No business can exist without people. It is a transaction of honesty and respect. A business, like relationships, needs to be built, moulded and nurtured.
The Epoxy division Team in Thailand was going from strength to strength over the years. By 2015, the business aspired to be worth a billion dollars. It was a big dream but one that led to excitement beyond nerves. Just when everything seemed to be falling in place, the only two raw material suppliers in Thailand shut down without prior notice or a date of reopening. The Epoxy business was facing a shutdown of its own. Despite reassurances, customers began to grow anxious.
Sachin Mathur and his team had built the business on the trust of their customers, and now, they watched it shaking precariously. They realised that unmet orders would lose them business and more importantly the bonds that they’d built over years. This put 700 customers and their own future in jeopardy. They had to do something. Instinct and experience told them to confide in their customers. They made customers aware of the situation and promised to deliver. All they needed was some honesty in return.
It came in abundance. The customers told them their exact and immediate requirements. It was the relationship built on integrity and commitment over decades that ensured complete transparency.
Composed and collected, the team speedily acquired raw material from the shut plants by speaking to officials. A small win that bolstered spirits. But soon, the supply ended and they were back to square one. This time they confided in their suppliers, people who had worked with them for years. Seeing the passion in the team’s eyes, they released another batch of stock. Breathing a sigh of relief, the team marched on.
The back and forth continued, with an honest dialogue with the suppliers and the customers. Keeping things moving at a steady pace and meeting deadlines. Their true target was to live up to their commitments, and give it all they had. Not a single hand took a moments rest as the battle continued each day. Sachin got hold of every possible tonne of raw material, Phensri planned its consumption meticulously, Raj worked on optimising processes and Vellaiappan facilitated in getting requisite approvals from government authorities.
The sales team kept the customers posted on evolving situations.
Finally, when there was no raw material to be procured, they had to uncover the cause. They needed to know what was stopping the supplier plants from opening. They demanded honesty and the suppliers finally opened up knowing they owed it to the team. With the underlying issue exposed, the resilient and skilled team proposed a process based solution. The answer was finite, it could solve everything but was cost prohibitive. So determined was the team to honour their commitment that they agreed to fund seventy percent of the entire cost. A decision that the empowered colleagues were able to take with full support from management. After all, they had the faith in their solutions.
This was a journey across many roads less travelled. Some decisions were taken by intuition, others by courage. But at the epicentre of it all was the commitment to the people they worked with each day. The situation that threatened their existence and their relationships actually took them to new heights and made them one of the most trusted names in the business.