Since my younger days I have been exposed to the challenges faced by a marketing professional. This was mainly due to my father who is an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India. He is presently the Head of the Petrochemical Marketing Task force at Indian Oil Corporation, India’s only fortune 500 companies. I have had an opportunity to have a close look at a wide range of challenges faced by the senior management in the petrochemical industry in India. Almost, all of my experiences were provided by my father.
I was also fortunate to have a close look at the triumphs and tribulations faced by an entrepreneur. This was primarily due to my mother. Inspire of being a Doctorate in Pharmaceutics she had a head of an entrepreneur. She set up a small factory, which manufactured Polypropylene-TQ film for garments packing. She being the Managing director, I was involved in it right from the beginning.When I say beginning it really means right from printing letterheads to filling loan application forms to getting certificates from the pollution control board etc. Considering the fact that I was only 15 years old when my mother started this unit, I had become far more knowledgeable. With regards to setting up a factory than any of my classmates or students my age at that time. I was amazed at the fact that we had to go through 54 inspections from various governmental and financial institutions before we could make the first bag.
Most of our customers when garment exporters. The image of our company grew very fast, due to the high quality standards we had set ourselves. It was a time when traditionally plastic bag manufacturers were not even graduates. They would very often provide substandard quality and slash prices to attract companies. This was the time we faced stiff competition from these players who undercut our orders by using the industry’s favorite malpractices. The professional that my mother was, she refused to budge and apply the same tactics. By this time we had one of the largest production facilities in our state. We started running only one shift instead of two shifts due to the loss of orders. My mother had set high moral standards and she was very conscious about the image her company presented. At the time we had three managers and twenty operators working for us. Inspire of facing tremendous pressure from financial institutions for the monthly installments and the wage bill, she refused to lay off employees. We barely could stay a float.
At this crucial point my father came up with a suggestion of contacting prospective customers who were 100% Export Oriented Units (EOU). That was it, the tide changed in our favor. As we had anticipated and desperately hoped, these EOU companies were highly quality conscious. They inspected our plant; they particularly noted the Klockneer Windsor (Germany) machines we were using, which was the best in the industry at that time. They were extremely impressed with our company and decide to give us a large percentage of their orders. Their prime concern was quality and not price. I must say this concept of their really worked for us. We slowly started running two shifts and cleared our loans in three years time. This face of five years really imbibed in me the value of good business ethics and how to keep your head high in times of adversity. Today I see a successful and satisfied woman entrepreneur considering expansion of her company into a highly specialized packing industry.
I completed my schooling at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore, India. From there on I went to the state of Gujarat in India, which has the highest concentration of chemical industries in Asia. Here, I completed my Bachelor’s in Chemical engineering. During the course of my four-year Bachelor’s course, I participated in a number of programs, which helped me interact with the industries and also implement some of my own fundraising schemes at the college level. In my third year of college I was elected to a student body of the Indian institute of Chemical engineers. When I attended my first meeting of this student’s chapter, I was total that the basic objective of this body is to organize expert lectures for the benefit of chemical engineering students. I had observed that this student’s chapter had done almost the same type of things since its inception 5 years ago. I felt the need to change the functions of this body. I had a plan of making this chapter a pioneer in organizing mega events, which involved students, scientists and industry experts from in and around the state of Gujarat.
I discussed this with a couple of my classmates at college. I was extremely happy to find them very enthusiastic to the idea. We got together and organized a meeting with our faculty. To our joy they accepted our proposal with just minor modifications. The next major obstacle was fundraising. In that particular year adequate funds were not faculty. To our joy they accepted our proposal with just minor modifications. The next major obstacle was fundraising. In that particular year adequate funds were not available for the chemical engineering department. We were given a mere $1000 as startup capital. This was just sufficient to make the pamphlets, which were required for announcing the event and Professors on the committee felt that what ever was written or printed was extremely important. Our team of students went out into the industrial belt for close to two months trying to convince the industry to participate in this event. I had a personal high during this fundraising campaign when I convinced Indian Oil Corporation, India’s only fortune 500 companies to be co-sponsor of the event. As funds accumulated we became more and more ambitions. We finally organized a three-day international chemical engineering student’s meet called collision 2000. We were overjoyed when the United Nations General Secretary Mr. Kofi Annan applauded of efforts in a letter sent to the Director of our college. My friends and I had finally realized our dream of a mega event, which involved the participation’s of over 75 colleges in Asia.
