Why the corrupt & incompetent at KVIC are so upset with me :-)

Date           :         April 02, 2017

From           :         Rajendra Pratap Gupta , Expert Member (Mktg). KVIC

To               :         Chief Executive Officer, Khadi & Village Industries Commission

CC              :         Chairman, Commission Members, Deputy CEO’s & other

concerned officials

Reference :        Following up on e-mails sent on Dec 28th 2016, 26th Jan 2017,  March 01 2017, April 01 2017 & Next steps


The following may be noted and a time bound action plan be submitted to the Commission in the next meeting. Views of other members may be incorporated as and when received.


The following data needs to be collated and presented in the next meeting. I understand that most of the data has already been collected post my email dated 28th December, 2016.

  1. a) How many stores are owned by KVIC b) how many are not owned by KVIC.

Details with location needed.

  1. What is the turnover per store (city-wise)
  2. How many average footfalls per day – store-wise
  3. Average bill value per customer – store-wise
  4. Number of staff per store
  5. Turnover per employee for each store (total turnover of the store divided by

the number of employees in a store).

  1. Highest moving category per store (break it up into rural / urban / state-wise)
  2. Peak –sales period (festive or discount season) and the categories that sell

during the period

  1. Operational cost per store in various cities
  2. How much is the marketing spend and what are the marketing activities – state and store-wise
  3. Is the marketing spend different for each store? What is the rationale for marketing budget allocation
  4. Any stores incurring losses
. Please provide details
  5. What are the product margins category-wise
  6. Do we have any quality-checks for the products. Please detail the quality control and quality assurance initiatives for various product lines. We need to ensure that the customers get the best value for their money spent at KVIC.
  7. Details of in-house institute / lab for quality checks
  8. Complete competitor / market analysis be done in-house to ensure that we are up-to-date on the evolving market dynamics, and our plans are future proof, keeping the competition in mind. If any competitor analysis has been done in the past, the same be presented in the next meeting

Action plan for 2017

For me, marketing is about activities that support sales; Increase our reach, foot falls, bill value, new customer acquisition, customer retention, customer service, increase sales of slow moving stock, as all this helps to improve profitability and enhances the value of the ‘Khadi’ brand . Also, marketing helps sales, and hence, quality of the products that we sell must also be of the best value to the customer. Hence all activities must cover these over-arching ideas.

  1. Details of special promotions / initiatives to increase store foot-fall, boost sales and profitability
for 2017. Success stories of the past should be presented
  2. Details of the new introductions planned 
in 2017.
  3. Marketing plan 
quarter-wise with objectives for each activity
  4. Which innovations are we trying to improve awareness and usage of Khadi products
  5. One dayKVIC Marketing Workshop to be organized in Delhi within the next 2 months. We must invite (a) All Commission members (b) Three representatives  from each Khadi Bhawan ( Incharge / Marketing person / Category head ( if we have ) (c ) Supplier representative of KVIC products across all categories and all partner institutions, and individual experts.  Would welcome suggestions from other members on the list of invitees

This workshop aims to brainstorm on ideating the best of marketing strategies to (a) Make KVIC products a household name (b) to ensure that the marketing is able to support the sales as per the vision of the Hon’ble PM (that every Indian must purchase  one garment of Khadi every year ) (c) Our bouquet of offering must cater to the needs of the household besides just Khadi d) We must explore online channel for wider reach and catering to the latent / potential needs of KVIC products to every household across the nation and beyond

  1. ‘National Khadi Week’ may be observed every year to host events, fashion shows, national essay writing competitions and debates, promote wearing khadi – all activities that rekindle the interest for Khadi . A plan be devised for the same and submitted by 07th Please let me know if the team wishes to sit with myself and discuss the same. We can start Khadi week once a year and seeing the response , we can plan a Khadi week twice a year. We can have a Winter & Summer Khadi week nationally, across zones, states and districts. This week can also lead to much wider visibility and acceptance with the segments that have remained beyond our reach till now
  2. KVIC Earn While you Learn program .We need to widen our outreach. I suggest that the KVIC marketing and sales team work in tandem on engaging the marketing / MBA interns for selling Khadi / KVIC products to various housing societies and corporates during the summer internship, and we can offer them retail margins on the sales of goods (under KVIC Earn while you Learn program). This can be extended around the year and across the country and not be just limited to MBA graduates but extended to all college going students and other people willing to enroll, besides the students. This will have a multiplier effect on our sales without any financial expenditure, and also, this will extend our outreach beyond our imagination. We can use Aadhaar based verification for employing people under this scheme. We may opt for taking a Rs.10,000 deposit and give them products for Rs.13000.00 (on MRP Value). So, they can earn Rs.3000 on the sale. Many such models can be developed by the team, and i will be happy to assist in developing this program. This can create employment opportunities for people ( part-time and full-time ) … SHGs ( Self-help groups) can also be leveraged for this program.
  3. Khadi Stores at major airports & train stations : before the end of this year, we must be present in major train stations and at least four-six major Indian airports . This will not just help in increasing sales, but it will be a marketing opportunity for travellers ( 30 million people travel by train daily, and millions of travelers use air travel and we must target them post the security hold area only ) . Next step would be open our outlets in major tourist cities of the world by early next year. Need a plan for the same and happy to assist the team on this.
  4. We must consider to participate in large corporate conferences with over 1000+ delegates in audience and take a stall for our products. These stalls must have a POS (point of sales) credit card terminal . We must frame a policy for this.

