By communicating with each other, we express our views and thoughts and also understand others. The interaction could be verbal or non verbal. While some people are born with good communication skills others need to work on them to improvise their skills. Interacting with another individual or a group, making presentations, giving public speeches, negotiating large deals, persuading a team, or mailing a client across the world, whatever be the method of communication, it needs to be effective, clear and concise. If you are good at communication then you will automatically own problem solving skills. here are 9 Ways to improve communication skills with focus areas like Conflict Resolving, Listening. Reading, Your Body Language,feedback, negotiation, asking question, notes, public speaking, communication skills, success, speech, public speaking
1.Listening: Some people think if they are fabulous speakers then they are good at communication, forgetting that listening is a very key factor in communication. And unless you are a great listener you cannot be a great communicator too. To be a good listener takes genuine interest in other peoples’ view points and perceptions, avoid distractions, make notes if you are unable to remember all that you listen, don’t interrupt another person while they are speaking, listen to them till they have finished without jumping into conclusions about what they might say. These are some of the practices you can adopt to become a good listener.
2. Read: Reading helps you to understand a language, the grammar, the way sentences are formed, helps you acquaint yourselves with jargons, opens up your mind to new perspectives, helps you learn new things, increases your creativity, and also enables you to be an interesting speaker. Sharing views with people you would like to have conversations with or just for the pure pleasure of your personality development, whatever be the reason, reading definitely brings you the benefits and improves your communication skills.
3. Watch Your Body Language: We not only speak verbally but also non-verbally. By understanding or reading a person’s body language such as their tone, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, etc you can decipher their true intentions or message. Body language helps you improve your understanding and communication by mapping others’ words with their body signals as it is believed that body language gives out what truly goes on inside of us. However, it is important to keep in mind that body language can also be influenced by various cultures.
4. Questioning Right: Asking questions is a crucial part of communication as it helps you understand the topic or point or matter clearly. It enables the exchange of information between people. Some of the various types of questions are open and closed questions, rhetorical questions, leading questions, funnel type, probing questions etc. Questioning right and also listening intently will help you while communicating and enhances your comprehension. 5. Negotiation: There maybe a situation where you may have to negotiate with another person or group to meet your goals and it is quite possible that the other person or group may also try to win the negotiation. Effective negotiation occurs when you listen well to others needs and perspectives; talk with an open mind, direct your interaction towards a win-win solution rather than trying to win at the other’s expense.
6. Making Notes: Sharing information or circulating the minutes of the meeting is one way to remember all points discussed and track them to closure. Prepare an agenda well before the meeting so that people can come prepared for the meeting, and everyone’s time is better utilized. Assigning owners for action items and informing them helps not only get the work done but also saves time in co-ordination.
7. Public Speaking: Addressing an audience requires preparation of the content to be presented either orally or by projecting the information on a screen. Be confident and make eye contact with the audience. Speaking slowly but clearly will ensure the audience are able to understand your message. Too much data or too many statistics may spoil your presentation. It is important you focus on the needs of the audience. 8. Receiving and Giving Feedback: Feedback forms a key role in communication. It helps the sender and the receiver improvise their communication or work. Being fair in your judgment also helps in enhancing working relationships and communicating further in a better way. A positive attitude towards feedback can get you that much nearer to success.
9. Conflict Resolving: Conflicts are a natural part of interaction and working relationships. If managed badly, conflicts can blow up businesses and profitable deals or relationships. Communicating in a polite but firm manner, focusing on resolving the conflict instead of focusing on the individual or group, exploring facts rather than basing decisions on assumptions etc are some of the ways communication can help resolve conflicts. Guest Blog by:
My son was fairly sure that he wanted to do Mechanical Engineering from his school days. But we as a parent were not sure how to select an institute for engineering entrance. Competitive exams, JEE, MHCET were words we had heard but never understood. We searched institutes and found out that finding right coaching institute is actually a hard task to do. Students get pushed after their friends or references and or the big advertisers. My son is a good student and I wanted an institute which could compliment him at his level of studies.
I noticed 2 major things about preparing for Engineering entrance exams @ selecting best coaching institute for Engineering or JEE.
First There are 2 ways for getting through the entrance. Home study and coaching institutes. Home study needs focus and discipline for 2 years. Which a student can do with great effort. Second is Coaching Institute for JEE. Coaching institute have planned study schedule, reviews by tests and a plan to ensure development test after test. In both the methods practice of key topics form an essential effort for success.
Second, coaching institutes usually have category of students in their batches. Best students study in one class, mediocre study in one class and rest all in one class. I am not against it, because what can bring results needs to be done. Category or no category, ultimately a student will reach his destination by clearing his or her engineering entrance.
