HERD TECSOL – IT Arm of HERD Group of Companies

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HERD TECSOL is a private limited IT company attached to the HERD Group of companies. It came into existence in June 2016 that makes it a very young startup, just barely beginning to get noticed. Starting in a small way, it was self-financed and operated by founders Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta. IT Manager Jigar Joshi runs the operations with help of a small team. As yet in its early stages the company is doing it all – developing, testing and marketing its IT services brand.

As we all know pretty well a startup company is an entrepreneurial venture that typically follows an emerging, fast-growing business aiming to connect with the marketplace. Improvising a viable business model around the idea, HERD TECSOL offers IT services through the platform offered by HERD Group of Companies. Small in size it is gradually working its way around to develop and validate its existence.

On a typical day we can see IT Manager Jigar Joshi responding to numerous in-house projects spread across the city as well as catering to out-station assignments every now and then. Just last week took him to Kurha and Titamba villages of Amravati district to install biometric machines in two remote schools located there. Fixing biometric machines, CCTV cameras, or computer peripherals as and where needed, he is also catering to installation of IT communication gadgets in sync with service providers.

It is ongoing research that opens up new markets. Aside from regular in-house jobs that come, HERD TECSOL watches out to offer services in under served areas. For doing this the manager has to stay alert around the local market to grab upcoming opportunities. With increasing number of web-based IT services the potential is definitely out there. Our best route as of now has been through the in-house niche that helps us to reach out to known institutions. We are now ready to offer IT services to the open market as well.

As HERD TECSOL prepares itself for offering needed IT services and skills, the team is advised to keep honing their talents to serve and ensure that they are at par with existing trends and requirements. Whenever feasible they attend seminars and conferences sponsored by IT sector to stay up to the mark in an industry that works on current knowledge. Credibility in the IT industry is critical and HERD TECSOL strives at being successful as a reliable IT company.

The founding directors of the company launched it with the knowledge that their networks and skilled operational team will help it get on its feet in the all-pervading robust IT environment. They were not wrong in their assumption. With a planned business approach in line with the HERD Group credentials it has been an experiential process thus far.  The team uses its work experience to identify customers, services, features and IT products that make it known as a hub for information technology. Satisfied customers will be our best bet to lay the foundation for HERD TECSOL.

As of now the prognosis looks good and we have secured good business even as we look beyond the potential of just profits. The small team wearing all kinds of professional hats is working hands-on with all kinds of tasks.  They have undertaken work for reputed companies and venture on in every direction to turn it into a profitable venture. They are confident to take on increasing targets for IT delivery services.

With customers in academia and education the going certainly looks good. Although the information technology industry can be highly competitive HERD Group of companies is confident it can establish HERD TECSOL on its own credentials with a stronger business plan and by offering innovative services. It is the drive and efficiency of the team that will pave the way to future success.

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Nutrition Awareness Camp for Tribal Populations

 

The Tribal Clinic set up by HERD Foundation at Pauni undertakes regular health awareness programmes as part of its mandated activities to create healthier communities settled here. We systematically take on health camps to popularize preventive measures by organizing health awareness programs on issues related to health and hygiene. While last fortnight we undertook educating about diarrhea, this fortnight focused on nutritional awareness. Our team has been working for past three years in the region and the surrounding villages are familiar with the scheduled programmes of which they are informed in advance.

It is largely women patients who get involved as they are well acquainted with the medical team and they become willing participants in these awareness programmes. Such events teach them to take better care of their children and families. The tribal women are appropriate messengers to carry back the lessons to implement them in their daily lives. It leads them to take informed care of children, aging parents, and community members. These health camps are organized at the Tribal Clinic and last week the nutrition awareness camp drew nearly 60 women to the event.

Information about events gets circulated well in advance and the nutritive recipe competition was publicized to bring in more participants to the health awareness camp. The camp was organized for the benefit of the community women to coincide with the medical team’s health examination scheduled visit to the Tribal Clinic. It is when the team goes out for providing medical assistance thrice a week to this location, that they also plan and conduct activities to ensure inclusive reach for need of health awareness programs for the benefit of the people living here.