Also, besides participating in other conferences, KVIC must consider starting the ‘Ideas from India’ or ‘The Idea of India’ conference, an annual mega thought leadership summit, brain-storming ideas about ‘Global peace and Development’. Being sponsored by Khadi India and attended by leading national and international figures, this will become the most sought after conference based on content, and the official dress code for this conference be ‘Khadi wears’.

  1. KVIC, subject to availability of funds, must explore mobile sales outlets – Mobile vans. May be, a pilot can be explored to start with
  2. I have not seen a discussion in our last three meeting on KVIC efforts in social media. Also, a social media strategy as a part of the marketing strategy be initiated . I would suggest that the entire website be revamped. It looks too ‘administrative’ and over cluttered.  We must ensure that the website is customer oriented and there is ease of navigation, and we must let people register / leave their email id’s for us to create a database of customers for mailing list and promotions (even at the stores we must start doing this and start capturing the mobile numbers ), so that we can send them e-mailers / SMS for the new launches and offers . This will go a long way in connecting with our customers and boosting our sales
  3. We must replace paper carry bags with Khadi reusable bags, which must be branded with KVIC product and other information etc.. Please explore this option with cost / environment / branding perspective
  4. We must explore giving 5% discount to government employees . Please check the financial impact and FA must present a report in the next meeting
  5. EMI based purchase with SBI and other credit cards be initiated
  6. NCC / NSS / Scouts tie up be initiated for Khadi dress material
  7. Tie up with Indian Medical Association for Aprons of doctors and same for nurses and pharmacists – I have already initiated this
  8. Our Tag line needs to be, ‘ Buy Indian . By Indians and Be Indian’.
  9. USP ( unique selling proposition) of Khadi is that it is, “ Eco-Friendly, Skin Friendly and with a Zero Carbon Foot print’. Same be high-lighted in stores and out of store promotions
  10. Explore setting up of ‘Khadi International Division’ for exports, and operating stores internationally within the current KVIC structure as a separate SBU ( Strategic business unit).
  11. Modi Kurta and Modi Jacket ( under NAMO or Modi brand ) be considered for new launches . Also, as a strategy, we must promote both Nehru and Modi / Namo brand, and based on the initial off-take (sales response), we must replenish the stocks, so that consumer’s choice prevails and we don’t get labeled as biased
  12. Commemorative stamp and envelope be launched by KVIC on KVIC foundation day or during the Khadi week OR two stamps ( one for each Khadi week ) be done
  13. Register all charkhas and looms across the country as a part of the overall IT deployment and adoption
  14. We must get the valuation of ‘Khadi’ as brand done through an independent assessor
  15. Loyalty program be initiated when the IT deployment happens across the KVIC system. Also, a lucky draw be initiated for a certain bill value, which might lead to enhancement of the bill value
  16. KVIC must have its own online sales channel before December 2017. We might start with a few select product range and then expand to all by Mid 2018. This can increase our turnover by 2-5 times. Tie up with Post-office be explored. Also, post man could be wearing Khadi Dress. We must explore the same.
  17. Tie up with MBOs (Multi brand outlets) for Shop-in-shops to increase our outreach and sales . We must not just confine to our stores. Similarly, the franchise model be rolled out within 3-5 months with proper safeguards as pointed in the advertisement and agreement ( mail dated Jan 16/17 , 2017) .
  18. All tourist offices be approached for a mutually beneficial association . We can discuss the details
  19. We must have tailors at major KVIC stores, for ‘made to order’ / ‘custom made’ sales and for increasing employment
  20. Organic products must be an essential offering of Khadi
  21. Tribal products be patronized as ‘Heritage Brand / products’ and sold at airport / international stores / online. This will not only provide a good product line for marketing/ sales, but also provide employment and income and help in lifting the tribal economy over the long run
  22. KVIC must sell charkha’s as souvenirs besides artifacts associated with Mahatma Gandhi, including the bust of Mahatma Gandhi
  23. ‘Khadi’ Magazine must be started . It used to be highly popular but seems to have been discontinued . I will take the editorial responsibility
  24. R&D must be given a boost. Need details of all our R&D efforts
  25. During my store visits, I have noticed that proper directions (Neon signs) for trial rooms and product categories are missing in stores .. The same may be attended on priority by April 30th.
  26. Delhi – Regal store merchandizing (in-store arrangement) needs to be redone. Please discuss
  27. All store employees MUST wear Khadi uniform with Jackets having ‘name badge’. This will help customers to identify sales people and seek help, if needed
  28. Given the poor service levels at all stores, a ‘Mystery Shopper’ program be launched with an outsourced agency . Store sales staff should make a note of the product bouncing, and the same be informed to the inventory management team Also, all stores should have a message plate (sign board) prominently displayed behind every billing counter, “For feedback / complaints , please write to customer@kvic.gov.in. An email id be created with access provided to designated commission members and Deputy CEO rank official to address customer service related issues immediately.
  29. Tie up be initiated with NIFT ( National Institute of Fashion Technology) for new designs, and the contest be kept open to young creative minds. Same may be promoted on social media. Best designs be crowd-soured and rewarded
  30. Delhi Regal store is overstaffed ( 91 people)  when on the other side we have 2 staff at KGB Goa and Bhopal ( Are these the numbers of full time KVIC employees only or are there people on contract basis too  ? ). We need to rationalize the staff at each store and see what is the revenue per staff at every store … one of the indicators of bringing productivity at the floor level. Also, the store timing and working days should be as per the local market where it is located.
  31. During my surprise visits to KGB ( Delhi / Mumbai ), I have seen that the staff has been least interested in attending to customers. In fact, at the Regal store, i have seen our sales staff at the basement (cosmetics section, which is a major contributor to sales and profits ) sitting and chatting or playing on their cell phones, counter staff giving wrong information about price and availability to ‘potential’ customers , and the same has been reported to Supervisor / Mr. A.K. Garg .

