Monday, March 30, 2009

31st March-the time for stock taking!!

This is that time of year when the report card is due!!

In the context of all the media hype, it was really refreshing to meet an old pal of mine in the FMCG distribution business. Having been a second generation 'kirana' shop owner, he had over the past decade-spread his activities across the supply chain. C&F agency, a master stockist of premium brands, he had also got into the retail bandwagon -taking up a handful of franchises catering to the middle and upper middle class segment.

While the core business really wasn't affected-he had about 18-25% increase across the various FMCG brands -the retail foray was a sore subject. On one side, affected by the lack of helping hands at the 'mom and pop stores, he was quite caustic about the rise in real estate (read rentals) prices. At least half the franchises were rendered below break even! Apparently the 'retail/supermarket segment, being hit by lesser footfalls-and higher costs are very much driven by the dwindling impulse purchases -is up on the block!!

It was amazing. No place for frills. The habits of consumption are changing!!

It then struck me- wasn't such a stock taking happening in the HR field too?? March April -means performance measurement time!!Salary increments/promotions are being reviewed, there seems to be a case for unequal pay and perks. Treating top performers the same as weaker ones is "strategic suicide" as I quote from a recent issue of the Business Week:

Companies are getting better at deploying their techno-brawn to monitor, measure, and analyze their workforces—from those who placed which call that landed what deal to those who are infamous for talking up their work only to under deliver. These granular measures of performance are making it far easier to tailor rewards, doling out different deals to different employees. This will lead to a more Darwinian workplace.

Would you believe it? An acquaintance of mine , a bright alumnus of IIT along with a few peers has promoted a start up that provides solutions, Yardstick, as they call it, to help companies measure performances: the analysis helps in optimising one's headcount -or rightsize the company!!

Well..its indeed the survival of the fittest! And so it we at Options, realise that the hiring habits are also changing! Companies have become selective of whom they want to bring aboard!!

PS Here are  some of the openings that we are presently working on!!

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