Business Growth Driver #3 – Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement. Emerging businesses often face challenges when it comes to hiring the right people, building a formidable team and, more importantly, retaining talent. Building an efficient talent pool that is capable of taking on job responsibilities independently is essential to drive growth.

One way of addressing the majority of people-related issues is enhancing employee engagement. Watch this short video to learn 3 specific ways to boost employee engagement and have more productive employees. To get an overview of the 7 Business Growth Drivers click here.

5 Ways to be a more customer centric company

Business Growth Pillar #1 – Be Customer Centric

Customer centric companies have 2x higher average revenue vis-a-vis companies that are not according to a recent EY report. Welcome to first in a series of seven business growth pillars that can help your company scale up. So here are 5 ways to be a more customer centric company.

Customer centric BUSINESS GROWTH PILLAR #1

Let me share a personal story where I got very present to the need to be a customer centric company. I used to be in the rice business, over a decade back. We took part in an exhibition where we had an opportunity to interact with our end customers, and typically, those were housewives. Over three days we interacted with over 2,000 housewives. And we kept on asking them: “Why do you buy our rice? We got some surprising feedback.

90% of the housewives said that they loved our product because the rice was fat. Yes you read that correctly: FAT!

So we started to look into this deeper, and we looked at what did that mean for the rice to be fat? And we were able to identify that one cup of our raw rice was able to produce four cups of cooked rice.

We found out that the competitor’s rice was only able to produce two and a half cups of cooked rice. So our brand was delivering tremendous value. This is something that we had never even communicated to our customers. It’s our customers who were happy with the product, telling us this why they were buying our rice.

This new insight completely changed the way in which we marketed our product. We found a way to articulate the reason why customers bought our rice in our marketing and sales. We were able to grow our revenues by over 100% because of this new insight.

So let’s cover 5 simple ways in which your company can be more customer centric.

1. Customer Centric Companies Get feedback

Proactively take feedback from your customers. And in this day and age, it’s so much easier. Use tools like Survey Monkey for online surveys.

Use every customer interaction to solicit feedback. For a customer centric company, feedback is the breakfast of champions.

2. Customer Centric Companies Use CRM

Customer Relationship Management software helps you be more customer centric. Every time you have an interaction with either a prospect or an existing customer, always have it recorded. CRM software helps you manage this easily.

I personally use a free cloud based software called Hubspot. This software helps me track the interaction from a lead, qualify a prospect and then turn into a sale. This is a great way to track how many leads you have and the status on each.

Other good ones to consider out there include:

Staying in touch with existing customer and prospects is an important part of marketing. You can use some simple email marketing options like:


Top 5 Entrepreneurship lessons from Uday Kotak

How Your Business Can Thrive in Uncertain Times

Uday Kotak shared his top 5 lesson on entrepreneurship at the Ascent Conclave 2016 #ascentconclave16.

One of the keys to success is to build a customer centric business. Uday highlighted how he was able to spot opportunities in the bill discounting and car financing businesses when he started. He understood the customer pain points and developed profitable solutions that met customer needs.

1. When something is too good to be true, it usually is.

It may not sting now, but will sting later. So go into the details carefully and keep watching it carefully.

2. It is never as good as it looks, it is never as bad as it looks.

When things look up it’s never that good, ditto when things are down. The ability to not get carried away is important. Go after opportunities but he grounded. Getting over optimistic leads to the downfall. Keep an equilibrium.

3. Your biggest enemy is success.

Because you are successful in the past, don’t believe you will be successful in the future. Never live in the past.

4. Cultivate 3 human qualities

A good company needs to have 3 human qualities in place to succeed in an uncertain future:


The 7 Pillars for Scalable Business Growth

How many of these 7 Pillars in your company using?

Are you ready to scale up your journey as an entrepreneur and grow your business even faster? Then you need to have these seven pillars of business growth in place.

business growth

In this particular blog I’m going to give you an overview of the seven pillars and then in subsequent blogs, I’m going to go into each pillar in more detail and give you some very practical tips that you can deploy right away in your business to start scaling up.

So let’s look at the 7 pillars of business growth:

Business Growth Pillar #1: Be a customer centric company.

Is your company customer centric? Does it really understand your customer? Why? A recent EY report showed that customer centric companies have revenues that are two times higher on average than companies that are not customer centric.

So do you really understand your customers, their needs, their desires, their wants and are you producing products and services aligned to that? Because if you are, then you will have a queue of people lining up to want to be customers of yours.

Business Growth Pillar #2: Segregate your core and non core operations.

What are the core that makes you amazing as a company? What do you do really well? Recently had an opportunity to meet the founder of Marico Industries, Mr. Harsh Mariwala and he was very clear about this.

