Good times (not)!!!

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Out of all my years in the corporate in various roles, 2009/2010 are the ones am most proud of. Ironic considering they were the lowest personally. The kind of work I did in those years gives me confidence even today. I worked in a set up where I could do anything in any way because there were no working norms for this channel. I was only one of the two people in the channel in those years and so I made my own working norms. Then I moved to Delhi NCR and did the same thing all over again. If I had to go back to this role today, I will be extremely unhappy if my work has been undone and the area is in disarray. I swear I will break down and cry. Which is why am not someone who looks back once I move out of a role. I don’t compare how the new person is doing since it only creates heartburn.

When I rejoined the current organization, it was for two reasons only. First was location. I wanted to move back to Gurgaon, that was my only priority in 2013. Second was that I knew the person whose team I was joining. He was one of the few people I had always had a good, though limited, interaction with. It is rare to come across someone in the corporate who didn’t give me a reason to criticise him. Sure, I joined a smaller brand, a minisucle channel making it irrelevant to 99% of the employees, a highly bureaucratic set up with a frustratingly laid back way of working. But my role was infinitely better. I was finally in a 100% strategic role. Those were the good days when the channel met targets and so we had the luxury to try new things and there was a lot of flexibility in the job. We felt like we made decisions, even when we actually didn’t. A trick I have picked up from this person.

Anyway, am back to this channel now and I want to cry. The good work has been completely undone and I have been handed over the complete mess with colleagues claiming “we are looking up to you to get all this sorted”. In my previous role, the big gap was my team’s motivation levels. They were stretched too far, frustrated and worked in silos. But everything else was in place so I had time to focus on bringing the team together. Now, my team is extremely raw and only very experienced and smart people (like I worked with earlier) can do justice to the tasks in hand. Well, the very experienced and smart people would never have let things come to this point.

So, here I am. All on my own. Atleast in Mumbai, I had a colleague in the same channel and we could swap sob stories but here, it is going to be lonely. I am up for the challenge because 7 years in this channel means I know pretty much everything there is to know. Nothing in the organised FMCG industry has changed in the last 5-8 years. Future Group is buying everything that crosses it’s path, FDI is still not here, FMCG companies haven’t tapped the potential of cash and carry, none of the retailers have money to pay their vendors on time, retailers continue to work on discounting model to attract consumers but can’t retain them and the industry has been stagnant for a while now.

Atleast now my 4 am depression has a reason behind it.


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