The business world-over, and especially in emerging markets, is undergoing a radical transformation with respect to markets, consumers, suppliers, and technology. While multinational organizations can benefit through cumulative knowledge expertise of managers who had worked in emerging markets, the planning of survival and competition strategies of small-scale businesses run by entrepreneurs, offers tremendous knowledge potential. The case looks at the antecedents and process of transformation of a small-scale Indian firm, VNFPP Ltd., into a marketing-oriented organization, through the lens of holistic marketing. VNFPP Ltd. was in the process of shifting its focus from exporting pickled and processed agro-products to select customers abroad, to domestic markets with an entirely new product/product line. The managing director, P S Madhusudhan (Madhu), was concerned about the process of transformation of the organization with a predominant sales-orientation to a customer-focused marketing company.
Preliminary research suggested that an opportunity existed for one of VNFPP’s products in the Indian market among the burgeoning class of Indian IT professionals.
The real concern for VNFPP would be in designing an appropriate marketing organization. Until then, all employees had a product orientation, with a marked absence of any kind of marketing concept. Holistic marketing and internal marketing were concepts that were formulated for large companies. Incorporating them in a small-scale industry was full of complexities and challenges. The case is about how VNFPP could come to grips with such challenges.
The basic learning objectives can be summarized in terms of the following questions: