Innovation through Differentiation: Insights from a 39-Year Career Spanning Multiple Industries


39 Years of Professional Work Life: Learning and Experiences

The first and most important thing I learned was that meeting customers on the ground is of paramount importance. The ground experience is the foundation on which any successful business stands. It gives one a chance to understand the needs of customers and how their products or services can satisfy them. 

Throughout my career, I have worked in various industries, including media, entertainment, and consumer durables. However, what I am most proud of is launching and turning around businesses from scratch in tier 2/3 markets and making them profitable. I would like to share some of my key learnings with you.

Firstly,Meeting customers in person is very important for any business to succeed. This is because it allows you to understand their needs and preferences better. When you understand what customers want, you can tailor your products or services to meet their needs. This way, you can create a strong relationship with your customers and make them happy. Happy customers are more likely to return and recommend your business to others. By meeting your customers on the ground, you can also get valuable feedback that can help you improve your products or services. So, it’s crucial to prioritize meeting customers in person to build a successful business.

Secondly, It’s important to value the relationships you have with your colleagues, trade partners, and customers. These people can inspire and support you when you need it. It’s important to build strong connections with them so you can work well together and achieve your goals.

Thirdly, To be successful, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. This is where differentiation comes in. By highlighting what makes your product or service unique and valuable, you can set yourself apart from competitors. Regularly training on these unique selling points is crucial, as it helps you stay on top of your game and demand higher prices from the market. This means you can make more money for the same amount of work, which is a win-win situation.

Fourthly, customers are more interested in the value you offer. Value creation exercises must be done very often to keep evolving them from time to time.

Fifthly, disputes with trade partners must be settled quickly to ensure more consistency in the business.

Sixthly, products and brands need consistent attention and regular communication with the end consumers. If this is not done, it puts more pressure on the sales team.

Seventhly, employees need higher energies and more respect. If you cannot take care of your employees, your customers shall suffer.

Eighthly, teams need continuous training, and if that is not done, one will be at the mercy of the gods.

Ninthly, the positioning of products and services is the organization’s job. If it is not done, every customer shall perceive it differently, and the competitive space shall be missed.

Tenthly, people want growth, money, training, respect, space, and nothing at the cost of others.

Eleventhly, finding passion in one’s work makes it interesting; otherwise, it is a pain in the ass.

Twelfthly, appraisals must be objective, and regular feedback on their work and how they can improve must be given.

Thirteenthly, reasons to praise must be found, but it must not be done for the sake of it. When you praise, praise in public, send them notes, and if it is handwritten, that’s an emotional connection you make with your team.

Fourteenthly, connecting with the families of your team builds emotional bonds and helps you get the family’s support. It ensures that people can be their best version while working.

Fifteenthly, as a CEO or promoter, helping people make more money, growing them, building and creating an atmosphere to live an aspirational life is essential. Everybody has aspirations, and one should know how to tap them.

Sixteenthly, regular training and incentives for good performance are booster doses. The worlds’ best training in your industry should be given to your employees.

Seventeenthly, encourage your teams to read books. Have a culture of book sessions once every quarter.

Eighteenthly, keep improving product/brand/training offerings. Small changes are big gains when you see their compounding effects.

Nineteenthly, when you are 4 on performance and keep the team of 3, your performance shall come down to below 4. But when you are at 4 and your team is at 5, you will grow your performance to more than 4.

About Author : Mr. Harrish M Bhatia is the President of Sales and Marketing at Dainik Bhaskar Group. He has a successful career of 38 years and has worked with several well-known corporations in the consumer durable and media & entertainment sectors. He has been associated with Dainik Bhaskar Group for over 20 years and has led the launch of several successful initiatives, including 94.3 MY FM. He is a respected corporate leader, author, and opinion maker, and has won many awards for his innovative marketing strategies. He is also a mentor and guest lecturer, and has authored two books.


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