A certified 2 day interactive training session on 6 Mantras for Business Excellence for SMEs was hosted by EU Chambers of Commerce in association with Leap2Excel Consulting LLP on 16th and 17th  August 2020

The speakers were Mr. Chandramowli Srinivasan (former CFO at SKF India), Mr. Kiran Rakhe (Practice head – Supply Chain Management), Mr. Abhay Desai (Sales and Marketing Professional) and Mr. Vithal Nayak (former HR head at Arvind, Pillsbury, Shapoorji Pallonji and SKF).

Speakers talked about the various challenges faced by SMEs such as Managing Working Capital cycle, Over dependence on few customers for business, Inconsistent Demand, Margin Pressure, Unable to get discount or credit, Managing Inventory, Rework and Rejection, Attracting & Retaining Talent, Maturity of HR Processes, Competition from unorganized sector leading to impact on profitability.

To overcome various challenges and to excel in business especially for SMEs they focused on the Six Mantras as Leadership (Influence & Impact), Strategy(Strategize & grow), Operations ( Stay Nimble), Customer and Market ( Value the relationship), Human Asset (People as differentiators /creators) and Finance ( Analyse & Prosper).

Dr. Renu Shome, Director of EU Chambers of Commerce made her opening remarks and welcomed all esteemed speakers and participants followed by Mr. Vithal Nayak speaking about leadership covering up roles and traits of a leader backing his explanation by case studies. Mr. Nayak mentioned role of a leader to be evolving and communicating VMV to all the stake holders, leadership commitment and role modelling of vision and values, building sustainable organization (Long-term vs. Short-term). Traits of leadership which include being focused on vision, creation oriented, developing adaptive solutions, empathy and embracing risk.

Mr. Abhay Desai then spoke about second mantra viz Strategy stating how strategy is all about what you should be doing and also about what you should not be doing. Strategy revolves around vision, mission and goal of the company. Mr. Desai explained four important aspects of strategy that is Geographical Expansion (Exports), Market Expansion, Product Extension (Complementing/New), Segment Expansion.

Mr. Kiran Rakhe spoke about challenges associated with operations such as frequent breakdown of machinery, high manufacturing cost, everything is being urgent etc., what needs to be done and transformation initiatives for operations of which he broadly spoke of Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM),Total Quality Management( TQM), Lean / KAIZEN and Six Sigma.

On second day Mr. Barat, President of EU Chambers of Commerce made opening remarks about the importance of such a session and role which is played by EU India Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Barat stated how these 6 mantras together won’t only help one’s business but also their professional, personal and family lives and members of the community and therefore this webinar is of crucial importance to all of us. Mr. Barat even talked about the term SMEs i.e. Small and Medium Enterprises and one can also incorporate micro enterprises and how it will be cornerstone of economic growth and revival in the years to come. Large corporations will always exist but their dependence on value chain and on value that is added by Small enterprises whether as a service provider, manufacturer as a supply chain addition etc. is not just critical but will become more critical. World will always face a challenge in optimizing resources whether it is land, people, finance and a crisis like this will make resource optimization more difficult and hence small engines like this will have a greater sigma and this is true not only of India but of the world. Mr. Barat also stated how finance, marketing, strategy, leadership are very common words but woven like a string of pearls in a webinar like this can have huge synergistic effect on the way you look at it at individually and collectively will become more effective and will also help SMEs to work with large organizations not just from profit as well as sustainability point of view will also become very important.

Mr Desai talked about the 4th mantra that is Customer and Market talking about various issues such as over dependency on few customers for business, no strategy for customer retention &  development, less focus on  customer  relationship  management to name a few and then stated techniques of Market & Competition Mapping, Key Account Management (KAM),Enquiry Management System (EMS) & Order Loss Analysis (OLA), Customer Relationship Management  (CRM).

Mr. Nayak spoke about the 5th mantra that is Human Asset and how to keep employees happy and satisfied so they continue working for organization year after year and in order to do so important aspects to be considered are planning and management, education and training, performance and recognition and well-being and satisfaction. Organization can use balance scorecard, aligning individual & team performance with organizational goals, defining expectations for performance reviewing performance regularly & providing feedback and having midyear and annual appraisal process to drive organization’s performance.

Mr. Chandramowli spoke about finance and stated how it is important to understand managing finance is not similar to accounting. An external CA will make your Balance Sheet not manage it. Analysis and decision making should go hand in hand.

Managing finance he stated is about Analysis of Profitability, Budgeting & Costing, Data Management & MIS, Lean Capital Employed, Cash Flow Management, Capital Allocation and Risk Management. Each mantra was followed by case studies and every session was very interactive with many Q& A round.