While selecting the institute for my son & I found out the 5 important points which can help you what’s best for your kid before we could zero in on institute of our choice Pioneer tutorials www.pioneerclasses.com ,incidently pioneer specializes in Maths and science coaching since last 12 years.
What is the last years Performance of the institute?
We are target oriented people, we are joining the institute to make our kids engineer from a reputed college. It’s an investment in future and I would like to give 2 years to an institute which has a proven track record with results in what they do. Entrance coaching is costly for a middle class parent, so depending on your budget you have every right to ask for the results so that you don’t waste it on an institute which will use your money to stable itself.
Infrastructure & facility
Some institutes I found with best of facility but with ordinary teaching staff, some had excellent teaching staff with reasonable classrooms but were far away. We did not want our son to travel and get tired, so we had to choose an institute within 5 km radius of our home. Some renowned institutes had branches but the teachers were different.
Bunch of classes
We reviewed our options of Math’s at one place, Physics at another and Chemistry at next place. In addition to this a 4 th class for entrance exam was also there. Institutes with all subjects were also offering their best to the students. It was a confusing thing. Local teachers were offering equally good coaching but they did not offer all coaching under one roof. On the other hand, the all under one roof type of institutes were differently placed.
Sad but truth, that fees structure has got a lot to do with the kind of institute or coaching your kid is going to get. Your selection of institute will fairly depend upon the fees, it will not depend on the merit of your student. So finding a right institute with suitable environment for study as per your kid is important.
Method & Methodology
It is interesting to see what your institute can offer for studies. Tests, Reviews, Results, preparation for weak subjects, Improvements, and finally exercise which can prepare the student for the engineering entrance. Who can assure you of this, who can share their study plans with you, who can take personal interest in your kid’s study? These are the questions, when answered can help you decide engineering entrance coaching institute for your kid.
One more caution notice, my friend’s son had joined a physics coaching institute and after one month he asked for a change. Just like that, because he just didn’t want to go there. This taught me what not to do. We accepted what everybody was doing till one day we found out that his son didn’t understand a word there. I will consider my friend lucky as his son spoke to him about it and changed his coaching institute, otherwise he would have sat in the same class for a year without understanding anything and would have wasted his chance at engineering entrance test.
In my case we chose pioneer Classes because in the first interaction only the student counselor Debasmita Banerjee Phone no:86985 66773 detailed us about the facilities, introduced us to the grading and improvement process. Our queries were solved on the spot. We also met the staff and could form an opinion based on the last year’s results. The 4 centers offered us ease of distance. We could make a great choice, within our reach, within our expectations and from an institute which was ready to work as hard as the student himself. You can also contact www.pioneerclasses.com and get details.
Lastly, you are not doing the classes, your kid is. Find out what suits him. His friend circle, his environment and then place him in a class which comes close to his aspirations. Don’t force your opinions neither accept what everybody is doing, spend some time together for coaching classes, visit together, attend sample lectures, be sure, talk to staff, and then arrive at your institute. Don’t forget to create an environment which compliments his studies at home. If you want him or her to study , you need to keep everything study oriented at your home.
Let me share a little background from those days: In Maharashtra apart from the Leading Newspapers Like Lokmat & Sakal, smaller newspapers like (Akola) Deshonnati, (Nasik) Gaokari & (Kolhapur) Pudhari, (Aurangabad) Punyanagari have grown their organizations and retained their customer base. These newspapers are popular in their region and were providing healthy competition. When we decided to launch a newspaper, especially Marathi newspaper in Nagpur, we were skeptical about its place in top 10 Marathi newspapers. Launching business is just like bringing something to life and shaping it to your imaginations. Marketing plan of Deshonnati Nagpur was simple reach where no other newspaper reached, Marketing strategy was simple to ensure a penetration in villages up to 10000 population. Market research was done and marketing campaign to launch the newspaper began. Deshonnati with its launch became the only other newspaper to sell 100000 + copies in Vidarbha other than Lokmat. That was quite an achievement for a newspaper which has come from Akola to Nagpur.
How did team Deshonnati do It? How did they influence the minds of readers? How did they achieve seemingly impossible task of launching a Marathi newspaper with such a clear marketing objective? Selling more than 1 lakh copies in Vidarbha.
I Joined Deshonnati launch As DGM Circulation under Ravi tale who was Edition head for Nagpur. Our back end support system comprised of Umesh Sapdhare & Rajesh Rajore who shaped Deshonnati with their amazing efforts in last 2 decades. Working started with researching and making a list of villages with minimum 10000 populations. Our target was simple we, we wanted each village to have our copy. Simple.