On September 8, 2017 the camp was organized with the aim to improve the nutritional status of the populations and especially targeted the tribal families. The food-preparation based nutrition approach was undertaken to create nutrition awareness to enhance consumption of nutritionally rich fruits, vegetables and ingredients. The team members made a comprehensive presentation to promote and emphasize on the importance of dietary variety in order to improve the nutritional quality of their diet and to increase knowledge and education on food preparation.

The team successfully created an environment in which the women became engrossed in learning how to add sufficient variety in their eating habits through locally available, affordable fruits, vegetables and ingredients that would add to their nutritional intake. This kind of participatory nutrition education for the women actually helped in inspiring them to learn new ways for consumption of nutritionally rich food.

Knowledge about alternate food preparation was shared prolifically. The nutrition-rich food competition announced earlier had the women bring in dishes they had prepared. Prizes were given after tasting and judging of dishes. This was done to encourage them to prepare innovative nutritious food in their households that will increase consumption of new recipes. The tribal women felt benefitted in being imparted necessary knowledge and skills to prepare and consume nutrition rich foods that they would add to their diet.

It turned out to be a wonderful effort by the medical team to raise awareness as well as to promote strategies for achieving nutrition security and enhance diversified food habits among these tribal families. These communities after all suffer from micronutrient malnutrition and the team assisted in offering solutions to address the problems. It was a wonderful participatory gathering that taught them to understand the need to learn about importance of nutrition and know of recipes using seasonal vegetables, fruits and condiments.

HERD Foundation hopes the nutrition awareness programme at the community level will promote increased consumption of nutrient rich foods. The health camp attracted the rural poor and disadvantaged women living here. The activities and advice provided by the team were to improve their awareness and skills in cooking to benefit their healthy eating habits. We know the team will be successful in bridging this critical knowledge link to educate home makers – mostly women to take better care of themselves, their children and families.

Crafting an Ace Sales Team

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HERD Pharmacy sales managers and marketing team comprising of Prasanjeet Dhepe, Sachin Salunke, Suresh Poonia and Stawan Bhujbal know it is very essential to create singular, effective sales people. For this purpose they ensure scrutinizing every single reason that goes into motivating each person of the formidable over-seventy sales team. Pharmacy managers have been drilled to never allow the slightest lapse in losing a single sale. If at all such an untoward incident were to happen by a front line sales staff, then it becomes the responsibility of the manager to rescue the deal.

It is here that the manager becomes accountable to teach and train the sales team to learn how to effectively deal with various issues that may affect their proactive sales techniques. Problem resolving in an effective, convincing and timely manner are key skills that have been inculcated to make sure they do not falter when it comes to making smooth sales. Herein the managers have been made proficient to continually tutor sales staff by coaching, reviewing, mentoring and offering motivation.

The series of on-going trainings that began with Dr Amol Deshmukh’s critical workshops on importance of customer-care are now a well imprinted roadmap. The team has learned to focus on additional critical aspects with the view to increase sales, enhance customer base and create brand value for the retail chain-stores. Of late the attempt is to focus on the significant functions of sales with an eye on performance management. Herein inputs like setting goals, evaluating performances, chalking out reasons for non-performance, and appreciating success become necessary.

Top level management does not hesitate to chastise staff members when they fail to perform optimally. This is really crucial so as to keep performance levels in line with set management targets. What this also actually means is that performances need to be kept sharpened. To this end management is always ready to provide more effective coaching. The past two years have seen no dearth of training inputs that very easily can be said to be the key to present levels of achievements.

As stated earlier, it is the projected successes for the sales team that creates the pulls and pushes for their constant coaching. The monthly debriefing sessions help in assessing and evaluating training needs of the staff at all levels. Such joint debriefing sessions help in bringing everybody on the same page and eager to go forward together. It is also a time to take stock, get emotional and then plan ahead for the subsequent phase. It is also the time to make commitments and work out improvised strategies to pitch forward.

