
  • Estimation of traffic potential
  • Product/ Tenant/ Facility mix
  • Business Modeling
  • Financial Projections
Leisure & Tourism Space Development

Leisure activities are a key economic driver in India after decades of development efforts. Domestic tourism is expected to be a key growth driver, along with specialty international tourism niches such as heritage tourism, health tourism and eco-tourism. Developers can actively look to tap into this growth avenue by providing quality facilities and services to the increasingly discerning and value-conscious domestic and international traveler.

Along with tourism, leisure activities driven by lifestyle choices and consumerism-driven spending are also emerging as a huge growth area across all geographies. Configuring developments with the right concept mix and facility mix is increasingly vital to ensuring the financial success of any project.

For Leisure & Tourism projects, we provide:

  • Review of Tourism and Leisure/Lifestyle trends
  • Concept identification and concept testing through User/Visitor research
  • Location /Site recommendations
  • Market-driven Facility Configuration
  • Visitor Volumes estimates
  • Assessment of Space/Room Volumes, Mix, ARR
  • Financial Projections based on Revenue and Cost Modeling
  • Hotel Market Review & Feasibility study for Retail Development for International Hotel Chain
  • Market Review and Concept Development for Mixed-Use Development
  • Market Review & Feasibility study for City Beach Resort
  • Financial Feasibility Assessment Of A Mall Expansion
  • Market Review & Concept Development For A Mall Redesign
  • Property market review for a large International Property Development Company
  • Feasibility Study & Market Entry for a Pharmaceutical Retail Chain
  • Profiling the Indian Hospitality Sector For A Major Hotel Chain

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Education & Training

There is an increasing appreciation of the potential in the education sector. While public-private partnerships (PPP) are a possible model to adopt, there has to be a clear business case to assure success. Thus education is also coming under the purview of professional business managers.

I can mobilize immense experience in conceptualizing and establishing educational institutions, addressing academic, operational and strategic issues from my experience in consulting to the education sector.

Strategic Planning for Institutions
  • Assessment of viability
  • Route map for establishment
  • Design of marketing programs amongst target segments to achieve student enrollment
  • Business/Financial planning for private educational institutions
  • Developing innovative business models to ensure self-financing operations
  • Establishing achievable targets for returns on investment
Operational Assistance
  • Curriculum Development
  • Non-traditional and technology-aided blended learning
  • Academic structure
  • Organization formation and structure
  • Roles, Procedures & Best Practices
Online Training
  • Online course platform selection
  • LMS selection and configuration
  • Content creation
  • Feasibility Assessment & Business Case for an International Educational Network entering India
  • Financial and Operating Feasibility Assessment of a Tertiary Level Management Training Institute
  • Design and Execution of a Pre-hire Skills Assessment and Vocational Training System for Entry-Level Hires
  • Creation of Online Business Training Courses for Advanced Audience
  • Development and Launch of Learning Website on WordPress

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Banking

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  • Strategic Review Of A Major European Bank
  • Organization Structure Revamp For A Large Cooperative Sector Indian Bank

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IT Enabled Services (ITES)

The IT-Enabled Services (ITES) industry is one of India’s success stories, with turnover almost doubling from US$ 95 Billion in 2011 to approximately US$ 180 Billion this year (source: Nasscom). A key plank in its success is the availability of high-quality well-educated Indian manpower, at a cost far below their counterparts abroad. This foundation looks increasingly vulnerable as talent pools dry up, and the lack of resources to fill agent seats leads to companies ‘poaching’ entry level talent from each other, and paying ever higher salaries to retain their staff. In this environment, talent sourcing and talent management become key capabilities, and innovative approaches can yield high returns.

Some of the deliverables I have created:

Strategic Assessment & Online Hiring Initiatives
  • Originated and developed a robust process to identify and assess development/retail-delivery training organizations. Developed evaluation tools.
  • Outsourced the piloting to external partner organizations, managed the evaluation, short-listed 2 usable organizations.
  • Devised and led a benchee retraining program that has reduced CUA bench levels using external vendors, leading to reduction in non-revenue generating headcount.
  • Set up and leading a team to develop a standardized Competency test to assess English language communication skills with the potential to save ~US$1,000 per capita in direct hiring expenses.
  • Developed and structured a comprehensive and integrated operational model for pre-hire training through external partners. Program launched and found to provide 10X improvement in hiring success rates.
  • Structured and developed a pioneering 50 hour training course developing key competencies in a new audience segment. Development included courseware, trainer-ware and student selection tools. Developed and implemented SOP guidelines on branding, IPR, copyright, risk exposure. Negotiated acceptance of course and operational model by target State body and managing testing / rollout program.
Facility Location Initiatives
  • Led a team to assess entry options for the selection of new sites on a pan-India basis, evaluating options based on demographic aspects and incentives offered by local regulatory bodies. Developed data-based business decision model.
  • Reviewed short-listed locations in detail to evaluate site-specific real estate entry options such as leasing, purchase, self-owned, build-to-suit, joint venture, etc.