In the past 12 years of pavement pounding and boardroom hustling, I have had the honour of doing business with the biggest companies in India. Nothing compares to the experience of dealing with Tata companies. For me personally, coming from a traditional Marwari (trader) family, this is special – it helps me juxtapose my Marwari training vs. how a corporation like Tata thinks and behaves.
My Salt tastes better than yours!
The best way to explain this is to narrate a conversation I had with Sam Balsara of Madison Media a few years back. Sam was invited by a Mega Marwari Corporation (MMC) for a chat to help create a Salt Brand. Sam was asked by the grey haired senior executive, ‘how much money would it cost to build India’s greatest salt brand?’ Sam thought for a moment and said ‘Say 20-30 crores (4-6 million US$) in media spends. Assuming your product is great, that should take you to the top’. Mr. Grey Hair heard this and almost fell off his chair…