Thursday, December 22, 2011

The 7-points leadership style

He received the “Marketing Professional of the Year” award at the 2011 CMO Asia Awards ceremony in Singapore. And now, he enters the 4Ps B&M Hall of Fame 2011 with full honours

After his MBA in Marketing from IISWBM, Kolkata, Abhra Banerjee started his career with O&M, which he joined in April 1995. Two years later, he switched to ICI Paints, where he spent 10 years, rising from being a sales manager to Channel Marketing Controller, handling the company’s entire South East Asia affairs. Today, he spearheads Century Plyboards (I) Ltd. as its Executive Business Head. His goal, as he shared with anirudh raheja of 4PsB&M, is to make brand CenturyPly a billion dollar brand over the next two to three years.

Innovation has often been cited as the reason that CenturyPly has progressed. What do you innovate?
CenturyPly is a respected brand today, only because it offers innovation along with great quality of products and designs. It is arguably the most innovative wood panel industry brand in the country. Some of the innovations which are worth mentioning are GLP (Glue Line Protection) which kills borers and termites from within. This is an innovation, which the market has not yet been able to replicate. The company has also employed a battery of designers who bring out the latest design trends to India in Laminates and Veneers, faster than our competitors do.

Talking about innovation, you seem to have acquired the best manufacturing technologies available in your line of business...
We have achieved this due to our strong partnerships and linkages with manufacturing companies from whom we have acquired the technical know-how. Our senior management team comprising representatives from technical, production and marketing fields, attend all the major wood exhibitions of the world and are constantly on the look-out for the latest winning technologies. So we always keep our eyes open and make the quick, first move to stay ahead each time.

You deal with a natural resource, which is also a raw material for your business – wood. Does this very fact pose any challenge to CenturyPly?
Yes. We need to constantly look out for newer sources of raw materials. Wood is a scarce commodity and we are always on the lookout for newer avenues to source the same.

In July this year, you were felicitated with the ‘CMO Asia Award’ in the category of ‘Marketing Professional of the Year’ for ‘Excellence in Branding & Marketing’. What do you do to ensure that each employee at CenturyPly in the marketing and sales functions lives up to your high standards?
Every business exists for its consumers. The consumers agree to part with their hard-earned money by paying for the goods or services rendered by a business. Hence the company comes into existence. The marketing team of each company therefore helps to identify the proverbial ‘need-gaps’ within the target consumer segment, which the business unit can strive to fulfil and hence continue in its line of business. In our organisation, this ‘Marketing Focus’ or in other words, this ‘Consumer Focus’ is drilled into every member of the sales and marketing team and they are trained to listen to the ‘voice of the consumer’. This voice is then echoed across the length and breadth of the organisation so that the entire business evolves into a consumer-focused business unit.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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