Introduction: Leadership Qualities Assignment
The man better known as SAM Walton of India revolutionized the way retailing happens in India. The person who implemented the fundamentals of all the integration whether it’s forward or backward, and revolutionized the way business happens in India. Retailing is broadly classified as organized and unorganized. Almost 98% of the Indian market is unorganized. The man saw a huge potential and came up with the idea of making shopping as leisure activity. He was the pioneer in the organized retail format in India.
The man is RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL. He forayed into organized retailing in the year 2002 with the opening of first Vishal mega mart in Delhi. After that there was no looking back. He come up with the idea of hyper market which was not even though about in the year 2002 and opened first Vishal mega mart.
This format has Indian values intact. It is a very unique hyper market which truly demonstrates the shopping pattern in India. Vishal mega mart is a perfect blend of Indian bazaars which must have a touch, feel and look aspect as well as choice, convenience and quality.
But the journey from a very middle class family to a corporate conglomerate was never smooth for this person. But he conquered all the obstacles and made vishal group as one of the biggest organization of India.
Organization Culture: Leadership Qualities Assignment
A culture is a set of belief, values and norms which are held by an organization and taught to new members of the organization. An organization culture always evolves from its leader culture or founder. The organizational excellence development is a gradual process. Sometimes it takes years to imbibe a particular value in the organization. Bu once it developed, it stays with the organization. But the organization culture should be flexible enough to accommodate itself with the changes happening in the external environment which are beyond the scope of a business to control. Moreover, an organization culture should always compliment the strategy applied by the organization.
A culture could be accessed into various dimensions. But here, we have studied 2 dimensions which are need of the environment and strategic focus. On this basis, four types of cultures are identified which are adaptive, mission, clan and bureaucratic.
Needs of the environment
(Daniel and Aneil Mishra, “ towards a theory of organization culture and effectiveness” Organizational Science6, no.2 (march – April 1995), 204- 223)
The organization culture which is adopted by Vishal group is adaptability culture. The strategic focus of the Vishal group is external environment through flexibility and change to meet customer needs. The company is into retail market which is very dynamic in nature. So the company has to abreast itself with the change in the trends so as to satisfy the customer and value creation.
The company has been keeping pace with the changes happening in the external environment. The founder RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL has developed a great organization culture in Vishal group. He has always been a risk taker. And the same kind of culture prevails in the whole group. Company driving forces are its entrepreneurial culture and the spirit that prevails in the whole organization. The company also promotes the appetite of its employees taking the imitative and risk is encouraged. There organization has a flexible organization structure and prefer an organization design approach.
The employees are encouraged to take risk and think beyond the usual. This has resulted into quick decision making which provides an edge to the organization in terms of flexibility and responds to the change. The company actively creates change and innovates in every terms of business organization. The company always promotes the idea of “intra- preneurship” in its employees. It eliminates all the fears and insecurities from the mind of the employees. This lead to more involvement of the employees in their work and they enjoys what they are doing. The company is full of such examples where the company nurtured the entrepreneur instinct of its employees. For e.g. When R Radhakrishnan, the ex-CEO of Reliance Retail’s hypermarket business left reliance, RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL came to know that he want to be an entrepreneur Ramchandra Agarwal asked him to manage the group’s food and fruit business as an entrepreneur (Gunjan Trivedi, 2010).
The company main philosophy of rewrite rules and retains values has make the employees dynamic in nature. The company as its policy does not have any organization structure in place. All the employees are treated at the same level and with the same dignity.
The company has always a policy of innovation in its DNA. This innovation could not be successfully implemented without a proper technology in place. To make itself, more adaptable to the change, the company has its focus on technological advancement and keeps on updating itself. For example Vishal group was amongst the first one to install RFID in its store. This technological up gradation compliments the company philosophy of constant changes and rewrites the rules of the game. This has helped the company in getting a competitive edge on its competitors. (Buck, D.C. 2004)
The company has adopted both a bottom top and top to bottom approach at the same time. For its major decisions, the company has top down approach but at the same time the company takes care of its employee’s feedback and listen and respond to their suggestions. This approach is one of the driving forces of organization success. For example, the idea of Vishal mega mart exchange mela which was a huge hit came from an employee. The organization has an open system of sharing ideas. This open system helps in bringing a lot of new and innovative ideas on the table and provides a competitive edge on the competitors.
Conclusively the culture of Vishal group could be understood as an open and participative organization where employees share values such as integrity and adaptability. (Buck, D.C. 2004)
Ramchandra Agarwal on leadership and his role in the organization-
The group was single handedly started by RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL. And undoubtedly he has the biggest influence on the organization culture. RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL is the CEO and MD of Vishal group. A leader has the capability to shape up the culture of the organization through his actions. Below are the some highlights on leadership style. His leadership style has a great influence on the organization as well on the organization culture. Read about different Leadership Theories.
Mr. Ramchandra Agarwal is driven by his gut feelings and instincts. He does not believe in solving the problem in the routine way. Most of his decisions are taken on pure gut feelings. The biggest example of his gut feeling could be opening of vishal group. When talked about his venture Vishal group, he says that he does not know the netegrity of the business. All he knew was he wants to be the biggest. Being from a business family, he knows that the utmost importance for a customer was to create value. This value to the customer was delivered by providing the consumer goods under one roof and cheaper than what others were providing. The company always strives to maximize the value for the customers. The group entity Vishal mega mart has adopted the policy of everyday low price.
These leadership qualities were imbibed in him when he started the Vishal group. But off lately with the experience, he has inculcated some strategic leadership. He is a perfect mix of the leader which is born as well as leaders who are built with experience.
