Aurora Magazine

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Applying Stengel's Initiative to Pakistan

Updated 14 Dec, 2020 04:15pm
From 'The Candy Jar: Good Ideas to Chew On' – a new online series.
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Inspired by Jim Stengel’s Podcast on Sound Cloud:

Jim Stengel was CMO for P&G from 2001 to 2008, a time when the company was looking for a change in its marketing culture. P&G had lost confidence due to a significant deterioration in market capitalisation that led to the firing of the CEO. At the peak of his career Stengel was responsible for almost 7,000 P&G marketers across the world.

Among his many initiatives was setting up an employee exchange programme with Google, which was just a start-up back then. For Stengel, the objective was to infuse speed into his team, for Google it was to learn the process of brand building and how to focus on customer in order to devise solutions, rather than use technology and code as a starting point for its solutions.

In Pakistan’s context, I believe Stengel’s initiative has several adaptations and applications. One way would be to align big companies with relevant or adjacent start-ups. For example, big pharma companies partnering with apps such as Dvago or Another example would for banks to align with various fintech apps or digital wallets.

Yet another application would be to align with companies that fulfil a capability gap. So in the case of building up an e-commerce setup, a tie up with Daraz could be considered, whereby your employees would fill in their gaps in return, such as in logistics, operations, communications building etc.

Or, in order to improve brand building standards, MNCs could exchange employees with local companies with six monthly crossovers, thereby exposing a larger talent pool to world class methods and processed of brand building (instead of just the lucky few who join MNCs). The benefits for MNC employees is the exposure of working in relatively unstructured environments and really learn how things get done instead of blindly following globally imposed processes.

All the above are win-win scenarios as each stakeholder gets out of it what they want. Of course, this is easier said than done and an alignment on the purposes and objectives are absolutely necessary. There would also be many considerations in terms of legal contracts and agreements that will need to be drawn up but if there is the will, I am sure all of us as a community will find the way.

Sheikh Adil Hussain is GM Marketing, Shan Foods.