A member of circulation team, Marketing team, Editorial team, Accounts collectively started visiting Districts, talukas, And villages as per the list. Ravi tale was leading from front with us for Appointing agents and reporters and correspondents. Unbelievable but we had 450 reporters+ agents in 5 districts of East Vidarbha even before we took out a newspaper. This number eventually went up to 650 in just 3 months of launch. Combined teams offered solving of all queries of the person on the spot. Leaving no questions for working. This was something unheard of in those days for a newspaper. All the existing newspapers had different people going to same person for different reasons like circulation, advertising, editorial.
Also with our decision to reach a village with 10000 populations, we found out that people were interested in letting their stories reach out more than us. We could reach villages which never got newspaper directly. We connected with such villages, appointed reporters, and weaved a commitment that their voice will be heard through Deshonnati.
The Deshonnati backbone System: Deshonnati had some very unique systems & marketing strategy for day to day working of a newspaper. They did not have marketing professionals nor any recovery executives. Surprising?
1) Each agent got a copy free on certain number of ordered copies.
2) Each month end, a review meeting was held at each district center, where reporters were reviewed for their news target and agents were reviewed for their copy & business target.
3) Next month’s planning & marketing targets were also given in same meeting.
4) Everyone at Deshonnati worked hard to remain in touch with reporters and agents for smooth achievement of targets.
5) All phone numbers of everyone in line till top management were open for issue & guidance.
6) All circulation payment made before 15th will attract a return bus fare from his town.
7) All payments done of advertisements before 15th will attract better commission than payment done after 20 days or 25 days.
8) We are used to business targets, in Deshonnati we had News target. Each reporter needed to contribute at least some news from his village or town.
9) The news targets were set as per the population & status of the town.
10) Nothing was kept pending.
11) At HO. If you gave a press note at the counter, you would get a receipt for the same.
12) If your press note is not published in 3 days, then you can call and follow up for the same.
13) If edit team felt that your press note has some issues, then you will receive a call from edit team for clarifications.
14) Deshonnati Published Diaries with pages starting from 1April to 31 march making it a different diary for reporters. This was a unique effort and till date a popular one.
15) In their Home town, Association of newspapers hawkers were appointed as the sole agents of Deshonnati. This advantage changed everything for their circulation objective. Absolutely best marketing strategy for any newspaper.
The product Deshonnati for East Vidarbha:
The agents now set. Distribution now set. What was the product plan? How was the product different from Akola? Deshonnati was a rural product, making it adaptable in Hindi speaking Vidarbha was a unique challenge.
Deshonnati brought in 6 Supplements 1) Krushakonnati – 1 out of 3 publications available for farmers 2) Crime Jagat – No daily newspaper still has a crime supplement 3) Atmonnati – Spiritual Suppliment 4) Vasundhara – Sunday Supplement 5) Sahityonnati 6) glamour
A bouquet of reading material for almost every day. Competitors had 2 or three supplements. Crime, Farming, and spiritual were all unique and wonderful supplements.
Deshonnati invested in talent for its city coverage. 16 + amazing persons covered City for Deshonnati, making it one of the best teams for city news coverage in Nagpur. Imagine the level of content generation at Deshonnati office with 50+ employees at HO, and 500 reporters in rural parts. That was amazing experience.
Deshonnati followed a simple rule, each news received, must be carried. If a reporter decides to abandon some news he should reason it out. This rule meant no more missing news, this meant better connect with people and simply better circulation. Reporters confidence was gained by this rule. Someone sitting in a remote village was also confident that he need not beg for his news to appear in Deshonnati. This was the biggest advantage Deshonnati had.
The Surprise Element of Deshonnati:
Even though it originated from a small town, deshonnati’s technology usage & equipment’s were at par with national newspapers of India. It is hard to believe but it’s true. We had News line 45 for Nagpur edition, which meant we could print all pages’ color, with supplement inserts and lot more. Technology Incharge Sanjay Gaur ensured that we were always matching pace with technology.
Deshonnati Nagpur was paperless. All news and pagination were done on line. This was not heard in 2002. We had most amazing software’s to work with. Deshonnati was one of the first in initial lot to go online. We had fastest internet at our regional centers who sent us ready pages, unlike other competitors who were needed to do the pagination at Nagpur. We could cover late night news coming from any point in 5 district with this advantage.
Nagpur City marketing campaign:
Nagpur city door to door marketing campaign was handled by a young manager Vilas Sapate, who could bring newspaper circulation of 20000 copies commitment for the launch. Again a record for a Marathi newspaper for those days.
Tough resistance was faced in city by competitors, resulting in newspaper not reaching the readers in first couple of days. Usual and expected. Slowly the city circulation picked up and Deshonnati instantly became no 2 in entire Vidarbha.
Newspaper circulation of 1 lakh 30 thousand from day one is something worth mentioning for those days. Having a sustainable product launch strategy keeping in view product, reach & marketing in close loop is again something unheard of for those days. Adding 650 persons to network is mammoth task for a newspaper which was unheard of in this part of Vidarbha.
