MART

A Case Study By Prof. Ishwar Dayal
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Disclaimer: Case is written by Prof. Ishwar Dayal, as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.

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MART is often chosen as project consultant in preference to international and larger organizations because of their committed approach and deep involvement in rural areas. commercial. Since then MART has worked with many Fortune 500 and large Indian companies. He had several discussions with the Guru about the meaning and purpose of life. They modify. the year Pradeep turned 40 he resigned from his corporate job after 18 years in the sector. His last assignment was as Head of Marketing of a large Japanese auto ancillary in 1987. Earlier they were funded by World Bank and Department of International Department (DFID). The Guru suggested that working for the rural poor could be more meaningful. He established MART in 1993 a consulting firm to serve rural poor. central and state governments and donor agencies on poverty reduction programs for which he travelled extensively to rural areas. The job required extensive travelling and experience in widely different areas. sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor – in the forestry and agribusiness areas. In rural traditions melas or village fairs were (and in some cases still are) of great importance Page 2 of 5 .After an engineering degree from BITS. He explained when you work for money. Millions of artisans produced traditional handicrafts but they had no knowledge of what products will sell or how to access markets. the world works behind you”. But a hollow feeling kept bothering me. It is used in the Indian subcontinent for all sizes of gatherings and can be religious. you are alone but when you work for others. MART is working as Livelihood consultant to World Bank funded projects in Orissa and Maharashtra to create large scale. not merely on sale of a product. because rural development is their mission. MART focuses on what people need. “MART is dedicated to the work they do. As an illustration. Pradeep Kashyap served in three multinational companies in marketing. In 2000 a corporate house approached MART to undertake research for their product in rural markets. Pradeep said “I come from a wellto-do filmily. The job gave me material comforts and I was able to construct a house in South Delhi at a young age of 29 years. UK on creation of large scale. Technically their approach is superior– they research the market thoroughly to improve the lives of the poor.” In 1980 Pradeep accompanied his wife to her family Guru’s Ashram in Almora district. Pradeep gave some examples. Government of India. 2 Mela (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering' or 'to meet' or a fair. in market research.” These women have doubled their family income and utilize the additional income on better health care and education for their children. This was the genesis of setting up a corporate rural marketing division. Pradeep was innovative in his job and was appreciated by his peers and supervisors. and was greatly impressed by his ideas and the model farm and dairy in the Ashram. or suggest alternate uses to the advantage of the community as well as the manufacturer. In 1987. or redesign. One reason why they are chosen over others came from an associate who said. market strategy and promotion assignments. This involvement of MART continues and has expanded over the years. Initially he worked with an NGO for 2 years and thereafter as a Marketing Advisor to the Ministry of Rural Development. sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in AP. Pradeep undertook market research. product development.000 poor rural women across 12 states have been appointed as company dealers. He said that “We co-created ‘Project Shakti’ with Unilever where 50. product modification and created a MELA2 system for sale of rural product in urban areas. Talking about the contribution of MART. For the next 10 years Pradeep and his small team worked on minimal remuneration for several NGOs. Pilani in 1969. Tamil Nadu and MP. cultural or sport-related.

and have a sense of belonging. In phase II. and interest in the particular sector. business and government repeatedly shows that managers tend to develop an attitude of ‘what is in it for me’.” “We have co-created a unique business model with NOVARTIS in 5 states for treating TB patients in rural areas by activating the private sector health delivery channel – doctors.000 women from 500 villages in 6 of the most backward districts of Odisha into a “Collective Marketing ‘model. These have benefited 100. besides Delhi. In phase I. they work to improve quality of life of people and society. 2009 onwards. He wanted people to feel free. groupism. In this process they have also created Public Private Partnerships to benefit local communities. they have. 2000 onwards. shandies.” “We have developed a last mile rural distribution model for Colgate involving local youth as entrepreneurs on cycles. the person chooses his team and handles everything that is required for the project. Rather project leaders should choose the project. Three hundred melas have been held in 75 cities. secretiveness. We have promoted TATA corrugated roofing sheets through HAATS3. they create a nucleus group who have familiarity with. This initiative recorded a sale of 90million rupees in 2011.“We brought 10. angadi.” With dedicated manpower MART has innovated and helped in creating a variety of services in rural areas. and international agencies.” “I started Gramshree melas in 1989 for sale of rural products in urban areas by artisans. they expanded their involvement in neighborhood countries and Africa.” “We have enabled development of low cost health care products like baby warmers. Pradeep said that he wanted to develop an organization where people are self-giving. These are sometimes periodic (once a week) and sometimes permanent. chemists and local youth as health entrepreneurs. between the years 1993-2000. Page 3 of 5 . There are three identifiable phases of development. They employ 100 people. Currently. they added rural marketing in corporate sector.000 patients cured over the 2 year period. His experience of different 3 Rural markets. hatwari. Organizational Orientation Strategy for diversification followed by MART is that whenever a project comes which is different from what they have been doing. MART had a small number of people and worked on rural development in the Livelihood sector with NGOs. and shows potential. His experience of over 40 years in multinationals. ECG machines and ultrasound machines for a multinational company. testing labs. our primary focus remains the rural poor.” “Whatever work we undertake from government or corporate clients. significantly enhancing income of the poor families. and develop knowledge-base. and are driven from within themselves rather than wait for external motivation. offices in Bhubaneswar and Pune. otherwise also known as haats. work in teams and learn from one another. central and state governments.000 poor producers and encouraged them to continue their craft in the village. Three million people have been exposed to this program and 12. MART believes that projects should not be forced upon people. peta. Once responsibility for the project is decided. and in phase III. chindies or painths. competition. maneuvering and work for personal rather than organizational and social goals.

