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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UK on creation of large scale. the world works behind you”. Talking about the contribution of MART. Earlier they were funded by World Bank and Department of International Department (DFID). As an illustration. central and state governments and donor agencies on poverty reduction programs for which he travelled extensively to rural areas. commercial. because rural development is their mission. They modify. the year Pradeep turned 40 he resigned from his corporate job after 18 years in the sector. He had several discussions with the Guru about the meaning and purpose of life. Tamil Nadu and MP. He said that “We co-created ‘Project Shakti’ with Unilever where 50. you are alone but when you work for others.” In 1980 Pradeep accompanied his wife to her family Guru’s Ashram in Almora district. in market research. Government of India. cultural or sport-related. Pradeep was innovative in his job and was appreciated by his peers and supervisors. One reason why they are chosen over others came from an associate who said. “MART is dedicated to the work they do. Pradeep Kashyap served in three multinational companies in marketing. The job gave me material comforts and I was able to construct a house in South Delhi at a young age of 29 years. Pradeep said “I come from a wellto-do filmily. It is used in the Indian subcontinent for all sizes of gatherings and can be religious. or suggest alternate uses to the advantage of the community as well as the manufacturer. In 1987. The Guru suggested that working for the rural poor could be more meaningful.After an engineering degree from BITS. Pradeep gave some examples. But a hollow feeling kept bothering me. In 2000 a corporate house approached MART to undertake research for their product in rural markets. 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. In rural traditions melas or village fairs were (and in some cases still are) of great importance Page 2 of 5 . Initially he worked with an NGO for 2 years and thereafter as a Marketing Advisor to the Ministry of Rural Development. He established MART in 1993 a consulting firm to serve rural poor. 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. sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor – in the forestry and agribusiness areas. For the next 10 years Pradeep and his small team worked on minimal remuneration for several NGOs. This involvement of MART continues and has expanded over the years. The job required extensive travelling and experience in widely different areas. sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in AP. MART focuses on what people need. Pilani in 1969.” These women have doubled their family income and utilize the additional income on better health care and education for their children. Since then MART has worked with many Fortune 500 and large Indian companies. product development. Pradeep undertook market research.000 poor rural women across 12 states have been appointed as company dealers. This was the genesis of setting up a corporate rural marketing division. not merely on sale of a product. 2 Mela (Sanskrit: ) is a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering' or 'to meet' or a fair. market strategy and promotion assignments. product modification and created a MELA2 system for sale of rural product in urban areas. His last assignment was as Head of Marketing of a large Japanese auto ancillary in 1987. Technically their approach is superior– they research the market thoroughly to improve the lives of the poor. or redesign. MART is working as Livelihood consultant to World Bank funded projects in Orissa and Maharashtra to create large scale. and was greatly impressed by his ideas and the model farm and dairy in the Ashram.

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

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

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

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