For too long things have remained stagnant at Service Square. It has been an uphill struggle with downhill slide of sales for many years. I did not display the enthusiasm needed to push things up. Not that I did not work hard during the early years of Service Square. They just did not lead me anywhere. Then I nearly gave up. I was resigned to fate’s vagaries. That must have reflected on the rest of the team as well. People like Mathan kept the show going.
The last few months have been different. There has been a whiff of change. I saw myself coming out of my slumber. Where before there was a sense of resignation, now there is anticipation of better times. Where before there was a feeling of pervasive hopelessness, now I witness the birth of new desires. There was numbness before, now there is more energy. And a new sense of purpose. And it is spreading like a whiff of fresh air within the organization.
There are now more teams in the house keeping division. The staff have their uniforms and they wear it with pride. Very rarely do we get complaints about the services provided. Most of the time, the feedback about the quality of services provided is exceedingly positive. The teams are doing us proud and earning us a good name. We have included in our teams a few hearing and speech impaired people. I know that for our type of services, we are the best in Chennai.
The quality of service, our weekly bulletin, CTW, and our web site have been fetching us business over the last few years, without much of a marketing support from us. The revenue graph is now moving northwards. And now we have begun to put in efforts of our own to augment the business that has been coming on its own.
Our customers are now beginning to get attention after a long time.We have two great girls to keep in touch with our customers. And they are beginning to do wonderful work. After several years, now I am beginning to hear people saying that they are enjoying their work at Service Square. No music sounded sweeter to the ears than such words from a few of our staff.
We now have a software to enter details of the customers and the interactions we have with them. This software is helping us have our fingers on the pulse of our business.
We have expanded our services to include car detailing and cleaning of sofas and carpets. We have a separate team to handle these services.
During the past few months we also trimmed our list of services. We do not feel it is worth speaking about our ‘array of services’ or ‘service galore’ any more. Now our stance is – less is more. Following this change of positioning strategy, we are able to concentrate better on services that matter.
We now realize the futility of trying to be everything to everybody. We are doing our best to attract those customers who realize that premium services with premium people do not come very cheap. Yet we try to keep our prices competitive. We try to remember these days that, to provide good services, we need adequate income.
I am making conscious efforts to pay attention to the finances and accounts of the business. Though I have made a beginning, I have a long way to go before I become money conscious. Without any shred of doubt I know that to earn well, I need to have the appetite and respect for money.
I have not yet reached the state of those old days prior to starting Service Square when I used to be a man in a hurry, possessed by a mission to accomplish a lot of things. But I am getting there, slowly. I realize increasingly that the fortunes of Service Square is intrinsically linked to how I am able to manage my mental states. And how I am able to transfer healthy, vibrant enthusiasm into everything I do. And how I manage to imbibe everyone at Service Square with the same enabling emotions.
I remember very vividly what my guru – Rajan then, now Mahatria – told my class several years ago that business is basically transference of emotions. I understood the import of those words then. But it is only now I have been able to create contexts in which I operationalize the significance of those words into the day-to-day running of the business.
There is also a dawning of understanding that I cannot individually achieve anything. People are assets and they need to be respected. We should create the climate for all those plants to bloom. In fact, for some strange reason, I put myself as the centre of the universe for too long, for anyone’s comfort. It is now the time to give people in the organization their time in the sun.
There is a very long way to go. The old baggage resulting from financial imprudence does weigh me and the organization down. These are challenges we need to fix and then move on to fields of abundance.
I do not believe a riper time will present itself for me and everyone else at Service Square to seize the opportunity. This is the time for me to be in the forefront.
There is so much to redeem. And a name to reclaim. And many, many people who are looking up to me.
It will all boil down to being in the office before everyone else and putting in solid hours of work without distraction. It is time for more prose and less poetry.