My first impression on meeting him was that he was totally unassuming.salaries. and encourage him/her to learn from the mistake. He said that he could not pay much salary. Soon after I joined we got a big World Bank project. All decisions are taken in meetings where anyone can raise an issue or problem. all expenses are met by MART. The Project team can discuss with anyone they wish or seek new knowledge inputs. Everything is open at MART. the oldest being 42 yrs. The Project leader chooses his team in consultation with senior colleagues. and I made up my mind that I wanted to work for him. of these 3 have rejoined and the other two want to return. I said I don’t mind. knowledge and experience. When a project proposal comes to MART. followed by lunch for everyone. Several colleagues sit down to analyze the reasons of failure and genuinely try to learn from the experience.kinds of organizations shows that the only organization that ensures lifelong belonging is the family. MART meets half his program fee. plans and all such matters. This is seen as a strength of MART because they do not hide failures as people often do in many organizations. He shared his plans and his vision. when a friend suggested I go and see Mr. In case anyone violates the norm the effort is to discuss the problem with him or her. If the organization sends the individual for any chosen program. success or failure is attributed to the team. there are no ‘behind-the-back’ or office gossip. My mind was made up and without waiting for his call I called him within two days and told him that I want to join. Reactions of employees to MART Some comments made by individuals in my interviews with them about their work and life at MART are reproduced below. MART works only one Saturday of the month where some external expert is invited for a talk. involve other colleagues. Pradeep expects that over time everyone in MART will become a partner and the company will be owned and run by them. If an individual wants to attend some training program of his interest. MART has no hierarchy at work. The average age of employees is 30 years. keeping in view the expertise that would be needed in carrying out the Project. In some cases I asked for some events.5 % share of the company. the individuals resolve among themselves. Once a team is formed. situation to support abstract and open statements. He said that he had no opening but he will contact me when he had one. MART is modeled on family values. we have not looked back for work after this project. a group of two or three senior consultants discuss it and depending upon the interest. An employee becomes a partner after 10 years of service and MART gifts him/her 2. Kashyap. For many MART is the first job. In case of personal differences. not any individual. I was engaged in some odd jobs. accounts. There is no stigma attached to failure. they take over total responsibility of the Project. “I had come to Delhi in search of a job in 1995. Employees are free to move from one group to another and approach any one for technical or personal help. As a team works on the project. open and friendly. All the comments are made without probing. Everything being open and known to all. In the last 5 years only five employees left MART. I experienced professional and personal growth and cooperation at work I had not experienced elsewhere” Page 4 of 5 .

Kashyap had come to deliver a lecture. It also expects to spread geographically in India and abroad. develop and acquire new skills. Kashyap does not speak much but he knows what everyone is doing. I was selected in the campus interview. Pradeep corrected me to say that achievement or failure is of the team. innovation and experimentation with ideas. From day-one whenever I talked about my having done this or that. MART has given me maximum freedom to work. The model is derived from their conviction.” “Of all the places I have worked. MART has to learn. After listening to him and going through the website of MART. besides work related issues.” “MART helps us mature our thinking which makes me feel good about myself. What should MART do to sustain its culture while growing its business and staff? Page 5 of 5 . I felt obliged to personally tell Mr.” “MART is a very open organization.” “MART provides continuous scope for enhancing my knowledge. It is easy to talk to him about personal problems.” “Mr. Kashyap about my decision. Experience suggests that in an affiliative society like India. a part of the process. After joining. I did not have to leave the company. I found MART to be even better than what I had imagined it to be. like others. respect. This is how we work in MART. Before sending a formal resignation. He listens to our personal problems patiently and resolves them. western approaches have generally failed to create the desired work culture. belief and commitment to the organizational attributes and the work culture.” “In every project I learn something new. It is good to share ideas with friends.” “During my college days Mr.” “The work environment is relaxed. skills development and agribusiness.“Pradeep Sir is the caring Head of the MART family and not a typical. and not that of an individual.” “Whenever I approach anyone in MART with personal or work related problem people co-operate. The experience here makes you grow and gives you confidence in yourself.” “He talks to people at their own level. He is always available when you need him. Each project is different. formal CEO in a company. He put his work aside to discuss my problem and resolved it.” “Coming to office is like coming home” “I had a personal problem at home and could see no solution other than resign from the company. MART believes that its strength lies in the leadership and the family-like work environment. I decided that I wanted to work for this organization. The other day I went to a senior colleague who was busy completing a report. We can disagree with a point without fear of personal risk. opportunity for selfdevelopment. He found a solution that had not occurred to me. We believe in collective decisions and I am. We can express our views openly. experiment with new approaches and remain one step ahead of other organizations in providing cutting edge knowledge. MART has helped me to widen my interest and I enjoy my work. We work on projects in a team. All decisions are taken in meetings through consensus.” MART expects to double its business in 2 years and develop additional expertise in healthcare. colleagueship and variety in work. There are few rules and regulations imposed on us from above. I go to him for my personal problems.

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