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

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

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

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

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