He believes in path goal theory which says that setting goals for himself as well for his employees. During the goal setting of the employee, the employee himself is asked to determine to goals. This goal setting has a very high success rate. The cultural implication of this is the employees are always striving to achieve the goals and there is a healthy competitive environment in the organization. The employee’s helps each other in the accomplishment of the goals. (Wharton 2010)
He has a charismatic leadership style. He is a person who has a can- do approach for life. Through this leadership style, he communicates and commands the employees as well as manipulates them. For example he said to his employees that if you work for the company by your heart don’t treat me as your boss, treat me as your friend. (Gunjan trivedi, 2010)
Implication- this leadership style has made employees more motivated for the company and more dedicated for the work. This has created an organization culture where people have faith in the abilities of themselves as well the leader of the organization.
He believes in participative leadership style. That means he takes every one along with him in the decision making process. This is just opposite of authoritative leadership style where decision are taken by only one person without considering any one else in the organization. He listens to everyone in the organization and makes them an integral part. His participative leadership style could be seen in the organization structure. The company does not have any particular organization structure. It’s a seam less organization and there are no hierarchies. In the organization, People come together to do things together. (Wharton 2010)
Implication- his participative leadership style has various positive implications on the organization well as on its culture. This works as a great motivator for the employees. The employees are provided with the opportunity to innovate and do the things differently. This has brought a culture of innovation in the Vishal group. When the employees work together, this creates a social commitment to each other and they took the responsibility of the decision taken. Various innovative ideas has been generated by the employees has lead to the success of the organization in term of growth in sales and brand building.
He has a transaction leadership quality too. He understands the needs of his employees and provides them everything they want. The strategic implication if this quality is low employee turnover and high morale of the employees which lead to higher productivity and reduced cost in terms of human resource cost. The company has one of the lowest employees turnover rate in the industry. The employees are provided with ESOPs which motivates them and make them feel as a part of the organization. The cultural values embedded are sharing the resources of the organization effectively and efficiently.
Apart from being a transactional leader, Ramchandra Agarwal has some qualities of being a transformational leader too. He has an inspirational capability which makes employees to believe that they can achieve anything. He creates a deep desire in his employees to be a part of the organization. He motivated his employees through action and words.
This approach of “action speaks louder than words” has an implication of organization culture too. The organization has refrain itself from giving reward and punishments.
Few of the key characteristics which he possesses are high level of energy, passion about his work, and he loves his employees. The passion could be understand as he himself still visits to his store everyday and try to see how the consumer behaves in the store. That way, he tries to derive an understanding of the consumer behavior and decides what is going to work in the market.
He is a leader which does not believe in capitalist approach. He believes that successful leaders are not judged on the basis of balance sheet performance. He is a firm believer that leadership should be judged on other parameters. His organization philosophy is based upon the dynamism of the environment. He believes that leadership is all about making effective changes and by creating some kind of paradigm shift which lead to the success of the organization. This has a great effect on the culture of the organization. This has lead to the more adaptability in the organization and has made the organization more responsive to the changes happening in the external environment. This quick response is an indispensable part for a retailer. The external environment in terms of fashion, offering and in various other elements keeps on changing. His leadership style has made whole organization adaptable to change and respond to these changes in no time. This has provided a competitive edge to the organization. The organization is amongst the first to introduce new changes which can affect the consumer behavior.
He believes that a leader should not be a preserver. He should have the quality of being a creator as well as a destroyer. He believes that in this competitive scenario an organization cannot laurel on its past success. The organization itself has to create and destroy. He thinks that without destroying, any organization cannot create new. The company believes in ‘ Destroying What We Have Created’.
This has a major implication on organization culture. The company culture has been developed such that it promotes the innovation and risk taking abilities in its employees. And the organization keeps on coming with various new innovative retail formats and offerings.
RAMCHANDRA AGARWAL believes in transparency in his organization. The organization rooms are transparent and there are no locks on any doors. Any person is allowed to come in the office of the head at any point of time. The company also promotes the policy of whistle blowing.
This transparency has a major strategic implication and effect on organization culture. There is openness in the culture of the organization and the main driving force of the organization is the integrity of its people. The people conduct all their operation ethically and have made the organization as one of the most respectable in India. The company conducts all its operation with full integrity and till date there has been no bad publicity for the group. Read about Essay on University of Derby.
Overall, we can see how a leader can transform an organization. A leader especially the person who stated the organization plays a very important role in shaping the overall organization. He is the one who set all the guidelines and rules which are then followed by the organization. These rules gradually get imbibed in the organization culture. Then through his leadership quality he creates good relation with the employees and help and motivates them to achieve the goals of the organization. It is the leader who can make any organization powerful or dreadful. Without a good leader, it is difficult for an organization to survive in this competitive environment. We can talk of any organization and the success would always revolve around the leaders of the organization.
A leader has a lasting effect on the organization culture. And it is the belief of the founder or leader which ultimately takes the shape of the mission and vision of any organization.
- Buck, D.C. (2004), The H.R Guide to Organizational Change, Jaico, Mumbai
- Harvard Business Review, (2001), what makes a leader, Harvard Business School, America
- Harvard Business Review, (2005), Power, Influence and Persuasion, Harvard Business School, America
- Grezon, M. (2006), Leading through Conflict, Harvard, Boston
- Luthans, F. (2005), Organizational Behavior, (10th ed), McGraw Hill, America
- E. Quinn, 1988, “beyond rational management: mastering the paradox and competing demands of high performance, San Francisco: jossey- bass.
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