People made Deshonnati.
Some of the Team members of Deshonnati launch: Umesh Sapdhare is Vice President Deshonnati, Rajesh Rajore is Heading an Edition, Ravi Tale is Editor Lokmat Akola Edition, Rajendra Uttalwar is now chief Reporter at Deshonnati, Premdas Rathod is with Lokmat Aurangabad, Kamlesh Wankhede is with Lokmat Nagpur, Naresh Dongre is with Lokmat Nagpur, Suresh Bhusari, Devidas lanjewar is with Divya Marathi Aurangabad. Entire young talented team in their mid-thirties and 40s now is extremely well placed and successful.
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The story of Launch of the Launches I’m going to share today is before Internet happened. But this is a very Interesting Story. Imagine, you are yet to launch a newspaper but have 450 dealers ready who paid a deposit of 50000 each and 38000 sold copies for a year without printing a single copy.This was done for the first time ever in India. Where conventional distribution system was bypassed and a new system was created for newspaper delivery. Never happened before and never happened again. One Innovative business model, which created and used an exclusive network of dealers & manpower for Newspaper distribution. It Not only could beat the current No 1 Newspaper but could successfully distribute the newspaper also on Day 1 which again is a difficult task.
Whose idea was it? Basically, it was a mixture of ideas. Launch method was taken from a different newspaper. The FMCG distribution pattern was rumored to be an invention of Ashish Kulkarni, who had incubated this idea for an Atta Brand, Param from Nagpur. And Above all, the quick and fast decision making of Director, Nimesh Maheshwari who believed that this team can make it happen. All the marketing was mentored by Sanjay Singh who ensured that the newspaper had enough standing on day 1. Today’s, Nagpur’s few prominent Journalists, started their careers here.
Navrashtra, the launch was of epic proportions for Nagpur. It was the launch of the launches. The scale was mammoth for those days. We believed in the Prepaid method, you buy a subscription and we will give you a free gift worth same rupee value on the spot with the subscription voucher. We had 4 schemes 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and one year’s prepaid subscription. For Circulation, 4 50000 to 6 lakh households were targeted in Nagpur alone. 850 boys were deployed for the door to door campaigns in 17 different clusters market geographically in 123 wards of Nagpur. I was heading Cluster 3 with 55 boys.
123 wards of Nagpur were divided into 17 Clusters. Each Cluster had a Manager and a team. I was heading cluster 3, which brought some 25% + franchise in the fold. Cluster no 1, 2 were west Nagpur and were considered hi potential ones. My Teams working was exemplary and we shared every meal together throughout the launch. For dealerships, a team of 5 – 7 executives worked simultaneously to appoint a 3-4 franchise in one ward based on its population. For 123 wards we expected 450 franchises would come. Our offer was simple, you deposit an interest-free 50000/- with us and you will be appointed as a franchise for a particular area of that ward. Our team would do the door to door survey and sell prepaid newspaper subscriptions in your area. A franchisee will then be responsible for distributing the newspapers designated in his area. We had given a minimum business guarantee also, till a fixed number of copies. Any franchise was supposed to earn a fixed amount, in case he doesn’t, we had promised to pay the difference.
Initially, everyone was involved in franchise making, till the actual campaign in the area of The franchise started. We Had our 3 storied office at Wardha Road. The major hurdle was that the newspaper was not yet printed. We were not using the name of our parent publication and thirdly we had promised a number of services like courier, Milk, Grocery, and other essentials to the franchise to keep the business model afloat. We were so confident that we had given a minimum business guarantee, which brought in some unsuitable crowd of franchisee who were not ready to work.
We started our marketing campaign after 350 franchisees, In the process, we had to postpone the launch also for some time. Due to the extension, a lot of franchisees wanted their money back thinking if the paper would come or not. A mega meeting of all 400 franchises was arranged at a Marriage hall and dashing Sanjay Singh, our General Manager faced the angry crowd of 400 people with such grace and conviction that he could actually convince them all. Believe me, He did what he set out to achieve. I’m a fond witness of that day’s entire process. We were worried about a lot of possibilities. We ourselves could not digest the delay as it was making us look untrustable. But Sanjay Singh replied to each and every query and stood there in front of them.All, when the franchise were against us. He won hearts that day with his efforts.
How we started our circulation campaign:
We had to rent a marriage hall to manage the campaign & gifts. We started with the training of the boys and girls. We showed them products which we had planned against subscriptions and showed them how to sell them. Each Cluster In-charge was given a Tata Sumo and we carried our daily stock in that. Each Morning team would reach a campaign location and work thoroughly in that area. End of the day, receipt books were given back and money was deposited. We used to work in 2 shifts, Morning & evening.
