Shombit Books

My books are from my experience in society, business and art

My books are from my experience in society, business and art
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Jalebi Management
by Editor | September 19, 2007
Shombit Sengupta   Bringing the very Indian jalebi that is consumed and enjoyed by our masses to the rarefied world of global business is in itself a message. An important addition to the literature of management as a discipline, this pioneering book starts by provoking readers into opening their minds to the immense possibilities and opportunities that the world offers people who are inclined to take the business plunge.

The book alerts emerging countries on how to step into an innovative activity frame and the importance of paying attention to human culture,
lifestyle and trends, while conducting business. Marked by original thought, concepts, processes and graphics, it demonstrates that business organizations of today must be sensitive to the nuances of global social culture so as to bring about quantum growth. In particular, it establishes that there is no barrier between industry and society.

Chapter-wise (12 chapters) synopsis by the author

Jalebi Management - By Shombit Sengupta

Jalebi Management book   Chapter 1: Take off on Jalebi. Can an organization become like an unique palatable sweet that all stakeholders enjoy biting into? Culling my 30 years of global experience in top management consulting with corporations, I'm equating the complexity of business and it's management to a jalebi, a traditional oriental dessert relished in India and theArab countries.

The idea of connecting this delicious, uneven pretzel in syrup to an organization's value chain with its several functioning layers is to make the company's culture sensitive to the desires of consumers. Flavored
with metaphorical anecdotes, the book shows how different organizations have successfully implemented my original business theories and concepts for their business enhancement.

  Shombit's book, his management techniques and his views are not just creative, but grounded
in reality.

In this chapter I am hankering for a jalebi I saw in an Arab shop window but couldn't afford at that time. It introduces the jalebi and 19-year-old me arriving in Paris 1973 with just $ 8 in my pocket. I explain the meaning of displacement in human life, how I was born to poor Bengali refugees in India and displaced myself to Paris. The way immigrants to America, if they work hard and have the vision, can fulfill their dreams. But Arab immigrants in France never mentally displaced themselves; that's why they face enormous integration problems.

I discover that my battling poverty in India and initially in Europe pales against the macabre struggles experienced by Europeans through two World Wars and Nazi atrocities. This life threatening struggle actually gave birth to tremendous innovation of different products which the modern world is enjoying today. In contrast, Mahatma Gandhi taught Indians to increase their level of tolerance instead of struggling to win, so India has a dearth of innovation and futuristic vision.

Chapter2: Create discomfort. Complacency kills the innovative spirit in an organization. This chapter shows how different innovators and creators in the West had suffered enormous discomfort to unearth newness. It is imperative for organizations to inflict self-discomfort by considering radical ideas or deviating from the norm to step into the innovative world. Discomfort is a medical doze of self-torture. It makes an organization see things differently to become competitive and innovative.

Chapter 3: Beauty of the curse. To be really consumer sensitive an organization needs to understand how consumers anywhere in the world indulge themselves by breaking into swear words. The indulgent language of the curse has different dimensions and layers depending on a person's mental stamina and social position.

  Jalebi Management has woven the society, history and business in a way that shows how they can co-exist in harmony.  

Here's an explanation of the curse process, outlined like a sutra akin to Kama Sutra, ancient India's depiction of sexual positions. There are six internationally recognizable curses that people connect very well with. A curse is the most hedonistic and intimate character of a human being, but conventional, educated society is hypocritical in not acknowledging that. If a brand wants to enter the consumer's realm of hedonism, it has to understand the curse as a dimension of intemperance.

Chapter 4: The jagged edges I see in business. Consumers may not directly revolt against certain business discrepancies that exist, but these may create coldness that could be damaging for business tomorrow. In the technology world when a model becomes half its price after a year of launch, consumer confidence is totally violated. This is a high alert for globally reputed companies who need new markets. Such flaws are prevalent and numerous in emerging economy countries, less so in sophisticated developed countries. With consumer sensitivity growing at a rapid pace, these jagged edges need to be avoided in delivery.

Chapter 5: Renovation and Innovation. Renovation is I change myself. Innovation is I change the world. From personal experience I have understood France to have a tremendous avant garde culture of renovation that can totally surprise. Here heritage and futuristic thought combine to create a beautiful harmony that converts oldness into a contemporary dimension.

With various examples I have demonstrated how France has been a leader in innovation too, changing people's lives dramatically. For the development of any country, it is necessary for renovation and innovation to go in tandem.

Chapter 6: Vital space in business. Food is vital for individual survival, sex for personal need and procreation of the human race, and knowledge is mental ingenuity to improve human life. The three are interconnected, pyramidal and cannot be moved. In the same way, business has three layers to keep it consistent and sustainable.

The vital space of business is its survival. You need to continuously nurture the base of your business, filter it at the right time to avoid contamination and make it powerful. The second is the need layer which can consider business expansion. Once the two layers are strong and solid, your business can venture out to acquire outstanding knowledge on the top of the pyramid to get into more sexy business areas.

However, several companies enter this top layer without a microscopic analysis of the parts below that comprise the vital space. The neglect of its vital and need spaces can create a vacuum, resulting in the top sexy part of the business becoming unstable. It is necessary to heavily manure the vital space before entering new businesses, to ensure that the new business will sustain and not be an adventure.

But it is equally important to check whether the vital space is obsolete in its business practice and needs changing. In this circumstance, it is better to radically change the vital space rather than put a new area on the top of the pyramid.

  The driving force behind Jalebi Management is Shombit's dream of an Indian transformation from complacency to leadership in the global business arena.  