Ultimately it is the Pharmacy sales managers who form the crux of the marketing team. Their contributions in spearheading the sales team’s successes cannot be negated. They are the nucleus that gets the entire sales team motivated to be on their toes to see business remains brisk. The pre-planned schedule and manner of approach for creating a sound customer base helps in enhancing effective sales. Herein the managers’ belief in the actions of the sales staff becomes vital for positive outcomes.

Important steps taken all the time by managers include – taking responsibility, distributing responsibility, giving clear communications, evaluating performances and most important of all  setting high standards of performance. Finally it is their sense of accountability that actually determines the outcomes. Presently we are moving ahead with expansion on our mind  and aside from opening medical outlets in new locations we have to continue to make sure that existing stores keep achieving their goals. With an experienced Operations Head, Mr Rahul Agarwal having very recently brought on board, it will not be long before HERD Pharmacy raises the bar responsibly for the business at hand.

Raising the Bar – Through Attitudinal Change

Dr Amol Deshmukh, MD HERD Group of Companies arranged through HR, a learning workshop entitled “Udaan”,  conducted by Dr. Ramesh Sangare of Human Resources Development Corporation, on August 10-11, 2017. The training program was specifically for HERD Pharmacy supervisory and managerial staff along with affiliated office staff. The two day training sessions were to focus on Raising Bar of Performance through Attitudinal Change. The aim of the program was to help staff achieve certain core attitudinal approaches to make their contributions more efficient and effective.

A total of 35 front line supervisors along with managers participated in the program to help gain organizational objectives by learning to understand the need to bring about changes in attitude. The training imparted thought-provoking motivational talk in order to stimulate self-motivation in them. Participants were made aware of their inherent strengths and weaknesses through psychometric tools to aid them to understand how they could use the information derived to best advantage.

After the formal inaugural introductions, Day 1 took on a brief introduction of the program. The trainer gradually introduced the importance of attitude that usually marks the altitude one was capable of reaching. Inputs in the session focused on participant’s role in the organization and understanding role stresses and to know how to deal with them. Learning sessions took on issues around earmarked achievements, failure in reaching them and the importance of goal setting. Through games and presentations the concept of conscious goal setting was defined in order to work for self-survival and growth of company. The role of communication, cooperation and co-ordination was paramount in success of achieving set targets.

Day 2 began with a brief recapitulation of the previous days learning followed by listing down the gray areas that affect productivity and smooth run of operations. The FIRO-B instrument was tackled to understand the changing world of work, society and family. Also participants were facilitated to see their inner selves and their interpersonal relationship building potential through the Johari Window. The Johari Window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. It was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham and is commonly used in corporate training modules.

Dr Sangare further stated the important role of communication, commanding, cooperation, collaboration and coordination – these five Cs that gear up overall performance in a company. A case study was also undertaken during the course of the program for the benefit of the participants to help them understand the role of managers in building and managing their teams. A brief abridged version of Hindi film ‘Lagaan’ was presented to make clear role of leadership as also to understand nuances in situational and functional leadership areas.

The two day training program concluded with an explanation of the psychometric instruments used as well as a written feedback from participants. Dr Amol Deshmukh conducted a verbal feedback to gauge how well the concepts had been understood by the participants. This proved to be useful since as an entity HERD Pharmacy needed to identify the existing problems, challenges, weaknesses, strengths and skills of the sales team were. It was also essential to know what further investment in time and resources were to be made to create a sustained sales force that could also share this training knowledge to maintain learned proficiencies.

Dr Amol Deshmukh specified that the need was to identify right persons in the sales team to don effective trainer roles in the near future. This would be critical in developing the full potential of the entire sales team cutting across the different stores. Since sales managers and sales staff work closely together it would be beneficial to stay focused on consistent, accessible and interested people to take on such roles. Raising the bar on in-house coaching would be the key to increasing the beliefs of the sales managers to lead effective teams, thereby creating successful sales teams.