My cluster 3 was special, we were a family. We had achievers and people who were never defeated. Our sales figures were always highest on any given day. Hardly 2 – 3 boys quit our group in the entire campaign. One of our campaigners then went on to become Most successful RJ and today heads a radio Station in India. Such was the extraordinary crowd. One Guy committed suicide and that was the loss which I could never forget till date.
We walked through Nagpur and realized that Nagpur is bigger than what we thought it to be. It was spreading fast and we will be successful eventually. When the campaign ended, we were the top cluster and again the top team end to end. This team and working with them made me a man I’m today.
It is unbelievable but true, but the gifts distributed at Navrashtra launch can still be seen at some places
We had inflatable balloons, which were huge. We had them placed at Strategic locations. 850 boys + franchise teams, Branded caps, the whole city and everyone knew that Navrashtra was being launched. All locations needed monitoring as inflatables were unique. Those days, It was difficult to go to a normal restaurant, because we were mobbed by people or franchise who would talk Navrashtra plans and wouldn’t let us pay a single rupee. Entire city was branded Navrashtra. Our team mate, Ravi Joshi did an excellent job with Navrashtra launch branding.
Cluster 3 was on top because of the Highest number of Franchisee and Copies we brought. I was called to the office and was asked to take charge of Franchisee operations as the current DGM Mr. Pancholi had quit midway. That was the turning point of my Life. In the new role, Each day we used to attend aspiring franchisee, their queries and try to solve them. It was one of the most difficult jobs at that time because of delay. But we learned fast and delivered results faster.
In the night we had deployed some 23 route vehicles who would do dry runs from the printing press to the Franchisee homes just to ensure and train people in their new business. Imagine ringing the bell at 4.30 in morning and taking the signature of that franchise on a piece of paper as a part of training. But we did it. And we loved it.
We created a fantastic logistic arrangement which could deliver our newspaper before 6.30 am to the reader. Existing hawker never delivered before 7 am of 7. 30, so it was important for us to maintain the deadline to stay ahead in the game. All vehicles were under me and I am proud to tell you that the newspaper reached all franchise & their customers on day one. Why is this important? It is important because, if we would have gone by the conventional distribution system, then these many copies would not have reached the customer. Our competitors would have beaten us by purchasing these copies out of the market on the launch day only. This is normal in the field of newspapers. We could bypass it with our own distribution system. A lot of mystery was there regarding logistics of Navrashtra until launch.
Such was the situation that one extra vehicle was deployed with one newspaper vehicle on launch day. we had more than 46 vehicles just to ensure that the newspaper reaches homes of our readers. We had plugged each loophole very carefully for this. Some minor incidence or burning of our newspaper happened though on day one but was settled immediately.
A huge team of data entry operators was in place to punch every address we got. By the end of the campaign, we had exclusive data of more than 32000 customers who were our customers all very precious and true because the newspaper was delivered there. Shekhar Chahandale did a terrific job on this system.
Restrictions and limitations:
1) We had sold a subscription to the customers and gave them a gift in return of equal value. Now newspaper was launched at a later date, which made customers little restless, though he had equivalent amount gift in hand.
2) Product forms an important part of any marketing campaign, and somehow we always felt that a better product could have supported the franchise system.
3) only 100 – 120 franchisee of total franchise worked very well and rest all could not participate well, which resulted in customer complaints. We had to go personally and deliver the newspapers. And believe me even 10 -20 complaints can ruin your day.
4) We could add only Milk and Grocery to our franchise network. Imagine, this was before Big Bazaar. We could not tackle the multiple choice of sizes and brands for say a category like a tooth paste or washing powder, simply because customers wanted a particular one and replacement was not a viable option.
5) The earning had increased but some franchise would deliver the newspapers late making us struggle against the 6.30 am’s a delivery promise.
6) The Minimum Business guarantee cause meant huge payouts, whereas the expenses remained constant.
7) The product never actually took off, resulting in a huge drop in our circulation after 3 months’ subscription ended. People continue with the paper.
Later the whole franchisee system was scrapped and the newspaper was shunted in the conventional distribution system. The most surprising thing out of the whole transition was, it was the 100 -120 franchisee only who sold the newspaper in the conventional distribution system also. They had strong base of customers and their own distribution which they retained in both the systems.
It was clearly established that a franchisee distribution model can be established for a newspaper and it can be grown. Provided you select those 100- 120 people in first go. If we would not have added the minimum business guarantee clause, then maybe we would have had a better chance. Imagine we had Grocery & milk distribution, what if this would have succeeded? We would have been a trendsetter. May be this and may be that
One of the most satisfying moment of my life, Cluster 3 and its boys live in my heart, because they earned respect.