Chapter 7: Generic market battlefield. Technology and outsourcing excellence are reducing at staggering speed the surprise element of a product or service, which was considered as organizational knowhow 30 years ago. What was unique yesterday is exposed to the external world today. So imitations of expensive brands are available at low cost throughout the world. Consumers and customers may not see tangible value differentiation between big global brands and low cost generic market products.

A globally reputed company must prioritize on how to be perceptibly different in the consumer and customer's mind. Consumer aspiration has to be preserved as the organization's fulcrum, followed by quality and then cost.

Chapter 8: Emotional Surplus strategy. Market banality can devalue an organization and its deliverables, making it vulnerable to attain profitable growth. The big question is on how to sustain an emotional connect with employees, shareholders, vendors, consumers, customers and the community.

My analysis of the global market and its banality ignited the concept of Emotional Surplus. Mere emotion is fragile, not strong enough to sustain a link. At any given competitive situation, your organisation's attachment to its stakeholders must be driven by surplus value.

Emotional Surplus is a business strategy that creates a value beyond expectation for your organization, culture, brand, product, retail or selling proposition and sustains it with your stakeholders. The process segregates the selling proposition into its 3 fundamental characteristics: rational, functional and emotional attributes. The rational factor is its non-visible aspect, the functional attribute is its usage advantage, and the emotional content is the aspirational cue.

For the organization's selling proposition to sustain emotional connect to all stakeholders, its 3 attributes have to be identified and benchmarked with the high-end and low-end of the market competition. Then the three attributes have to be revitalized with value, laddered and balanced so they become perceptible and tangible to all stakeholders. This differentiation wins consumer mindshare and gives Emotional Surplus as the business delivery.

Chapter 9: Her subconscious choice is multi-dimensional, not statistics. A woman's subconscious mind is like a spider web with tremendous depth and networked links. Women, either as shoppers or influencers, make today's consuming discipline. Their psychological paradigm is multi-dimensional, replete with characteristics like nurturing, loving the intangible, having patience, aesthetics, unlimited orgasm, subtlety, exuberance, mystique and the inclination to network.

To make business multi-dimensional, organizations need to understand these same 9 substances that women intrinsically possess. The multi-dimensional aspect of a business deliverable has multiple functionality, caters to multiple needs and desires, and is more profitable and prone to growth. The recipe to customize an organization's delivery for its employees, shareholders, vendors, customers and consumers is written in the 9 attributes of women's subconscious mind. The more industry attunes itself to the multi dimensional substance in women, the more would they be able to drive sales the multi dimensional way.

Chapter 10: Consumer cold revolution singed by ReFinE Value Ladder. While the quality standard has gone up globally, most products and services are beginning to look similar. On the other hand, emerging economies like India and China are struggling to standardize quality at par with globally reputed companies. But at the end of the day, the consumer is looking for differentiation, and those who can create the difference grow their businesses to become extremely profitable.

The need of the hour is to refine quality and obtain the power to innovate in future. In my 30 professional years in business the quality systems I have observed companies using appear stereotyped and exclude the consumer. This chapter defines in detail my extremely extroverted ReFinE Value Ladder process. The ReFinE process segregates the 3 fundamentals of any business deliverable, the Rational, Functional and Emotional attributes, and invites consumers to evaluate the excellence of individual attributes and so accurately interpret their experiential exposure to a product or service on immediate perception.

Following this, the organization can scientifically verify the consumer's verdict in any of these 3 attributes in an R&D laboratory to understand if there is any resonance or dissonance between reality and perception. If perception or reality is wrong, the RefinE process can correct and bridge the gap in gaining consumer attachment.

The ReFinE Value Ladder is used to arrive at Emotional Surplus, the balancing and laddering of the Rational, Functional and Emotional content in a harmonious way. This process allows you to understand the consumer's microtone needs and desires. It uses consumers to evaluate the wider competitive and latent perspective of products and services in both the same or different business domains.

Chapter 11: High voltage consumer sensitivity. My understanding of consumer and customer sensitivity in the balance of history, contemporary social life and the spark of the trend is expressed in Chapters 1 to 9. The ultimate Emotional Surplus value that can differentiate business post the stormy weather that involves the consumer, society, trend and industry is defined in Chapter 10. With the knowledge so garnered, I have defined four activity domains in my working process, namely corporate transformation, scientific and sensorial product design, branding that sustains and retail addiction / channel ownership.

Chapter 12: Think Victory. To become a quantum growth winner in business and sustain it, you need to keep an eye on societal trends. If business progresses arithmetically, the conical ‘A' hampers its growth, weakening its ability to sustain in the market. The ‘V' or Victory platform is more interesting because it is open to unlimited growth. Business strategy in future could adopt an open-ended V platform. Several arithmetic progression projects with clearly defined short term objectives can ride on this Victory platform. In Jalebi Management I have invited readers to experience how lateral thinking can be brought into any innovative work by accessing the V platform. Vision is a non-visible factor that is realized in the latent perspective.

Victory is the winning character of a business vision that's nurtured with subliminal intangibles. In the 20th century innovative power, the weapon to become superior, was born out of struggle. A new type of struggle must emerge in this century. Out-of-the-box innovation should now cater to a higher level of human need and desire.

Emotion is the most important capital for the human race; it's what remains after people pass away. I have established a simple message in the last 20 years: love and courage, the super balance of emotion and self confidence. Love is above any institution, it's for everybody; courage is the route to overcome mediocrity and any obstacle in life. Hence my sign off, "Love and courage."

Shombit Sengupta is an international management strategy consultant whose domain specialization includes corporate transformation, branding, product design and retail addiction.
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