Mumbai lounge is exceptional in customer service but the Mumbai HQ store is pathetic in customer service. We need to initiate ‘Store staff training program’ and this must be taken up on priority by the marketing team. If in future, i visit a store and find the shop floor people not attending to the customers, i would expect action against the supervisor

  1. ISO certification of Khadi Bhawans and offices must be done before 2017 financial year


Administrative issues

  1. We don’t get any time to discuss in detail the ‘Spot agenda’ items added in our monthly board meetings, and hence justice cannot be done with these ‘spot agendas’. No additional agenda be added on spot for the board meeting, except the one circulated to the members in advance ..
  2. Meeting notes be read out in the end, so that the points missed can be incorporated immediately
  3. Internal discussion forum for all employees be started either through an online forum or as an app for people to exchange views , success stories etc.
  4. I have seen that we are investing too much time in routine administrative issues. As discussed, the CVO (Chief Vigilance Officer) needs to bring the files to the commission only twice (Unless there is an exceptional action item for the members of the commission to deliberate / decide ) . Files should ideally be brought before the commission, 1) during seeking approval for inquiry 2) seeking decision on the final inquiry report 3) and all inquires be time bound. Same should be followed for most of the administrative issues. Commission’s time is being consumed majorly on issues other than forward looking and growth oriented / progressive agenda, and this must be addressed on high priority by the CEO
  5. It is observed that the officials need reminders to respond on queries from the Commission and the same be avoided. Whilst I do understand that all senior officials are busy and overloaded, but a response seeking more time would help rather than ‘No Response’. Also, I have seen the minutes of the previous three meetings I have attended. After each item number, there is an end note ‘Action’,  against which the designation of the official is written, which brings forth the accountability of the officials responsible for taking action and this is much appreciated. Also, now onwards, a time for completion (Completion date / completed by and report) be mentioned against each ‘Action’, along with the official responsible for it. Else, it is difficult for the members of the Commission to track what action was taken and when? Also, summary of such decisions of the previous three meetings be placed before the commission on a quarterly basis, so that we know if the organization has worked as per the directions of the commission and timely !.
  6. Commission members need to re-look at the organization structure to make it more efficient and agile, given the pace of high growth . One of the ideas is to move to a ‘Category heads’ organization structure with ‘transformational’ sales target and not just incremental sales growth.

We are a small and a cohesive team and we must ensure that we do the best possible to achieve the vision set for KVIC

Thanking you once again for all your support, and assuring you of the best of attention and support at all times

Best regards

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Expert Member (Mktg)

Khadi & Village Industries Commission

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