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

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

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

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

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