Hi All,
I am doing my summer internship and working on a project , which is "employee engagement". I need some short inspiring true stories of known great leaders who overcame hardships and reached the top. looking out for known personalities. I checked out but couldnt find anything interesting. i want something that really motivates the employees (these are sales / marketing guys only, as I am only to target them in my project)
Can some one please help me with the same
Looking forward to lots of responses.
Thank you.

From China, Qinhuangdao
Dear Pooji,
I have written an article on M.S Dhoni, Indian cricket team captain titled
'M.S Dhoni - Leadership Lessons for aspiring leaders" which my be useful for you. Kindly click on the link to read the same.
"Success Through Excellence" - Shamim Rafeek: M. S Dhoni - Leadership Lessons for Aspiring Leaders
Good Luck
With best regards
Blog : "Success Through Excellence" - Shamim Rafeek

From India
Dear Pooji,
Here is an very inspiring story of a leading businesswomen.
Ann Mulcahy , Chairman, CEO, Xerox , 2001 – Present
Starting at the Bottom of the Ladder :-
Anne Mulcahy joined Xerox in 1976, as a field representative, and staged a progressive climb to the executive suite. In 1992, she became vice president of human resources, and in 1997 she became chief staffing officer. Mulcahy served as corporate senior vice president before she was selected as the CEO in 2001.
pls check out more about Ann Mulanchy and how she turn around Xerox from the below mentioned links.
Top Stories: News: Stanford GSB

From India, Madras
Thank you shamim and Vimal . These two will surely help me in inspiring them. "Employee engagement" becomes tough when its only through mails and thats where the challenge comes in. I have to take care of the Management trainees across the zone. however i thought of lot of practical activities which seemed to be impossible as they were located in branches. Now the only way was through Emails, so thats the way i am taking it forward. In case you find some more Success stories (Passed through struggle) please send it to me. why I am only looking at the path of "Struggle to success" is because we all know what struggle is involved in marketing.
Others please send some good real good success stories who went through hard ships and reached the top as i have to plan it for the whole year.
Thank you

From China, Qinhuangdao
Can anyone help me with "Dhirubhai, Apj Abdul Kalam’s success story. I want some thing on which emphasizes on their struggle and never give up attitude. Thanks Pooja
From China, Qinhuangdao
Hi pooji ,

Here is an inspiring story about C K Ranganathan, chairman and managing director of CavinKare. I don't know how it would fit into your scheme of things. But this a very inspiring story about entrepreneurship, innovation ,and executing those marketing strategies.

Ranganathan's journey, which started from a small town of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, has been an amazing one. A business which he started with only with Rs 15,000 is now worth Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion).

He learnt the first entrepreneurial lessons from his father, Chinni Krishnan, who started a small-scale pharmaceutical packaging unit, before moving on to manufacture pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.

In an interview with rediff.com, the CavinKare chief speaks about his inspiring journey.

His father, his inspiration

My father, Chinni Krishnan, an agriculturist, was also into pharmaceutical business. As I was poor in academics, he wanted me to either do agriculture or start a business.

My siblings were good in studies -- two of them became doctors and another a lawyer. I was the odd one out. While my siblings studied in English medium schools, I was put in a Tamil medium school. I used to suffer from an inferiority complex because of my poor academic record.

Studies did not interest me, but rearing pets did. When I was in the fifth standard, I had a lot of pets -- more than 500 pigeons, a lot of fish and a large variety of birds. I used to earn my pocket money out of pet business at that time. Perhaps, the entrepreneurial spirit in me showed its first streak.

The origin of the concept of sachets

My father died as I entered college. He had come out with the sachet concept a couple of years prior to his demise. He felt liquid can be packed in sachets as well. When talcum powder was sold only in tin containers, he was the one who sold it in 100 gm, 50 gm and 20 gm packs.

When Epsom salt came in 100 gm packets, my father brought out salt sachets of as low as 5 gm.

'Whatever I make, I want the coolies and the rickshawpullers to use. I want to make my products affordable to them,' he used to say.

Selling things in sachets was his motto as he said, 'this is going to be the product of the future.' But my father could not market the concept well. He moved from one innovation to another but never thought of marketing strategies. He was a great innovator, but a poor marketer.

Joining the family business

After my father's death, my brothers took charge of the family business. In 1982, when I joined them after my studies, they had launched Velvette Shampoo. Within eight to nine months, I left the business because my ideas clashed with theirs.

As I was in the manufacturing unit, I did not know anything about marketing or finance. But, my inferiority complex notwithstanding, I was somehow confident of doing business better.

Starting his own business with Rs 15,000

I had left my brothers saying that I did not want any stake in the property or business. That was a defining moment for me. I had saved Rs 15,000 from my salary and that was all I had. Yet I was confident of achieving success. I did not feel anything about riding a bicycle after having got used to cars.

For a week, I could not make up my mind as to what business to do. I knew only two things; making shampoo and rearing pets. I didn't want to venture into the shampoo business as it would initate a fight with my brothers.

However, I decided to do the same later as I could only make shampoo.

I rented a house-cum-office for Rs 250 a month against an advance of Rs 1,000. I took another place for the factory for a rent of Rs 300 a month and against an advance of Rs 1,200. I bought a shampoo-packing machine for Rs 3,000.

