AYUSH SHRESTHA : WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A SUCCESSFUL MANAGER
AYUSH SHRESTHA (HEAD OF MARKETING AT IMS GROUP)
Integrated Mobility Solutions (IMS) Group, authorized distributors of Samsung Mobile Phones, has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the Nepalese business industry. Their fairly recent acquisition of the Korean automotive brand Ssangyong was a big step for the juggernauts which has further propelled them into the top tiers of the business world.
That effectively puts a lot of responsibilities on the shoulders of Ayush Shrestha, Head of Marketing at IMS Group. He has been working at IMS for the last two years and has established himself as a focused team player and an integral part of the organization. With a fair bit of experience under his belt, we went over to talk to him about it has been. Here are the excerpts.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WORKING IN THE NEPALESE ENVIRONMENT?
You can’t always have a plan and expect to successfully stick to it in Nepal; not because of any shortcomings internally but because of external factors that are out of our control. For instance, we went to a launch event and there was a rumor of a strike on that day. The rumors eventually fell through but it hampered the overall success and efficiency. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more that’s rendering hardworking organizations handicapped.
It is important to prepare beforehand and always have a plan B in mind, and have that level of resilience to take a company you work in, to better heights despite the adversities.
HOW IS WORKING IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST ORGANIZATIONS DIFFERENT FROM ANYWHERE ELSE?
I joined IMS Group two and a half years ago and despite the sheer size of the organization and the degree of responsibilities, it is one of the coolest organizations I have worked in. We are a young team, so our vision and our mindset are similar.
Unlike other big organizations, there is no interference in what you do. It’s not like you’re working for someone under constant pressure, we associate with the organization and feel like we’re part of a team. And that is very important. That’s why we know our responsibilities and we get those accomplished. So, yes it is very different and most of it comes from our love for the organization as a whole.
BECAUSE NEPAL HAS SUCH A DIVERSE MARKET, HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO SEGREGATE MARKETS? WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GO ABOUT DOING THAT?
Yes, Nepal has a diverse market and it can be tricky to segregate it into perfectly defined segments. You need a well thought out strategy, which brings us to Ssangyong Motor. We have a specific target market that focuses mainly on higher- middle class to higher class people. So, we need to strategize according to that. Right after we launched Ssangyong we did a drive and dine activation where customers who test drove our cars could dine in all the premium restaurants in Kathmandu. That was necessary considering our target market.
Samsung Phones on the other hand are a different ball game. There is a massive range of products and a correspondingly diverse market. Everyone is a potential customer and since phones are a basic necessity our strategies change accordingly. You have to pivot your strategies according to the product and situation.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A MARKETING HEAD AND THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH IT.
The thing I like most about working in the marketing department is that you meet a lot of people. And for me, because I like meeting new people, this company has proved to be very enjoyable which has helped me learn new things and grow as a professional. But, it is challenging because you have a certain plan and you need to do it right. Regardless of the adversities, at the end of the day, you need to get things done.
SOMETIMES, PEOPLE COME IN WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND THE ILLUSION OF KNOWING EVERYTHING AND THAT SHUTS THEM OFF TO ANY SUGGESTION OR ADVICE.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GO THE EXTRA MILE AT ANY JOB?
Whether a person goes that extra mile or not depends on that individual, but it will definitely say more about the person’s work ethics. We have this mentality that Saturday is a weekend and working on a Saturday would be a sin. But sometimes work demands more.
I have worked a lot of Saturdays. And yes obviously, we need time for family and friends but if you take the responsibility to do something and you haven’t completed it or had some problems it is your duty to get it done. That is part of being a responsible professional.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN NEW RECRUITS?
A positive attitude and mindset is very important for a new recruit. Like I said sometimes we need to go that extra mile and someone who sulks or has a negative attitude in that situation is not someone who I look to as an asset. S/he should be able to listen to people and try to learn about new things.
Sometimes, people come in with years of experience and the illusion of knowing everything and that shuts them off to any suggestion or advice. Having that positive mindset is what I look for as a number one priority.
Also, our organization is a big company and for that they need to have a certain level of experience because we require a certain level of practical knowledge on how the industry works. The basic skills like talking to people and handling some situations in a professional level is also very important.
Lastly, we need genuine people who possess drive and passion. They should really want the job. And also they should be willing to stay at the office for at least 2 years. Sometimes, when I look at the CV, people have a lot of experience in a lot of organizations but it is for less than a year. To really understand the market people should be stable in their previous jobs as well. Also, I would like to suggest the youngsters to get some level of experience before you do your Master’s degree. If you have some experience you will know what you want to specialize in in your graduate level.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ERRORS THAT EMPLOYEES DO TO GET THEMSELVES IN HOT WATER?
The first mistake people do is start too early in jobs they don’t have a knack for. Sometimes, a person comes in at the office just because it is a big company. So, people should realize what they are passionate about and find a job that fits the bill. Everyone is different, and they all have specific skills. I am in the marketing field and that is what I love doing, but not everyone does. So, they should also know what they want to do. But they stick to that job just because it is big or pays well without actually putting that much effort into it.
And there are some who are reluctant to speak up, whether it is in regards to asking questions, giving answers or providing suggestions to their seniors or their juniors. And that problem at the end hampers the overall performance of the organization. Some just end up quitting their jobs early if it starts getting a little hectic. Truth be told, you have to work hard there is no way around it.