Mr Narendra Sandhu
July 4, 2022
When life throws lemons, some dodge them, some make lemonade, but only a marketing professional can make a business out of it! Meet Mr Narendra Singh Sandhu, a seasoned professional in Sales with over two decades of experience, who was instrumental in bringing the idea of our coveted Jindal Saathi seal to life. Did you know that he helped our company overcome infringement in the market? Find out in this month’s Abhivyakti!
Tell us about your life before Jindal Stainless.
I enjoy cultural and regional benefits from two neighbouring states, Rajasthan and Gujarat. My roots are in Rajasthan, but I was born and brought up in Bhuj, Gujarat. I did my BTech in Mechanical Engineering from Ahmedabad, and then, proceeded to pursue MBA in Marketing from Baroda. My professional career started in 2001 when I joined Indian Dairy Machineries, a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board. I worked there for almost 3 years. Then, I worked for companies like Reliance Industries Limited for 4 years, Abellon Clean Energy for nearly 2 years, and a KPO company for another 2 years. With over a decade worth of experience by 2011, I gained expertise in the Sales and Marketing function, from back-end support to front-end sales by handling key account customers for all the companies. This journey took me through various phases of my career – from an amateur to an experienced professional who learned accountability and responsibility along the way.
How has the journey of Jindal Stainless been for you?
I joined Jindal Stainless in 2011 as an Associate Manager, and this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far. I was entrusted to handle sales for Rajasthan independently, where the market presence of the company was low. I took this as an opportunity to prove my mettle and started building our reputation from the ground up with customer satisfaction as the primary objective. My team regularly visited the customers and worked tirelessly on their feedback. With commitment, dedication, discipline, and integrity, we penetrated the market segments of the likes of P&T, Holloware, and Trade with respectable figures like 2500 MT per month – a number which was far from reality at that time.
We acquired big-ticket customers along the way. Sun City Group is one such example. This would be my biggest achievement of working in Rajasthan, as the order value of 1000-1200 MT per month from a single client was a notable feat in FY2013. My bosses, Mr Payoj Jindal, Mr Vijay Sharma, and Mr Rajeev Garg have been supportive all along the way. They were the ones who recognized my potential and pushed me to excel beyond my capabilities. They gave me opportunities at regular intervals that I welcomed with open arms. After serving for 7 years in Rajasthan, I was called to the Gurgaon office as the P&T Segment lead. I got the opportunity to work with higher management and hone my skills in business analytics and strategy formation. The exposure that I got from Jindal Stainless is unmatched when compared to any other organisation that I have worked with.
Tell us about your most memorable moment here.
Being the segment lead, I was given the task of overseeing the pan-India profile of the Pipes and Tubes (P&T) segment, and working on the development of the P&T market in the country. To achieve this task, I was actively involved in promotional and co-branding activities with the help of regional teams. Implementation of Stainless Mart, our e-commerce portal, was one of the initial steps to achieve our target.
The main highlight of my career came in the year 2019- 2020 when we launched the Jindal Saathi Seal to mark the authenticity of our products. We were the first stainless steel manufacturing company in India to take up this initiative, and being involved in it from ideation to execution was like a dream come true for me.
The Pipes and Tubes segment was witnessing an increase in counterfeit products throughout the country as many manufacturers were misusing our company’s name to sell low-quality counterfeit stainless steel. The result was dissatisfaction among our customers and trade partners, damaging the brand image.
I took it upon myself to overcome this challenge and with the help of my seniors, we came up with the co-branding scheme. Jindal Saathi seal proved to be a major point of differentiation between Jindal Stainless and its competitors. The co-branding scheme also helped us retain customer loyalty and develop a healthy ecosystem with our MoU partners. From conceptualizing to implementation, we faced a lot of challenges in terms of seal design, printing/embossing mechanism of seal on the pipe or coil, and reluctance by our own MOU partner to accept the co-branding Jindal Saathi seal since their brand name may subside. Despite all challenges, within 6 months we overcame all hurdles and launched this initiative. The co-branding scheme was such a hit that by mid-2020, our market share rose by over 35% in 2019.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Everybody is into sports and fitness, I was one of them too. However, I have always been fascinated by outer space since childhood. I have always been into science-fiction movies, astronomy videos, and documentaries. I also like to spend time with my family and friends when I’m away from the office.
What is your message to Jindal Stainless family?
One should always be committed, disciplined, and honest in their work. There should always be scope for process improvement, and the will to learn and grow to become a successful individual. For the seniors, know your team more than they know themselves, and help them become better versions of what they currently are. Share your experiences with your team and pass on the legacy to help them reach the top.