ADITYA BIRLA GROUP of companies is one of the leading conglomerate companies of the market. It is the right fit to mention that ABG strives to be the greatest of the lot. Given the history, the one specific quality that goes without saying is that ABG wanted to be the best in whatever industry it entered into. India’s largest cement company, the World's largest carbon black manufacturer, the world’s largest viscose staple fibre producer, India’s largest telecom services - Vodafone Idea and what not? It is one of the rarest qualities to find in a vast diverse industry with a competitive market, a company that has excelled in every single sector it has landed into.
Another notifying process of ABG is identifying the right companies for mergers and acquisitions. It is a given, is it not? The value of the company in Indian as well as International markets is beyond being quantifiable, just in terms of shares and worth. The growth of the company and it’s thirst to venture into more new markets in incredible.
Aditya Birla Capital, Fashion & Retail, Money, Chemicals, Nuvo, 3M India, Birla Corporation, Birla Cotsyn India and Birlasoft are the ABG’s market commodities. Aditya Birla Group has a strong hold on its market position and its stakeholders have primarily been the Birla family members, Birla institutions, Private limited companies, Industry corporations and insurance/investment corporations.
My family has been into mutual funds and had invested heavily into Aditya Birla Group short-term funds and some into debt as well as bonds. Vodafone has become a huge winner internationally and ABG’s venture into telecom can be considered no short of a valiant success. I too use Vodafone Idea network and it has been an amazing experience so far. It is as exciting even towards the end to mention that the Fashion and Retail undertaking for sales has brought about enough promotion and market value to the brands through its retailer, ABG and vice versa. Pantaloons, Louis Philippe, Peter England, Allen Solly, Van Heusen, etc. These are some of the most sought after brands in India sold at the Fashion and Retail outlets of the multi-industry company. I buy such branded products in fashion and accessories too. The third-largest Indian private sector conglomerate has its headquarters in Mumbai.
ABG’s venture reminds me of where I stand today between the past and my career. Great achievers are not driven by their pursuit for success but by their fear of failure. I was a frustrated Engineer, seeking an answer for questions that I never knew of, which career path? nor was exposed at, the Corporate world! I decided to get into an internship at an Agri-Marketing company through interviews and I got into the company with a full-time offer. With some hesitation, I decided to go forward with the offer for internship although there were negative vibes from my well wishers when they did their research.
The first step of learning was understanding the difference between B2B and B2C. While the company operated largely on B2B, I was put on a new upcoming B2C project handled by the founder of the company. My initial days were about supervising, understanding the operations and carry forward the delegated tasks. But it was a very boring job wherein I had to sit in a store that had only about 15-20 customers walking in everyday and nothing more. The timings were extreme, I had to work from 7 am to 10 pm without much or sometimes any work. Soon I was asked to take care of the inventory, operations and sales of an independent store. I was also in charge of monitoring the logistics and training the franchise to take over the store completely from me within two weeks.
It was a challenging task for me that I had to manage various segments of the project but none of which could give me a complete taste of their idea to the fullest. Coming from an Engineering background, I had no clue about the terminologies or strategies too. I was curious to learn but although I sought out for help often, there was not even that minimal guidance to impart knowledge about the strategy. People were always busy on their own and the intent was to just delegate work but not work together. It was a Non-tech role but there was no clarity on what was expected of me. I struggled to position myself within the project and soon within the company. After the first month, there were a few more stores inline for me to deal with and I was also in charge of store locations which made things worse. I usually start my day driving my bike through a locality, finding stores with a “To Let” or “For Rent” sign boards.
It was difficult to negotiate with the owners or the dealers because of my language barriers. There were times the company wasn’t ethical to its franchises nor its customers and that strongly affected me. There was no motivation to look forward every day as the work had no other directions to look into. Soon, I made up my mind to study about businesses and I quit my job. After graduating, I took a year off and here I am today, learning what I was supposed to form a better perspective and with a mature understanding. This was the hardest challenge I had to face in life but I accepted that phase and instead of just moving past it, I decided to analyze and learn from the same.