Niranjan Gidwani, Consultant Director, Member UAE Superbrands Council, Former CEO, Eros Group Dubai

Coming from a humble, middle-class, extremely value-based background, Niranjan Gidwani is the Consultant Director, Member UAE Superbrands Council and Former CEO of Eros Group Dubai. Mr. Gidwani is known for his vision and his ability and expertise to build regional groups and organisations into brands. He is a degree holder in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Symbiosis Institute of Management, Pune, India. He has also attended several top management courses at institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, the Seven Habits program under Dr Steven Covey and several others across the world. Mr. Gidwani has over 38 years of hard-core senior management experience with strong exposure to handling international business. Out of these 38 years, he has had working stints in India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore and Dubai. Dubai has had the longest stint of 28 years. In conversation with CXO Outlook, Mr. Gidwani talks about effective marketing strategies for entrepreneurs, impact of the pandemic on businesses, key strategic areas to look out for, and much more.

 

How do you market a business, and which tactics are most successful?

Growing a business isn’t easy. Startups as well as established organisations regularly need to revisit viable ideas. From there, they would need to discover a profitable niche, define a target demographic and have something of value to sell them. Whether they are selling products, services or information, getting the word out has become increasingly burdensome. And without the right marketing strategies to fuel growth, making a profit and staying afloat is becoming more and more challenging.

The truth is that what got entities to this point in business is not likely to get them to the next level. Most entrepreneurs and owners are so busy working “in” their businesses that they fail to work “on” their businesses.

The most effective marketing strategies are

  • better use of social media
  • proper creation of video tutorials
  • starting a good blog
  • leveraging influencers
  • understanding of search engine optimization
  • using email marketing sequences
  • using facebook ads
  • using linkedin the right way
Competitively, where can companies expect to find themselves once this is over?

Once this is over, companies will realise that they need to develop digital solutions quickly. They will also need to adapt their organizations to new operating models. Solving the “last mile” challenge will require integrating businesses processes, incorporating data-driven decision making, and implementing change management. Collection of relevant data, and putting this data to effective use will become the new oil to run the organization machinery effectively.

The following factors will probably matter the most:

  • the ability to use data and analytics in effective decision making
  • the creation of learning platforms
  • the cultivation of an organizational culture that fosters value creation with other partners.
Niranjan Gidwani has travelled on a regular basis to almost 58 countries over the years and has extensive knowledge of various regions such as the Middle East, South East Asia, India, CIS, parts of Africa and parts of Europe.
Can companies come out of Covid-19 stronger?

Yes, many companies can, and should be able to come out stronger post the Covid. in order to come back stronger, companies should reimagine their business model as they return to full speed. The phase should not be lost. Time should be well spent. Those who step up their game will be better off and far more ready to confront the challenges as well as opportunities of the next normal.

There are four key strategic areas that would be required to focus on:

  • resizing of operations
  • recovering of revenues
  • rethinking the organization
  • and, most importantly, accelerating the adoption of digital solutions.
Will the pandemic end up having a positive or a negative effect on corporate diversity?

The pandemic will, and must have only a positive effect on corporate diversity.

Companies will need to show a more profound appreciation for matching the right talent, regardless of hierarchy, to the most critical challenges.

In an environment with strong cost pressures, successful leaders will see the value in continuing to simplify and streamline their organizational structures. The current experience has shown a better way, with critical roles linked to value-creation opportunities and leadership roles that are much more fluid, with new leaders emerging from unexpected places.

Premium must be placed on diversity, character and results, rather than on expertise or experience. This can only work, however, if the talent diversity is there. To hire and keep top talent, the scarcest capital of all, means creating a unique work experience and committing to a renewed emphasis on talent development.

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