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A discovery of “the secret” during my journey of 15 years for scaling up my family business




In 2003, I joined Monachem – Chemical Distribution business started by my father after finishing my chemical engineering from Pune University & MBA from University Of South Florida.

With a techno-commercial educational background, I entered Business at 30 Cr INR sales in 2003 with a dream of scaling up by the business by 25-30% CAGR , that is double the industry standard growth as the chemical industry in India was growing at 10-15% year on year.

I adopted MBA management tools & initiated “different things / initiatives” in the area of strategy, leadership, hard work, relationship building, understanding customer, etc & benchmarking the best competitor , we were able to reach 100 Cr INR sales in 2015 from 30 Cr INR sales. So, in a span of twelve years , we were able to grow around 11% CAGR , which was less than half compared to what we had aimed for.

Though this was a growth as per industry standard, it was less than half of our dream.

Given the “strong” foundation of ethical values laid by the founder, loyal customers, agile team and renowned supplier brands we represent, 11% growth bothered me personally. This made me wonder that “something” was missing which did not fructify my scale up aspirations.

Due to this breakdown, I started experiencing emotions of self-doubt towards my capabilities & starting doubting my ability to lead our company towards an exciting future.

When I shared this with my father, our founder & my team, they with positive intentions of encouraging me, shared that “we had done reasonably well” considering the different challenges in the market.

Even with this encouragement, I could not be in peace with myself as I was struggling with a question – “Am I capable enough ?”

During this breakdown, In 2015, I personally took up a challenge of studying “top 100 fastest” growing companies of the world and invested more than 200 hours of studying them through internet & books.

I discovered a common “the secret” between all these 100 companies.

So I decided to take on “the secret” & started applying it within my business at Monachem & within 3 years (2015-2018) achieved the following breakthroughs :

1) 100 Cr to 200 Cr INR sales within 3 years (CAGR Of 26%, which is double the industry growth rate)

2) Won two National Awards “Top 25 Innovative Companies Of India” & “Top 100 SME Of India” award.

3) IIM Ahmedabad, Indian Institute Of Management students conducted a case study of Monachem.

We implemented the “the secret” in the below ways within our company ….

1) Daily Top 3

Each team member were asked to share their “top 3 breakthroughs / fulfillment’s of the day” & “Top 3 Priorities Of next day” before they left office by email to their immediate reporting team member.



Outcome:

The internal productivity increased by 40% in the first year of implantation.


2) Breakthrough bell

Individuals or group of team would share success with all within the company by ringing a bell & sharing the “breakthrough story” within 5 Mins during the working hours.



Outcome:

The breakthrough stories doubled within first six months, positively impacting multiple areas like happiness of employees, customers, suppliers and investors.


3) Saturday Innovation Hours

Each employee invested 2 Hours per week on every Saturday for doing something different ( doing something beyond their job profile ) e.g. be a part of innovation cluster, upgrade their attitude, skills and knowledge, with an end goal of making life easier & better for customers and suppliers.



Outcome:

The number of new ideas & new ways of doing things shared by employees increased multifold. The implementation of just few of them brought in above industry growth for company & for employees of the company.

We became more experimental as a culture & focussed on doing “the secret” compared to doing different things.

“the secret” which I discovered within the top 100 fastest growing companies was —-

A culture of “doing things differently” with a purpose of making life easier & better for all the stakeholders ( employees, customers, suppliers, investors, community etc) associated with the company, which they defined as “innovation” within the company.

After this discovery, in 2015, we at Monachem defined the “why” of what we do, that is our purpose for coming together as a team, which is ….

…. “making life easier & better for all partners by doing things differently”.

Till today starting from 2015, we have invested more than 1000 hours in studying and applying “doing things differently” within our company.

“doing things differently” has become the daily culture of our company & our journey continues as Monachem marches towards its Vision 2020 – which is “to be known as an inspiring and innovative specialty chemical company globally”

Cheers,

Shamik

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