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Ref. No.: BRM0004

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The Initial Hiccups of a Startup Brand

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Anil Kumar (Anil), who owns a distribution firm named Brand Distributors Pvt. Ltd., was in a dilemma. A fashion designer by qualification and an entrepreneur by nature he loved to face challenges. Anil was concerned after having a look at the sales figures of his firm. However, having a never say quit attitude he was determined to find solution for his dilemma. He grabbed his laptop and began typing to search for some information on Google. He googled for quite sometime and then noted down few addresses and phone numbers. Those numbers and addresses belonged to the local business consultants. Deciding to make calls to them the following morning, he called it a day.

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When he arrived at his office the following morning, his employees had arrived and were busy making arrangements to go on their daily marketing tours. Anil gave them the necessary instructions and entered his cabin. He looked for the notes that he had prepared yesterday. After going through it for a few minutes, he started calling on the listed numbers. Finally, he struck a deal with one of the consultants – Srikar Raj (Srikar)– to solve his problem. The consultant agreed to come to his office at 4 pm to discuss the problem.

Anil was waiting impatiently for the consultant, who walked in to Anil’s cabin at 4.15 pm. Srikar: Hello Anil, I am Srikar from Bizstrat Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Anil: Hello. Srikar, I was waiting for you. Please have a seat. Then Anil took the receiver, ordered for a coffee and instructed the receptionist not to disturb him for some time.

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Srikar: Well to start with, Anil, I would like to know what is the problem with your business?

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Anil: I have recently launched a brand and although it has all the potential it does not seem to work. I see that there are no takers for it in the market. I am unable to understand the actual problem. What do I do to increase the sales of my brand?

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This case study was written by Syed Abdul Samad under the direction of Dr. V. Srinivas, IBSCDC. The author also acknowledges the inputs from R. Muthukumar. It is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was prepared from generalised experiences. © 2009, IBSCDC.

No part of this publication may be copied, stored, transmitted, reproduced or distributed in any form or medium whatsoever without the permission of the copyright owner.

The Initial Hiccups of a Startup Brand

Srikar: Ok, let me have a complete picture. Tell me your side of the story from the beginning. Anil started telling him the entire sequence of events from the beginning.

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Anil: As soon as I completed my fashion-designing course, 5 years back, I set up a boutique, which catered to the needs of the residents of that area and the surrounding areas. My target customers were women who preferred innovative and hep designs for their garments. Srikar: How was the customer response for that business?

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Anil: The customer response was very encouraging. I received a lot of appreciation for my quality of work and innovative designs and most of my customers turned out to be repeat customers. Many of them even brought their relatives and friends to my boutique. I would consider it as a successful venture.

Srikar: Then, what was your next step?

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Anil: Since I am an entrepreneur by nature, I wanted to expand my business. Therefore, after 6 months of establishing the boutique, I signed an agreement with a renowned brand to distribute its products in the local retail market. My market covered only two districts initially. I had only five marketers at that time. However, in the next 4 years, I had entered into agreements with five more brands. The number of staff in my firm also increased and currently I have 15 marketers. My market region...
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