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Sourcing Candidates

 

Age-of-Social-Recruiting

Images – Courtesy Google

A small but potent HR team within HERD Group keeps track of manpower needs and undertakes planning for the same. HERD Group follows established recruitment planning process by regularly estimating and projecting requirements of staffing needs for the different projects running presently. Some units, like for instance the pharmacy division, experience regular requirements for which an ongoing database is maintained.

Our manpower planning takes in factors like how and when we have to keep adding new employees, as and when required. The entire procedure is accomplished while keeping the vision, mission and goals of HERD Group in mind. We also bear in mind the future prospects of the particular business as well as by tracking industry trends. This helps in keeping systems in place and for us to be better prepared for future staffing needs.

Today, we stand at a point where we are definitely aiming for the top. In line with the projected targets for business prosperity we are keen to band together a strong team. It is for this purpose that we need to ensure that inbound incumbents be high achievers and disciplined. As much as their intelligence and skills, it would be their personality and attitude that would be helpful in moving forward successfully.

It is for this reason that the HR department is watchful about escalating experiences of newly inducted employees. HERD Group is moving ahead with confidence having adopted the best business practices. Recently every single staff member was apprised of the regulatory compliances to be followed in line with stipulated policies. Staff is also periodically provided with the motivational trainings by recognized motivational gurus. This helps instill a fervor in them to excel in their aspirations, at both the personal and work-life spheres.

In line with planned projections for spearheading the varied business dynamics, we know for sure that there will be increasing requirement of staff with focused skill-sets. HR department therefore regularly anticipates expected manpower needs for the company. Other than this they have devised processes for staff development in order to keep new as well as existing workforce in a stimulated state.

HR diligently examines the background, skill-set, qualification, attitude, aptitude etc., of existing and incoming work force so that they can take care of the pool of talent to nurture for the company. In line with the business needs of the units they understand the type of employees that would be best suited in the organization. Their competency has them examining and evaluating the types of employee workforce that they can build up.

Selection of candidates has them culling out and identifying appropriate shortlisted aspirants for required openings. Obviously they pick candidates who are better qualified, have needed skill-set, and experience to invite them for interviews. It is in the direct interactions that they usually assess suitability and long-term feasibility prospects. Once on board they are then trained as per organizational needs.

With such planned moves it is possible to groom work force to become prepared to adapt to the company culture and business practices. We follow an established system to induct employees and extend on-the-job-training that is an essential process.  Now that we are gradually growing, our workforce is also expanding likewise. With businesses at different locations and in different domains we cannot afford to be lax in our human resource management.

HERD Group welcomes the interested to join in for excellent career opportunities. It’s your personality that would play the most critical role. How you communicate with others, how well you handle interpersonal relationships in a team and social environment, and how emotionally intelligent are you, are factors to determine career growth. In fact, if one demonstrates excellent soft skills and get the quantum of tasks done to satisfaction – who knows you could be our operations head!

 

Establishing Trust in Business

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Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable. A dependable work-relationship begets trust and becomes mutually great for both parties to feel safe in every sense of the word. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. Oftentimes we experience a workplace that gradually becomes more trusting with time. Nurturing trust makes for the biggest difference in work-place journeys.

Trust is really the ultimate quality a pharma-business brand could build and sustain. More so in the pharmacy line where it can literally make the difference between life and death! A chemist’s shop doesn’t merely offer medications, good customer service, or excellent delivery mechanisms. These are learned attributes that certainly make you reliable. The key factor here is ‘trust’ that needs to be build up. Trust is that rare sentiment that binds your customers to you.

HERD Pharmacy believes that it is trust that acts as the direct chord, tying you to your customers. Even a start-up business can generate the quality of trust. Trust is one of the most powerful allies in the business world, as elsewhere. It works both inside and outside the organization just as forcefully to create bonds that may last a life time. It should be kept in mind though that in business practices trust is a virtue that is mostly an intangible component. One that is often hard to quantify, keep track of or assess. Even so, you will absolutely know it when you see it and experience it.

It is often a challenge to understand this subtle quality that goes beyond reliability and dependability. But this is just what it takes to create an awesome place to work and to cater to the external world. Rest assured customers too can sense this quality and it is your conviction that can be seen through – through all the gloss and polish of well-trained employees and working systems.