I had another opportunity to participate in fund raising when I was the Student Editor of my college newsletter in my third year of college. When I became the student editor of the college newsletter I observed that our college management dictated the size and content of the newsletter, as they solely funded it. I found that this was one of the reasons the content was considered boring by the college students. When I requested more autonomy and funds from the college management, they referred. At this point I decided to raise the funds myself. I got together with our student editorial board and the faculty convener to formulate a plan to generate funds. Together we implemented a three-step plan. First, we included the cost of the newsletter into the student’s semester fee. Second, since we were distributing free copies to our alumnus, we sent them letters of request for advertisements. Third, we formulated a subscription scheme for the future alumnus. To our surprise we almost covered 90% of the cost with these schemes. Looking at our enthusiasm the college management later on went on to allocate more funds for the newsletter. Today it has almost doubled in content and quality.
At the beginning of my fourth year I joined an oven sack manufacturing company as a project manager on a part time basis. This company is one of the largest Polypropylene-Raffia bag manufacturers in Western India.
They supply to all major cement manufacturers in India like Larsen & Toubro, ACC etc. I was part of the team, which was working on an expansion project. We were assigned a task of submitting a feasibility report on doubling the present capacity. During the end of the fourth year of my college we were assigned for industrial training. Since I was already a Project Manager in PP-Raffia bag manufacturing unit, I took up training at Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited, a major manufacturer of Petrochemicals in India. It has three complexes in three different locations in India. The complex at which, I was training was valued at one billion dollars. During my 18 weeks fully time training; I had a first hand experience of industrial work culture.
I trained for nine weeks at the Naphtha Cracker Plant and another nine weeks at the Polypropylene plant. During my training I prepared a Project report for setting up a Polypropylene plant of 75000 MT/annul capacities at a value of approx. 50 million 50 million dollars.
The present corporate scenario in India has made it almost compulsory for all marketing managers to have a MBA degree. This notion has been growing in importance since trade liberalization and DE-licensing of investment, which led jot a healthy growth of the Indian economy at the rate of 6% per annul during the 1990s. For example, the new economy has rapidly risen from nothing to account for almost 10% of the exports. This was primarily due to an onslaught of multinational companies entering India in the past 5 to 6 years. The new era in strategic marketing brought into India by these companies has almost changed the idea of traditional Indian marketing concepts. I personally believe that in the future I would have to do business with a number of multinational companies entering into the Indian market with a wide variety of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGS) and also with companies who are outsourcing their jobs.
This trend is only likely to increase in the future, as India has one of the largest English speaking populations in the world. Let me sit an example, until the 1990s India did not have any soft drink giants, today Pepsi holds 52% market share and Coke holds 48% A recent report by McKinney & Company estimates that India needs at least 8,000 new businesses to achieve its target of building an $ 87-billion Information Technology sector by 2008. Whom do you think these companies would be dealing with?. Their primary source of revenue would be undoubtedly the outsourcing assignments offered by multinational companies worldwide. The government of India has set a disinvestment target of approximately $2-billion in the current fiscal year. Whom do you think are the prospective buyers of the large Public sector organizations? The majority of prospective buyers of the large public sector organizations? The majority of these buyers are multinational corporations seeking to setup a foothold in India. Under this circumstance I strongly believe that if I have to compete with the new breed of transnational managers and market my company well, I would need a MBA from a good university to understand the various aspects of the way in which these multi nation companies conduct business.
Keeping in mind the need for a MBA degree, which has to be globally competitive in this global economy, I am more interested in coming to your University. I strongly believe that your esteemed university can offer me a combination of knowledge and exposure, which I am looking for in a MBA program. This is one of the prime reasons, which I am determined to take admissions in your MBA program specialized in marketing.
I believe that you will consider my application positively and would not deter me from this wonderful opportunity to taking up a MBA course in your esteemed university.
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