How Chik Shampoo was born

I named it Chik Shampoo after my father. The product did not succeed immediately; we learnt many things during the process. In the first month, we could sell 20,000 sachets and from the second year, we started making profits.

I moved to Chennai in 1989 but our manufacturing unit continued to be in Cuddalore. It took me three years to get the first loan because banks asked for collateral. I did not have any. But one particular bank gave me a loan of Rs 25,000 which we rotated and later upgraded to Rs 400,000, Rs 15 lakh (Rs 1.5 million), etc.

You know what the bank manager wrote in our loan application? 'This person does not have any collateral to offer but there is something interesting about this SSI unit. Unlike others, this company pays income tax!'

I must say my business never looked back because I was very particular about paying income tax.

Strategies that made Chik Shampoo No. 1 in South India

When Chik entered the market, Velvette Shampoo was being marketed aggressively by Godrej. But a scheme of ours became extremely successful -- we exchanged five sachets of any shampoo for a Chik Shampoo sachet, free.

Later, we altered the scheme -- we started giving one free Chik Shampoo sachet in lieu of five Chik Shampoo sachets only. Soon, consumers started asking for Chik sachets only. The sales went up from Rs 35,000 to Rs 12 lakh (Rs 1.2 million) a month.

When we introduced jasmine and rose fragrances, our sales went up to Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million) per month and with actor Amala as our model, our sales rose to Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) a month! Each idea of ours was rewarded by our customers. There has been no looking back since then.

Our market share increased and in 1992, we became the numero uno in South India. It took nine years for me to overtake my brothers' business.

How Chik Shampoo conquered the rural market

Multinational companies sold products in big bottles and not in sachets and they sold only from fancy stores. They did not look at the small kirana stores, nor did they look at the rural market.

We went to the rural areas of South India where people hardly used shampoo. We showed them how to use it. We did live demonstration on a young boy. We asked those assembled to feel and smell his hair.

Next we planned Chik Shampoo-sponsored shows of Rajniknath's films. We showed our advertisements in between, followed by live demonstrations. We also distributed free sachets among the audience after these shows. This worked wonders in rural Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. After every show, our shampoo sales went up three to four times.

Today, the Indian rural market is growing at a pace double than that of the urban market.

Launching Meera Herbal powder

We continued with Chik Shampoo for seven years before venturing into anything else.

Meera Herbal powder was actually not our idea. Shaw Wallace already had a herbal product but it was marketed very poorly. We felt there was a demand for herbal products and we made a good product. I felt we should be the leader if ours was a good product. And guess what? In the third month itself, we topped the market. In six months, we had 95 per cent market share, while Shaw Wallace had only 4-5 per cent.

How Beauty Cosmetics became CavinKare

As we planned to expand to new products, we thought the name Beauty Cosmetics would be restrictive. In 1998, we ran a contest among our employees for a name and one of them suggested CavinKare; with C and K spelt in capitals. CK, my father's initials. Cavin in Tamil means beauty and grace.

Perfumes for the poor

We wanted to cater to those who cannot afford (high priced) perfumes. Good perfumes came at a huge price -- they were beyond the means of ordinary people. We decided to come out with a Rs 10 pack Spinz. We were successful in that too.

Shampoo market share

In the last two to three years, our market share has come down though we are growing. It is mainly because of the anti-dandruff shampoos in the market. We do not have an anti-dandruff shampoo yet. From 0 per cent, the anti-dandruff shampoos have taken over 25 per cent of the market.

Only 75 per cent of the market, therefore, constitutes ordinary shampoos. We hold 20 per cent of the market share.

But we are the largest brand in rural Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, etc. and we are the number one in many other states as well.

On the decision to launch a fairness cream

We decided to launch Fairever in 1997 as we saw a huge demand fairness cream. We are the second largest player in the market in this.

Research states that when a product is good, consumers do not shift to a new brand. Our team told me not to venture into the fairness cream market as the consumers were quite satisfied with the existing products. But we went to launch our product containing saffron -- which is traditionally used to get a fair complexion. In six months, our sales galloped.

This was followed by Indica hair dye.

Two and a half years ago, we launched Ruchi pickles in sachets and we became number one there too. We sell close to 5,000 tonne of pickles per annum. We hope to double this in two to three years. Food is a huge market: we have understood that.

Our target is to be a Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion) company in another three years.

Reasons behind his success

Teamwork is the main reason for our success. We have good professionals who work really hard. The second reason of our success is innovation. We have executed innovative ideas as well.

I feel each of us has to give something back to the society. I have great admiration for those who fight against all odds and attain success. When I started my career, I only faced shortage of funds but these people tide over graver difficulties. We must applaud their fighting spirit.

C K Ranganathan, chairman and managing director of CavinKare.

source : Rediff



From India, Madras
Yess..you got it right...this is what i was looking at... Thank you Vimal....Please send me some more of such types if possible Others, Please help. Thanks, Pooja
From China, Qinhuangdao
Hi Pooja,
It would be helpful for you to get hold of this book by Porus Munshi - 'Making Amazing Breakthrough Happen - How 11 Indians pulled off the impossible'. It has 11 real life case studies of ordinary Indians who achieved the so called 'impossible'.

From India, Chandigarh
Thank you Simerjeet, Have jotted the name down .Will i get any info if i type in the said name on google search ? because going to library and hunting looks difficult :( Regards, Pooja
From China, Qinhuangdao

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