He said, “Our core is marketing and innovation and that’s something that we completely focus on.” The rest, administration, production, he’s looking to completely outsource that. Click here to see that interview in detail: Interview with Mr. Harsh Mariwala

So have you segregated core and non core functions?


The 7 Growth Drivers to Scale Up Your Business

Use these to grow faster, stronger and better

The 7 Growth Drivers to Scale Up Your Business

  1. Be customer centric.
  2. Segregate core & non-core business activities.
  3. Develop a 2nd line of leadership that is independent & accountable. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners. Learn the 7 steps to successful delegation here.
  4. Use a total rewards mechanism to engage & retain talent.
  5. Finance – be ready for strategic acquisitions.
  6. Risk management.
  7. Technology – use it to strategically drive growth.

Stay tuned for more detailed videos in this series where I look into each growth driver in more detail over the next few weeks.

Leave a comment below with which growth driver you are going to focus on to scale up your business in 2017.



TREND #10 : World Wide Wealth

Here’s Trend #10 after 10 days ,out of the Top 10 Business Trends for 2017 ! This one is my favourite. In 2017 a series of buggies will land on the moon – the first time since the US and USSR moon landings in the 1970s left five buggies up there.

Top 10 Business Trend for 2017 - #10 World Wide Wealth

Trend # 10: World Wide Wealth

While the old buggies were operated by astronauts, the new buggies will be remote controlled, and sent by private teams who are all competing for the $20m Google Lunar X Prize.

4 of the 17 teams have already hitched a ride on rockets, in a race to be the first to land, drive and send back photos. India’s Team Indus is heading up in India’s PSLV rocket. Israel’s SpaceIL and USA’s Moon Express have a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and this week Germany’s PT Scientist announced a deal with space brokers Spaceflight to get them on the moon in 2017.



Trend # 9: Return to Earth

Here’s Trend #9 out of the Top 10 Business Trends for 2017 : “Return to Earth”. We are at a tipping point which few are aware of – and it’s a positive one. After 100+ years destroying the planet, 2017 is the year we begin the irreversible return to a sustainable Earth.

Top 10 Business Trend for 2017 - #9 Return to Earth

Why? The rise in innovation, the drop in technology cost and the growing collective action to switch to renewable energy and reverse climate change are all converging to five major 2017 milestones:

1) Solar will permanently replace oil as the most investible energy industry:

Headlines in the last three months have included Elon Musk’s Tesla earning more profit in the last quarter than the entire US oil industry earned last year (technically correct as Tesla made $22 million while the US oil industry lost $67 billion last year) and the UK generated more electricity from solar than coal over the last six months (6.9GWh vs 6.4GWh).

In contrast, the oil and gas industry is seeing record losses, with a collective debt mountain that has now passed $3 trillion. The industry is now referred to by the media as the “doomsday market.”





Here’s Trend #8 out of the Top 10 Business Trends for 2017 I’m posting over 10 days: This is one of my favorites! Renaissance 2.0. 500 years ago Europe came out of the Dark Ages with entrepreneurs like the Medici Family bringing back the ancient wisdom of the Platonic Academy and Humanism, and sponsoring artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci to lift the human spirit.

Top 10 Business Trend for 2017 - #8 Renaissance 2.0

The age that became known as the Renaissance was based on artisanship and personalized masterpieces. Today, the same shift is taking place from mass production to customization, from information to inspiration and from transactions to transformations.

In 2017 we will be well into the rise of Renaissance 2.0 – Where all the best products, services and experiences are personalized.




Here’s Trend #7 out of the Top 10 Business Trends for 2017 I’m posting over 10 days: Mixed reality is the mix of reality, virtual reality and augmented reality. Within a year, we’ll all be in it.

Top 10 Business Trends for 2017 : Trend #7 Mixed Reality

Today you’re reading this post on a Facebook Wall. In a year, you’re more than likely going to be reading, watching or connecting in a virtual Facebook Room.


Last month Mark Zuckerberg did the first live demo of what he called “Social VR”, where he went from the Oculus Connect 2016 stage in front of the audience, to Mars, to his office, to his home.

Within a few minutes he did everything with his two demo buddies from playing chess, to sword fighting, checking messages and ending with a selfie of his VR self with his real dog (called Beast) and his wife, Priscilla (who made a video call to his virtual self and asked him “Why do you look like Justin Timberlake?”).

2016 was the year that all the major VR and AR platforms launched (Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, HTC Vive and Playstation VR). They join smartphone headsets like Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, growing the number of people using VR headsets to 20 million by the end of 2016.