So what is it that one needs to imbibe to create this culture of confidence building and trust building? Essentially the people in an organization need to improve areas around mutual-respect, being open and transparent, and creating a positive environment. This energy flow has to extend from top to bottom – from MD and CEO to gardener and guard-man. You need a management that listens and employees that offer their complete participation. When employees realize their voice matters and they are being heard with leadership playing a parental role – is when mutual trust begins.

Mutual trust goes a long way in making significant business progress when we show respect to each other and create positive vibes and affirmative energies. Extend this same positive energy to customers and clients and you will create constructive ambiance for your customers. Watch how trust as the single most critical attribute will make huge improvements in people-skills and people’s level of satisfaction. Good vibes will flow from managers, supervisors, front-line staff, back-end staff to roll on for intuitive bonding with customers.

More positive outcomes will benefit the organization. Employees will feel a sense of pride in working for the company. Trust opens minds and hearts to work willfully with willingness to work beyond what is expected or required. Trust builds up an enormous powerhouse in the commitment of employees that makes them go beyond the call of duty. There is no doubt that at present this is just what we are primed at doing and so it can be safely said we are moving in the right direction.

The way forward is to instill work values that will create a trust-based work environment. What is it that one needs to do to establish trust at the workplace and facilitate it to filter out beyond our counters? This would mean sticking to well-set routines. Multi-tasking is all very well but being reliable would be of prime importance. Trust is just another way of saying you can rely on someone. Each one has to mean what they say. Speak the truth. Share what they really feel. That may be the starting point in building a trust-filled environment.

Retail Therapy – God is in the Details

HERD Pharmacy division offers a wide range of goods other than medications and health products that are all offered at retail pricing. The expanding workforce is provided with training, business information and advice as to how to go about making sales that hit the roof. The recent Maha Bachat Mela at the pharmacy located at Khamla is a case in point. Newly set up a few months back, the team needed to build up a retail customer base.

We have learned it along the way that retailing cannot be looked upon at, on an as-is-where-is basis. Proactive customer service to create a positive retail customer experience is going to be vital for establishing presence in an open market. And completion is right across the street and everywhere. This is why the focus has always been on a coherent and practical retail service model that would differentiate us from the others.

The sales staff at the front-end and back-end as well as from management level from top to bottom follow the essentials to help deliver exceptional customer service experience. We continuously drill the minds of our sales staff to exert themselves to befriend and convert customers who walk in through the door. Our salespeople have been ingrained to not just inform but also inspire, educate, and instill confidence in them so the next time round they want to walk in for another wonderful shopping experience.

We do not allow disengaged employees because such will become risky propositions. What we aim for is that when a customer walks in our sales staff should push himself/herself out of their comfort level. Whether they want general medicines, cosmetics, or a health product sales staff should be helping them make their purchases in a manner that will make them return back for more shopping later.

So how do they do it? Staff puts on a supportive attitude and encourages shoppers to try out new things apart from what they actually came in to buy. Overtime they have been trained to learn how to form customer-centric relationships. Offering the team members a certain leeway to chat up with clients, we know for sure this little bit of extra time acts as a fillip to approach and engage often times with total strangers!

New shoppers who venture into the store are happy about the exceptional experience. They are instantly at ease with the friendly atmosphere, attitude and manners of the attending staff. Soon in good time we hope to make them regulars. The Maha Bachat Mela held last week brought in very many new customers. The success of the three day event makes us plan for more such events on occasions.

HERD Pharmacy has been offering very simple concessions to drive home the point that we mean business. The one way in which we engage with them is over the counter or through a call to engage with them and assist them make their purchases. Simple gestures and free home delivery is to really attract them to respond to our customer service. We follow the simple dictum – make the customer happy.

Staff has been trained to employ measures that ensure a few norms in place. Like for instance greeting customers in a way that makes them want to buy and keep coming back. We pay attention and let repeat customers know that we recognize them. Anything goes to start a conversation – politics, cricket and the weather! And a bit of conversation is always good to set the ball rolling.

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