The ‘Main Hoon Na’ Approach To Business
June 21, 2019
“Koi Mushkil Koi Pareshaani Aaye
If any trouble or anxiety comes your way
Rehna Kabhi Na Bekaraar…Main Hoon Na
Don’t ever be restless, I am here for you”
The world is moving from product selling to solution selling. Simultaneously, in any work environment, both bosses & subordinates are looking for trustworthy colleagues & specialists, who are resourceful enablers and can get the job done with tenacity, by taking full ownership. A brand can only win confidence of consumers/customers or a team member can win confidence of his/her boss, subordinate or peer by exhibiting assurance or re-assurance that he/she is worthy to perform the role assigned to him/her. Thus, this assurance, confidence & trust you provide to your internal & external customers led me to the unique philosophy, which I derived from Bollywood’s block buster, “Main Hoon Na!” i.e. don’t worry, I am here to serve you, to your satisfaction.
The ‘Main Hoon Na’ (MHN) philosophy cuts across functions, domains and departments. It applies to everyone, be it boss or subordinate, leader or manager, brand or no-brand. This philosophy implies that a constant flow of trust should envelope the pyramidal structure of any business. In simple words, it is the reassurance that a brand or a leader can give its employees, stakeholders and customers that- “no matter what, I will make sure you are never disappointed.” MHN is the promise a brand gives to its customers. When it comes to butter, it’s Amul, when it comes to soap, it’s Dove and when it comes to toothpaste, it’s Colgate. The quality of their products is consistent for decades, and hence, the trust they have garnered is unparalleled. On an individual level, we can treat ourselves as brands and strive for such unquestionable trust.
The connotation of trust differs for me, as I tend to dismiss the glass half empty/full viewpoint. For me, either you trust someone fully or you do not trust them at all. You simply cannot half-trust somebody, just like a pregnant lady cannot be half-pregnant. She is either pregnant or not pregnant. When somebody bestows trust on you, you reciprocate by living up to it and owning that work to the last mile. The MHN philosophy creates a comfort level in another person without any clauses or terms and conditions. Almost a decade ago, when I was working for a solar lamp brand, we faced the unique challenge of establishing a connect with the targeted rural audience. Although they were enamored by the product, and were convinced that solar lamps are more effective than kerosene lamps, they refused to buy the product as they did not think the lamps would last more than six months. We designated a proverbial ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ (SRK) for the village, we called him a “Rural Entrepreneur”, who went door-to-door assuring people that even if the product failed, he would be there for them., unlike a local store owner.
Naturally, the consumers not only vested their trust in the product, but also on the brand and the leaders of the brand. The assurance that ‘no matter what happens to the product, the SRKs of the brand will be there by your side’, is all a consumer needs to hear. These magical words have the power to turn a ‘Kasht-mar’ (someone dying with troubles) into a ‘Customer’. Needless to say, the brand needs to live up to its promise in the time of need.
A reminder to the corporate world is to be solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented. Whenever a problem is pregnant, a solution is born out of it. Adopting the MHN attitude in the corporate world ensures that every quality assurance executive will say, “Nothing will move out of my godown (warehouse) if it does not meet our quality expectation 100%”. When the leader of a corporate adopts this kind of attitude, every person in the company feels confident to air their views, just like it happens in Stainless Sampark, Jindal Stainless’ webcast with the MD. A bond of respect emerges out of a bond of trust. Here, the MD stands tall like a SRK, reassuring the team of changes suggested by the team. Simultaneously, the team too, should prove to the MD that they are worthy and that can only happen if every employee at all levels in every function will say, don’t worry, “Main hoon Na!”
As leaders, giving people an effective work environment and allowing them to speak fearlessly is what sets the brand apart. An organization which creates de-facto SRKs in every team is one that thrives in the long run. The MHN philosophy suggests that every CFO says, “As far as the fiscal health of the company is concerned, Main Hoon Na!”. Similarly, the CHRO says, “As far as the strengthening the human potential of the company is concerned, Main Hoon Na!” Likewise, a CMO says, “As far as Brand promise is concerned, Main Hoon Na!”And like this, the MHN faith in companies goes on to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Its time to reiterate and reassure, by loudly saying, “Main Hoon Na!”