Sunday, October 27, 2013


The United States of America.
Custer's last stand : The battle  of Little Bighorn 25th June 1876.

As the buffalo became scarcer, Indian tribes lives became hard. The Indians have had enough of being pushed into reservations too, the final straw being the US violation of  the treaty of Black Hills, and the unstoppable incursion of white Americans,
 as rumors circulated that gold (as in California) was there for the taking in the Black Hills. General George Armstrong Custer, a potential future US president, by nature headstrong, fought against forces led by the Indian Medicine Man and Chief "Sitting Bull" and Chief " Crazy Horse".
        Custer disregarded his scout's information that the Indian camps were enormous in size, and estimated about a thousand braves whereas, actually there was 2000-4000 Sioux braves. As was obvious, Custer and the US 7th Cavalry were wiped out, the only living being remaining being ironically Custer's horse 'Commanche'. Custer only had about 700 troopers  and then further proceeded to divide them into three units.

     No guys, you are still at the same site. I just started off in a different tack this time. Remember all the feedback you had to provide about competition including the market share variance if any and the order value of the competitors in the last quarter etc. Let's admit it this kind of data is impossible to give if you are selling capital equipment and your market is vast. I had often found myself as the sole person of my company in charge of everything of a state ( area  not less the entire UK). These forms were frustrating for so often you were required to give break-ups and they were huge waste of time. Moreover, it is quite probable that these forms were used as rough paper -no one ever read them-What do you do?-you collect market data or do you sell? I believe that the objective is served if your boss tells you what information he needs any time (when his boss calls him) and what he needs some time. You than satisfy his need by a mail/letter/fax whatever.
Simple, isn't it? The Indian mentality is to see if you have given the info in the form..Gee! Another example of why western sound marketing principles will not work in South East Asia, unless you tailor make them so as to suit the natural conditions.Coming back, the competition often had offices having three-four officers while I had to operate from my house, and they ruled.(I finally started targeting big customers and making my brand superior in numbers.and I kept my job that way)

          The point I want to make is FORGET all those things you may have heard about the quality of our sales people vs. theirs. These even out in the long run. What matters is how many players you have compared to the opposition. In an organizational perspective, it is the financial muscle you have.

  In this post,I want to continue my take (through Ries and Trout)on Karl Von Clausewitz's ideas and an important one is " Always keep your forces concentrated in an overpowering mass"-in other words' attack with all your resources at the decisive battle because history shows us that the army which is larger in size always wins. In WWII, had the US not joined the allies-giving them a huge superiority in numbers-the English and the French were being outfought and would have lost.   If you are American, than maybe your national anthem would have been "Dixie" if General Robert E. Lee had 25,000 more men. I did not know that either but the fact is that in Gettysburg ,1863 General Lee had 75,000 men while General Meade of the Union had 88,000 men. 

Of course, I am comparing here only the number of men. You may think that what if someone has a more potent weapon such as, the US atomic bombs? You are right ! Against atomic weapons, the US would have won had they had 1000 soldiers and a hundred bombs-say. In Sales & Marketing, that is comparing apples to oranges, you can't do that! If you have a more potent weapon in war, in sales change it to Marketing Strategy. ..So the equation is,100 salesman with better strategy is enough to win a sales battle over 500 salesmen with no strategy. Or, 400 with less effective strategy, and strategy friends,never remains constant. 
       This is again culture shock and is the reason why do so many foreign companies fail here.     The answer lies in the question itself. If you have not prepared for culture shock, your strategy is ineffective. Strangely so many people are intentionally immune to this basic fact. You need not have an atomic bomb to win, even foxholes and bunkers are good strategy against people who do not employ these tactics. 

      As I was saying what surprises me is that people remain knowingly ignorant about the possible effect of cultural differences in productivity and good management. A few days back I came upon an online article where the story was that President Obama had asked Steve Jobs in a dinner at the White House as to what has to be done to make the I-Phone in the US and Jobs had frankly replied "those jobs aren't coming back". The article also goes on to quote an Apple employee who says Chinese productivity cannot be had in the US. He than says that early in the morning,the Chinese assemblers report, are given a cup of tea and they start working assembling a million screens by the day end. When I went on to the comments section, I was surprised by the no of attacks on Jobs by Americans. I am not saying anything about the morals of Jobs, which I am not qualified to do anyway, but the number of negative American comments about slave labor and a cup of tea and on Jobs amazed me. This is  culture shock, friends. What my American friends see as slave labor is 'better conditions' from the Chinese point of view. When in the US, these same Chinese-Americans will comment on 'slave labor'-and that is the irony of  culture shock.
You fool King! This is not culture shock- its more like the KKK
Bye till next time
With lots of  love


NB: Uma Thurman is against twenty-thirty masked opponents in Kill-Bill as shown above and she wins!! This win is because of her superior strategy employed by her which is " In a Quentin Tarantino Movie".

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