Some respected team members: Nimishji Maheshwari leads the flagship Nagpur Navabharat and are expanding their presence aggressively, Sanjay Singh now works for Hindustan Times, Aasman Seth is AGM Lokmat, Shirish Shingarey is still a circulation guy and works in Mumbai, Jitendra Solanki is Regional Manager Mother Dairy, Rajesh Salway is an entrepreneur, Vaibhav Deshkar, Shekhar Chahandale , Lot of old team members like Vishal Bhandakkar, kaka Deshmukh, Dharmendra Pawar, Susheel Somkuwar are Still with Navabharat, Deepak Karnale is with Bhaskar, Our team members of Cluster 3, Milind Patil rose to became a celebrity RJ of Nagpur , today is Creative head for Radio Orange, RJ Rajan from Radio Mirchi, Nagpur was in Cluster 2, I work for Confidence petroleum India Limited as a Sr. manager Communication, Entire Cluster 3 team is well placed today. And the unforgettable Naidu & Sadanand Kulkarni from the NB circulation team. Sadu works with Times and Naidu passed away long time back.
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Petroleum products have always been sold as the need-based products. You buy Petrol, Diesel, Auto LPG when you need it. With increasing number of stations, we don’t prefer to travel much for a liter of petrol or diesel or Auto LPG. A Simple rule was followed always, keep it visible and keep it available. 90’s saw the beginning of branded fuel and well branded fuel stations, Auto LPG stations in India. We had premium petrol and Premium stations were offering services beyond the scope of just selling the fuel. The number of fuel stations, Auto LPG stations in India has grown sizably. And so has the marketing challenges for a Parallel marketer in Auto LPG retail n India.
Auto LPG is a different ball game due to its user base being different, More aware. A lot of stations came up with Auto LPG as an additional fuel in PSU network. Parallel marketers also strived hard and have a competitive network of Auto LPG stations today. The real change started when private players opened standalone Auto LPG stations in India. These stations did not have petrol or diesel, neither any supporting products like oil, battery or tyres to make some additional income.
As a parallel Marketer, challenges are different. Parallel marketers had no brand when they started. They had a Product which suited a certain type of vehicles and that was their USP. Established multinational brands with branding in some different product category enjoyed the advantage of branding. But the challenge of marketing always revolved around reaching the last customer within the cluster.
Let me narrate a situation, even if you are a CMD of a Petroleum company of say brand X and your vehicle needs fuel on road, you will choose the nearest fuel station. You will not care if its brand x or Y or Z. You would prefer a quick refill than the choice. Brands are important here but availability is even more important.
We faced 5 major Challenges while Marketing of Auto LPG
1) Becoming a product seller to a brand
Auto LPG made brands like Go gas today. From a simple standalone product seller to crossing a network of 100 stations was a unique task. GoGas is the leading standalone chain of Auto LPG stations in India. Auto LPG stations today are making its presence felt with their unique product & services.
From Hanumangarh in Rajasthan to Satyamangala near Tamilnadu border, to Mangalore to Hyderabad, All Go Gas stations today are identified with its unique identity and branding experience.
We found out that service requirements of an Auto LPG customer are different than those of a Petrol Vehicle driver. With regular services, the addition of a technician’s kiosk at key stations can help solve customer queries better.
All complaints needed to be heard and solved. Each feedback is important. The sales process is the key area to stay in touch with the end user, as the time which customer spends at an Auto LPG station is less due to only a single product is on sale.
3) Customer Requirements:
A major number of Auto LPG customers are Auto Rickshaws & LPG cars in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other parts of India. This was a simple yet amazing revelation that our Auto rickshaw customers were actually doing business with the fuel they purchased from us. They were actually investing every day and earning every day. They demanded service in less time, gave feedback on quality and were assertive about their needs from the brand.
Which meant we need to be always on our toes for our product & services. A Dry out day will mean the loss of customers. Customers will shift to a nearby location for the fuel. Availability needs to be managed at all the times, making it a
Promotions make an important part of Marketing. Can Auto LPG be actually marketed like any other product is the real question? Yes , it is actually possible. We can create and launch very successful promotion campaigns for Auto LPG user. A good Marketing campaign can get you a lot of happy customers.
5) Our Limitations & challenges
Location is a Practical limitation. The number of stations against potential to sale ratio will always be ruled by the location of the station which is convenient to the customers. Look & facilities are a close second on the list.
But it is a challenge to work in the competitive environment, with a real pressure to retain the customer and drive volumes. Each day is a new day. Each company is competitive and wants a bigger piece of market share, which is actually good for the customers.
Our challenge is to be able to convert more and more people to Auto LPG. With only 3 models of factory-fitted LPG car models in Market, conversion has been a major task in the secondary market. Mostly unorganized, hence tapping the customers & convincing them to convert to Auto LPG has taken a back seat. Government support is needed to Push Auto LPG in this regards.
