PBTO17: The role of a CEO is to Build, Own and Transfer an institution – @Anaggh Desai

Anaggh DesaiWho is on the show today:

In today’s episode, we host Anaggh Desai. Anaggh is a business veteran with over 25 years of experience across industries ranging from hospitality, logistics, travel, e-commerce and retail.

Why is he on the show

In his 25-year career span, there is little Anaggh has not seen or experienced. He describes himself as a mindcaster and a people watcher. He has a cult like following on twitter which he uses to observe trends and patterns and engage with his followers.

What are we talking about

In this free wheeling conversation, we talk about a wide range of topics which are critical for the success of any business. I was blown over by his ability to remain extremely grounded and practical and with his unique perspective to everything that I asked him.

Most important learnings from the conversation:

  • Marketing or Branding: 
    • It is critical for brands to ensure that the brand experience is consistent across all touch points that customers have with the brand.
    • Brands need to be transparent & consistent in their behavior.
    • Digital or social is still a very small segment of the market. There is still a large customer base which is not yet on digital or social. As marketers, we should not only understand this fact and hence our marketing mix should also reflect this reality.
    • An open mind is what can make marketers successful.
    • Marketing can not work in isolation from the organization. Its primary role is to bring new customer to the business.
    • It is critical to continue to ensure that the brands remain relevant.
  • Transformation:
    • Listen to everyone but make your own judgement calls.
    • If you want to transform your organization, it is much more profitable to study and learn from different industries.
  • For Start-ups: 
    • It is critical to manage cash flows and make investments in technology.
    • What matters most in a business is the product or the service itself and creating a bit of stickiness in the product/service itself.
    • Think long term. Valuation, by itself is not an end that one should look at.
    • Success needs you to beat the street by getting your hands dirty.
    • Hire right. If you are a small start-up, hiring people from the same industry can be more fatal than hiring no one.
  • Customer Loyalty: 
    • The question with regard to customer loyalty is not about whether the brands know their customers or not, but what do they intend to do with the data.
    • Small mom-and-pop shops do much more for customer loyalty than most of the brands.
    • The very definition of customer loyalty needs to evolve with the consumers.
    • Should we reward customers to keep coming back or for introducing new customers to the brand.
    • You can’t be a carbon copy of any other loyalty programs. Each program needs to be individual to the brand and reflect the brand promise.
  • Role of a CEO:
    • Build, Own and transfer an institution.
    • CEO’s focus is mostly outward focus – manage the stakeholders, customers, partners.
    • CEO should also groom someone as a COO, who is inwardly focused, improving processes, productivity and organization.
  • Biggest mistake that CEO’s do:
    • Ignoring the importance of communication – with your teams, partners, customers and other stake holders, consistently and constantly.
    • What matters is how you solve the pain point & communicate and how you execute on the ideas.
  • The overarching theme was that keeping things simple and common sensical is critical for success.

You can find more information about Anaggh and follow him on twitter @anaggh.

PS: This episode is sponsored by Audible. Visithttp://www.audibletrial.com/PBTO to download a free audiobook and a 30 day free trial membership.

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