IntroductionArmed with just Rs.18,000/- and nothing except a fire in his belly, decades ago, Mr.C.Renganathan, the Chairman& Managing Director of the Chennai-headquartered Cavinkare, went on an expedition in creativity. He used the money to manufacture some shampoo and packed it in sachet packets. He then distributed this to the small retail shops (these are called Petti Kadai in Tamil). He would zero down on a village boy and would offer to get his scalp cleaned for free with his soap. The village people would readily agree. He used Chik-shampoo sponsored shows of Rajnikant movies and the advertisements were shown in between, as his business flourished. ("The inspiring success story of Cavinkare", case-study by ShobaWarrier from Chennai, Rediff.com, March 22, 2007)
The aforesaid reference is a first-person narrative and anyone interested could Google to read the entire story. He would then ensure that the stills he created with a voice announcing his Chik brand were shown for a small amount in each of the then "touring talkies" mobile cinema theatres) in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The product was a hit as it was available so cheaply. Even today, it costs just Re.1/-.
The company could not meet the demand. The shrewd entrepreneur expanded his reach, brought in a then reigning superstar among woman Tamil movie actors, Kushboo. The rest, as they say, is history. This is the stuff that shrewd entrepreneurs are made of. They simply take the world by storm and then go on expanding day after day. He had a dream to take on the likes of Hindustan Lever. Under severe pressure from HLL to sell his company for 800 crore rupees when its net worth was 400 crores, Mr. Renganathan did not back out. He stood firm. Today, it has so many brands; it acquired a pickle brand named Ruchi and is present in the condensed milk business as well. It has grown from strength to strength.
His goal was simple. Get a quality product and challenge the competition through high-decibel advertising. Imagine if he had holed up and sold his company.
Goals are there for us to accomplish. To conquer and become successful in our lives. It is always important to set high goals to a) Realize our own potential b) Make the world a better place to live in c) Instill confidence and optimism in others d) Become role models for others and e) Make every attempt to innovate in everything we do.
Realize our own potentialThere is a lot to learn from the highly-placed IT professionals in Bangalore and Chennai. The present Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr. N. Chandrasekharan is not only a high achiever who piloted TCS and made it a world-class organization but also had audacious goals. These are often called "stretch" goals. They motivate us to realize our own potential and enable us to be aware of what we are doing and we should do.
Let us take the relatively simple goal of keeping ourselves fit. The IT professionals work for at least twelve hours and are highly paid; yet, they wake up early and can be seen jogging and briskly walking in their gated communities, nearby parks and so on. They would never ever give up on this. They are always energetic. More so, if both husband and wife are IT professionals.
Make the world a better place to live inThose like Mother Teresa are examples of those who had altruistic goals to serve the society. Mahatma Gandhi had a goal of making India free and also a clear road map, with non-violence being a vital weapon. He was able to create a movement by motivating others. Had he not had that kind of a big goal, India would never have been independent.
Such leaders have always made the world a better place to live in. Even today, many world leaders are attracted by Mahatma Gandhi's ideas on peace and prosperity in the world, through less conflict.
At more humble levels, it needs to be appreciated that each one of us can be leaders in our own family. For example, let us say, the father and the mother have a zero-tolerance for corruption and have a goal of never offering a single pie as a bribe to get anything done. Now, what would happen to the children who watch everything? Well, India is replete with success stories of hundreds of honest men and women who were consistently guided and motivated by their parents who had very good goals and lived by them.
Instill confidence and optimism in othersLook at Mr. C.K. Ranganathan. He is not only an active member and leader of the Madras Management Association but also supports many a contest aimed at identifying talented young managers. He gives his managers total freedom to get things done.
On the other hand, he also has an eagle eye on his companies goals and ruthlessly gets things done. He is always noted as one entrepreneur who instills confidence and optimism in all his subordinates. His professional managers are often poached from the likes of HLL.
Not to be underestimated are those humble leaders and even common people who have goals in their own lives. The mother who sacrifices so much and educates her children against heavy odds also has a goal of seeing her son or daughter become a professional in their lives. They also instill confidence and optimism. More often than not, life's simple lessons on goal-setting can be learned from such people.
For example, they would be cutting costs left, right and center, even in the most normal times. They would also have sound reasons for doing so. Only by asking them the finer details, we can learn a lot about cost-cutting, which can be a good goal in itself.
Become role models for othersM.S. Dhoni's intelligent strategies to get the best out of his players in the IPL franchise of Chennai Super Kings is legendary. He is the role model for millions of Tamil youth. There are many who swear by his optimism and his cool ways on the field.
