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

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

In some cases I asked for some events. all expenses are met by MART. not any individual. Employees are free to move from one group to another and approach any one for technical or personal help. This is seen as a strength of MART because they do not hide failures as people often do in many organizations. He said that he had no opening but he will contact me when he had one. In case anyone violates the norm the effort is to discuss the problem with him or her. and I made up my mind that I wanted to work for him. All the comments are made without probing. He shared his plans and his vision. An employee becomes a partner after 10 years of service and MART gifts him/her 2. when a friend suggested I go and see Mr. MART works only one Saturday of the month where some external expert is invited for a talk. we have not looked back for work after this project. All decisions are taken in meetings where anyone can raise an issue or problem. Everything is open at MART. Kashyap. The average age of employees is 30 years. There is no stigma attached to failure. situation to support abstract and open statements. Soon after I joined we got a big World Bank project. plans and all such matters. and encourage him/her to learn from the mistake. In case of personal differences. the individuals resolve among themselves. MART has no hierarchy at work. 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. He said that he could not pay much salary. Everything being open and known to all. Pradeep expects that over time everyone in MART will become a partner and the company will be owned and run by them. the oldest being 42 yrs. Once a team is formed. success or failure is attributed to the team. keeping in view the expertise that would be needed in carrying out the Project.salaries. MART is modeled on family values. a group of two or three senior consultants discuss it and depending upon the interest. If an individual wants to attend some training program of his interest. I said I don’t mind. Several colleagues sit down to analyze the reasons of failure and genuinely try to learn from the experience. 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. For many MART is the first job. The Project team can discuss with anyone they wish or seek new knowledge inputs. MART meets half his program fee. knowledge and experience. 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 . open and friendly. I was engaged in some odd jobs. followed by lunch for everyone. they take over total responsibility of the Project. As a team works on the project. of these 3 have rejoined and the other two want to return. When a project proposal comes to MART. My first impression on meeting him was that he was totally unassuming. accounts. there are no ‘behind-the-back’ or office gossip. “I had come to Delhi in search of a job in 1995.5 % share of the company. The Project leader chooses his team in consultation with senior colleagues. If the organization sends the individual for any chosen program.kinds of organizations shows that the only organization that ensures lifelong belonging is the family. involve other colleagues.

It also expects to spread geographically in India and abroad. innovation and experimentation with ideas. Pradeep corrected me to say that achievement or failure is of the team. I was selected in the campus interview. and not that of an individual. besides work related issues.” “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. formal CEO in a company. MART believes that its strength lies in the leadership and the family-like work environment. What should MART do to sustain its culture while growing its business and staff? Page 5 of 5 . He is always available when you need him. MART has given me maximum freedom to work.” “Of all the places I have worked. I go to him for my personal problems. The other day I went to a senior colleague who was busy completing a report. western approaches have generally failed to create the desired work culture. MART has to learn. He listens to our personal problems patiently and resolves them. opportunity for selfdevelopment. From day-one whenever I talked about my having done this or that. It is good to share ideas with friends. Each project is different. I decided that I wanted to work for this organization. He found a solution that had not occurred to me. skills development and agribusiness. I found MART to be even better than what I had imagined it to be. Before sending a formal resignation.” MART expects to double its business in 2 years and develop additional expertise in healthcare.” “The work environment is relaxed.” “Whenever I approach anyone in MART with personal or work related problem people co-operate.” “During my college days Mr.” “He talks to people at their own level. I felt obliged to personally tell Mr. MART has helped me to widen my interest and I enjoy my work. This is how we work in MART. Kashyap about my decision. respect. After listening to him and going through the website of MART.” “MART helps us mature our thinking which makes me feel good about myself. a part of the process. belief and commitment to the organizational attributes and the work culture. colleagueship and variety in work. Kashyap had come to deliver a lecture. Experience suggests that in an affiliative society like India. We work on projects in a team.” “In every project I learn something new. It is easy to talk to him about personal problems. After joining. All decisions are taken in meetings through consensus.” “MART provides continuous scope for enhancing my knowledge. We can disagree with a point without fear of personal risk. We can express our views openly. Kashyap does not speak much but he knows what everyone is doing. We believe in collective decisions and I am. The experience here makes you grow and gives you confidence in yourself. experiment with new approaches and remain one step ahead of other organizations in providing cutting edge knowledge.” “Mr. develop and acquire new skills. The model is derived from their conviction.” “MART is a very open organization.“Pradeep Sir is the caring Head of the MART family and not a typical. He put his work aside to discuss my problem and resolved it. like others. There are few rules and regulations imposed on us from above. I did not have to leave the company.

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