The major challenge is the Illegal filling of LPG. This remains the major hurdle at many locations and sadly is responsible for lower sales volume. Now with several measures taken up by the government, the solution is in sight and hopefully will have a real level playing field in auto LPG. 3 wheeler manufacturers are aggressively pushing their products, but the real boost will come with Auto LPG 2 wheelers. And 2 wheeler auto conversion is still struggling in the secondary market as no company fitted Auto LPG vehicle is available.
Auto LPG is a product which can’t be seen. physical verification is difficult. In a scheme, if I give you more then you can take that free fuel only if you have space in your tank. Even if you have space in the tank and you took free fuel under promotion from me, then you will not ride extra just because you got extra fuel.
It’s been more than a decade since the first standalone station by a parallel marketer was set up. The growth of Auto LPG is phenomenal in India. Today parallel marketers are leading with their standalone format. There are 2 parallel marketers who have more than 100 stations running today and they are having ambitious plans for future. The Future is promising.
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does your cab Ride on Clean & Eco friendly fuel? Check before you book your cab
Are you worried about Pollution in your city? Next time when you discuss the bad air quality of your city, rising pollution levels, traffic and other things, Think again. Chances are you could be one of the contributors for the same. What fuel do you use for your 2/ 3/ 4 wheeler? Are you using a clean fuel like CNG or Auto LPG for your car? Are you using an Auto rickshaw which runs on environment-friendly fuels like Auto LPG or CNG, Are you using a cab ride which runs on Clean fuels? Chances are that you are not noticing the point that fuels like diesel pollute and choosing eco-friendly fuels like CNG & Auto LPG can make a difference. Pollution is a reality which has knocked your door. Pollution is no longer only on streets. It is everywhere. We have seen in Delhi, Mumbai and also seen how
Cab rides have become a routine in our country. Sometimes it is cheaper to travel by cab in my city than to ride my own car. Cabs have changed the normal & premium travelers use the public transport because of ease of use, great service, payment clarity, easy access and convenience. In a way, Cab has become a new premium public transport. Figures with over 2 lakh vehicles associated with a single cab service, the future opportunities are wide open here in India. The only query is, are these cab services are using eco-friendly fuels? Or they are one more contributor to the vehicular pollution in India. Well, If such is the case then Mind you, my friends, that’s a big cost you are paying for your convenience. Have you checked if your favorite cab service provides a Green and clean ride? Have you wondered how much pollution your cab ride has caused to the city? Or you are not worried about that.
The most commonly used vehicle for the cab is a diesel or Petrol vehicle. Mumbai & Delhi has cabs with CNG as a fuel due to easy availability of CNG. What about the rest of India? Especially in South India where Auto LPG network is the strongest and both Public sector & Parallel marketer are aggressively focusing on the Green fuel. Cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Mangalore have a very good density of Auto Drivers who use Auto LPG. In fact, Karnataka High court decision making it mandatory for auto drivers to use Auto LPG has triggered the green revolution in Bangalore & Karnataka. Such is the awareness of people in general in south India that Auto LPG is a way of life. Cabs using Auto LPG Can be a reality here.
Have you traveled in any Auto LPG cab till date? I doubt. Auto rickshaw in Karnataka, Tamilnadu , Telangana & Kolkata city run on Auto LPG due to the government measures. Auto drivers were the smart ones who converted to Auto LPG and saved 40% upfront on fuel costs. In other words their profits rose, earnings rose by 40% and technically they became the first crusaders of the green fuel in metros.
Let’s take cost of Fuel for a sample cab company with 2 lakh vehicles, in Consideration. If I take an average of 10 liters per vehicle for calculation basis, then daily 20 lakh liters of fuel either diesel or petrol is consumed by 2 lakh vehicles on everyday basis. Monthly approx. 500 lakh liters of fuel will produce enough CO2 and NOS to make air quality deteriorate. Not to forget that already lakhs of other diesel vehicles are on roads, spreading emissions. These figures are of 1 cab company. Repeat the calculation again for the next cab company. And repeat it third time for the unaccounted cabs running across the country.
Auto LPG is 40% cheaper than Petrol. Which means if average expenses of fuel consumed (20 lakh liters ) by a cab company in a month ( 25 working days) will be ( calculated @Rs70/-per liter) will be 350000000/- I even can exactly say in words how much is it when i looked at it the first time. Now if Auto LPG is used, then this would have come down by Rs.1400000000/- Now think what foreign exchange you could have saved, besides riding the clean cab and contributing to clean Air. We have to import our petroleum products, considering a 40% saving can mean a lot. Business minded persons would understand what iam trying to say here. It is our own money with which we pay petroleum products, and we spend money on its consumption. If switching fuel could mean 40% saving, would you want to switch?
Now the cab companies pass the bookings to the vehicle owners and who in turn deliver the passengers to their destinations. I’m not sure if Cab companies own the entire fleet of cabs. In such a case vehicle owner will have the choice of fuel for his profitable ride. Question is, are cab companies promoting vehicles with Eco friendly fuels or not? Is customer asking for a Green vehicle? Is cab company announcing that the ride which customer is booking is run on diesel or petrol? So far everyone is selling offers for business, hardly any action is seen on the emissions status of the vehicles.
Well, In India everything is okay, and even if it’s not okay, it’s still okay. I know that you are not going to convert to Auto LPG because you drive a premium car, neither you are going to convert the petrol vehicles of your company to Auto LPG, nor you are going to check if your cab driver has an ecofriendly vehicle. We will not do all this, and leave the work of protecting the air quality to government who in turn makes it mandatory only for Auto rickshaw drivers.
Sab Chalta hai.
Have a great day with emissions.
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In boxing analogy, “to roll with the punches”, means “of a boxer to move one’s body away from an opponent’s blows so as to lessen the impact.” The world is a boxing ring and all of us are trying to get in a few punches ourselves whilst dodging the ones packed at us. These punches may not leave any visible scars, but the impact is felt just right. The punches manifest themselves as stress at workplace with your bosses or your colleagues, they might be friction between family members, worries about your children and their future, health concerns and many more. Punches take a wide array of forms, and have the potential to leave you with debilitating injuries and in milder cases, losing your steam and focus due to their sheer impact.
So like all good boxers, we need to come up with ways and ducking mechanisms, where in we deal with these sudden punches life throws at us, and ensure that we don’t get knocked down cold.
Be mentally prepared for it.
They say “Change is constant; however, we live in a rainbow of chaos.” So be mentally prepared for it, there is always going to be something right round the corner which will upset the status quo you are used to. Always keep one thing in mind that chaos does not necessarily mean bad, a lot of good can come out of it. It offers you a great opportunity to build up your strengths and that is certainly not a bad thing. Also when life throws you punches, you can certainly throw in a few yourself and you never know you might end up trumping it.
Build your resilience.
As Steve Jobs said, “You can only connect the dots looking backward”, the same holds true for challenges in life. Look at your past journey see how you have overcome it despite all the obstacles which came in your way, and you will realise that you already possess all the qualities within you to get where you want to be. You need to stay strong, patient and trust your journey.
Never take decisions very hastily.
It is often advisable not to react immediately. There are times when immediate action is needed but most times it makes sense to sleep on it. The cold light of the day casts a different light onto your decisions which seemed so apt yesterday. By not reacting immediately you end up buying yourself time and giving yourself that leeway to think your plans and actions through.
Always talk it out with your champions.
All of us have champions-they can be your parents, spouse, children, close friends, colleagues even. So when you feel you are reeling from the impact and need someone in that boxing ring with you to wipe your sweat and give you some water, call them in. They are your champions, sounding boards, and at all times want the best for you in their hearts.
So in all these tough moments, they make you feel cherished, loved and their belief in you gives you all the strength you need to make it through the hard times.
Seek help- with mentors, seniors.
We all need advice- good advice and that form of advice comes in various forms. Mostly you can find all sorts of help online to help you survive. But the sort of advice a fellow human being can give you and the connect you can build with that individual while sharing the tough experiences is just what makes the difference. So find mentors, connect and engage with them on regular basis so that you get to learn from their life experiences and since there is a likelihood that they may have already suffered through that punch. They would be able to guide you the best way to duck it. Give you the guidance and helpful advice since they have been through all of it before.
Find yourself some hobbies and invest time in nurturing them for some time every week.
According to researchers at the School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, engaging in hobbies stimulates areas of the brain associated with outlook on life and positive feelings like pleasure, happiness and satisfaction. Hobbies distract you from the pressures and worries of daily living. And the enjoyment derived out of hobbies gives one a sense of self-confidence, self-worth and motivation, which spills over to one’s professional and personal life. So nurturing hobbies is a very good coping mechanism while dealing with life’s many “punches”.
Journal about your challenges and accomplishments.
Journaling is a very useful practice to bring situations in perspective and it comes with a volley of health benefits like healing, increasing creativity, boosting your self-confidence, and strengthening your self-discipline. Journaling basically lets you reflect on your boxing matches, analyse them, understand your strengths and shortcomings and strategise for the next outing in the boxing arena.
One will have to keep on facing different opponents in life’s boxing ring throughout life. And all these opponents will have different styles and ways of fighting. But cultivating the practices mentioned above would aid in making you a better and formidable player in that arena. It will prepare you better to anticipate the blows, deflect them and meet them head-on.
This one is to all the boxers who are currently braving it out in the boxing rings.