Take Ravichandran Ashwin who raced to become the fastest Indian bowler to take more than 300 wickets in Test cricket. Take the music magician A.R. Rahman and read their interviews. Their goals would become clear. These men are the real models. When we chase such audacious goals, we become role models for millions of others and can make useful contributions to society.
Make every attempt to innovate in everything we doThis can also be seen in the high achievers. Kishore Biyani, the big boss of the Future Retail group has an audacious goal of being the biggest Indian player in organized retail. He keeps on innovating in whatever he does.
Similarly, Asain Paints has a goal of always being the market leader. There are always useful lessons to learn from their innovative methods. Every single goal made public, or implicit in the actions of others will always be accompanied by some creative strategy or the other.
Take the humble dabbawalas of Mumbai. Their only goal is to be unique and offer home food to thousands of office-goers in that huge metro. How do they do it? They always get it done through intelligent innovation in their day-to-day working. It is no wonder that their ways of working have made them a case-study in the prestigious Harvard Business School of Mumbai.
Mothers who have their own goals innovate in space-saving in their houses. The Kirana shop trader who wants to always remain relevant and take on the competition also innovates on a day-to-day basis. The niche hotels that cater to the upper-middle-class customers in Chennai city always have a goal of safeguarding their market shares. Their innovation comes in the form of a number of newer dishes and also in the manner of maintaining the same customary taste that had millions flocking to their outlet over the several years of their operation in the metro city.
When we keep on observing such entrepreneurs, we can always learn how they set goals and keep accomplishing them. All that we need to do is to have both short-term and long-term goals that we can seek to achieve and then go about systematically learning from our own experiences and from the experiences of others.
ConclusionThe more we are conscious of ourselves, the better our goal-setting will be. The main points related to the importance of goal-setting in our lives has been explained with some real-world examples in the aforesaid paragraphs. However, everything is a continuous process of learning that will occupy our attention at any point in time.
Goal setting is one of the elements in the life of a person who is aspiring for greater heights. When a student leaves the school or college or a professional institute he only knows that he has an academic degree in lieu of which he could get a job. In a populated country like ours, his dream is soon shattered and he becomes frustrated after not getting a job especially a job commensurate with his degrees and then finally after a lot of struggle here and there he settles for a mediocre job. In such a scenario there are very few minds who can think of fixing goals and objectives in life and then do hard work and efforts in that direction. It is said that innovation is the key to a business for a new entrant because already there are some established businesses and to challenge them with the routine things is not going to help as they have a big marketing and advertising background to promote their business and would not allow the new incumbent to compete with them so easily.
So, a new person is completely baffled in such an unsupportive condition and do not know what to do. Only a few of them who have clarity of their purpose and strength to fight till the end can try to come up with their new ideas and products to give a tough competition to the existing players where cut-throat competition is already set in. So there are many things and measures suggested in this article by the author and definitely they are worth following and helpful for the starters in the business arena. I would just make a few examples here that would help the enterprising youths to think in more novel ways for establishing themselves in the self-employed modes in today's tough environment.
In the state of Karnataka, one innovative group started collecting a large amount of used flowers from the temples and other places which were simply garbage earlier. This group processed these old flowers to make packing sheets, envelopes, rough paper sheets etc and they have already started making a profit from this. There is one women group in the Navi Mumbai area which is providing homemade food to the single people and this is getting good popularity. This is being coordinated by a qualified but unemployed person. So today, there is nothing like that you would work only in the area in which you have got an education. No, it is a wrong concept. One can venture in any area where business opportunities are there. Basic education should not be a constraint for that. So, innovation and finding a job by oneself is very tough as it takes years to convert that goal in reality but if a person has zeal and determination to do that, then a focussed and persistent effort can definitely help in bringing the dreams to realities.
Goal setting is the beginning of our success. When you have a correct understanding of your capabilities and capacities and if you know what will be your stretching ability, then only you can decide on the goals that are attainable by working hard and giving more than 100% of your efficiencies. But if we set very easily attainable goals and if we feel we are successful, we are deceiving ourselves only.
Initially to have confidence in our ability we should look for low lying fruits that can be easily plucked from the tree. Once we have the taste of success we can go on stretching ourselves to the maximum possible and see that we will be successful. We should not try to be always in the comfort zone. But we should come out of our comfort zone and try to convert the uncomfortable to zone to be comfortable. Then you will be successful in your life.