MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS
Good business management is the key to success of any business house. It is a creative force which helps in the optimum utilization of resources of an organization. The process of managing a business comprises several intertwined elements by which the goals and objectives of the organization are achieved. These elements or functions include, promoting and marketing the product produced by the firm; making the product available to prospective consumers through proper distribution channels; managing the accounts and finances of the firm; protecting its intellectual property, etc. It also involves creating harmony among the working of various departments and divisions of the firm. Managing human resources and managing relationship with the customer's are the most important elements in the whole process of business management.
An entrepreneur with good managerial skills can convert the disorganized resources of men, money, material and machinery into a productive business enterprise. In a modern business, different types of skills are required in order to effectively manage an organization in a dynamic environment. These skills include:-
- Technical skills:- refer to the ability and knowledge in using equipment, techniques and procedures involved in performing specific tasks. An entrepreneur must know the skills which should be employed in his enterprise and must understand both the role of each skill employed and the inter-relationship between skills.
- Human skills:- consist of the ability to work effectively with other people both as individuals and as members of a group. Such skills are required by an entrepreneur in order to win co-operation of others and to build a base for a successful work team.
- Conceptual skills:- comprise the ability to see the whole organization and the inter-relations between its parts. Such skills help the entrepreneur to conceptualise the environment and to take a broad and farsighted view of the organization. These skills include the competence to understand a problem facing the organization in all its aspects and solving the problem. It is necessary for rational decision making
Managing is a dynamic and an on-going process which continues to operate so long as there is an organised action for the achievement of group goals.
India is an enormously hierarchical society (arguably the most hierarchical in the world) and this, obviously, has an impact on management style. It is imperative that there is a boss and that the manager acts like a boss. The position of manager demands a certain amount of role-playing from the boss and a certain amount of deferential behaviour from his subordinates. The boss is definitely not expected to perform any seemingly 'menial' tasks such as making coffee for everybody or moving chairs in a meeting room! Anglo-Saxon concepts of egalitarianism where the boss is the primus inter pares are virtually incomprehensible in a society still dominated by the historical conventions of the caste system.
Therefore, the boss is expected to give explicit instructions which will be followed to the letter - even if everybody knows full well that the instruction is incorrect. Vague requests for action, with the expectation that staff will show the necessary level of initiative are likely to end in inaction, as staff will be left confused as to the wishes of the manager. Managing people in India requires a level of micro-management which many western business people feel extremely uncomfortable with but, which is likely to bring the best results.
It is also worth bearing in mind that many off-shore centres in India are staffed by recent graduates who, although highly educated, intelligent and motivated, will lack basic commercial experience. Any office where all the managers are 25 years old and the team-members are 23 years-old will lack a degree of experience. Inexperience does not equate to incompetence and this needs to be borne in mind at all times.