Chennai, Oct. 26
"GLOBALISATION, information technology and the consumer revolution have combined to create fundamental changes in the competitive dynamics of every industry," said Mr K.S. Ramesh, Executive Director and CEO of CavinKare Pvt Ltd, in his presidential address at `PowWow '05', a management symposium organised by the department of management studies, Hindustan College of Engineering, Chennai, under the aegis of the Business Line Club.
Elaborating on the theme of his talk, "Managerial challenges for emerging business opportunities," he said, "The challenge of growth, costs, customer, quality, execution, ideas and talent," are the key challenges today.
While talking about the superiority of the Chinese over the Indians in the field of manufacturing, he said, "We do not have the willingness to invest in scale like the Chinese."
On the costs challenge, he emphasised that the need of the hour is "price-led costing and not cost-led pricing," as that is one of the prime requisites of competitive advantage for any organisation.
He said that organisations needed to "squeeze out non-value adding costs via benchmarking."
Criticising most companies for paying lip service to investments in R&D and product testing, he said that global companies invest three per cent of their revenues in R&D.
He also pointed out the fact that the US consumer goods giant P&G's product, Tide, underwent 70 changes in 43 years.
Not sparing management graduates, Mr Ramesh said that "MBAs do not want to soil their hands," which is necessary for the execution of plans.
He said that the head of Compaq used to spend 20 days among customers and that demonstrated commitment for execution.
Asking HR executives not to call the selection of human resources required for the organisation "as head count but to call it as brain count," he emphasised that organisations should look for people with brains and not just heads to fill the vacancies.
In the panel discussion that followed on the same topic, Mr G. Ramachandran, financial analyst, and moderator for the panel discussion, said that organisations needed to "dispense with the practice of equating man with money and machine." Man is a sensitive and precious resource and therefore deserves the best of the treatment.
The other participants on the panel discussions were Dr Ravichandran, ED, Pentasoft, Mr Srinivasan, a HR consultant, Mr Rajendra Kumar, MD, Auro Ace Management, Mr Kumaraswamy, HR consultant, and Mr Abhishek Dubewar, Sales Development Manager, Pepsico India.
Students from various B-Schools from different parts of Chennai attended the symposium.
Besides Mr Ashok Verghese, Joint Director of the Hindustan Group of Institutions, Dr Francis C. Peter, Principal, and Dr Christine Palani attended the symposium.