Thoda Kaam Thoda Party

It had been some time since I returned to Pune, and I was getting involved in the family business and enjoying the fellowship journey. I was coming out of my comfort zone to enjoy the process. I could make out where I was standing and how I should move forward, and I was able to reflect on myself. One thing I found out in myself is I like to travel and explore things, be it a business purpose trip or just a fun trip, so I wanted to opt for this mantra for myself which is Thoda kaam Thoda party.

Here on I would like to share how this way is helping me grow and look back at things and get happy or find a place to improve and learn. So last few months I had worked on a real-life project and had a much-awaited friends trip. So the work part started on a Tuesday night during the session, a capsule drop took place, and I was excited to bid for the first time. It was such a happy moment to go out and choose what I wanted to work on and then earn it through the hard work I have done, to work more. So I went through the details of different projects. I discussed it with my father and my elder brother and they agreed to my choice of opting to work on Budhani Waferwala.

The project started with an introductory meeting with the team Adi and Ankita. And being the youngest I was asked are you ready to work hard and are you up for the challenge? I confidently said yes! They believed in me and made me a part of it. I was the one with the least experience, but the most excited one. This project was a second phase and a continuation of the Service design project, where the other team had discovered a problem statement. Our job was to take it forward and work on it.

I started by building up my base for this project by understanding phase 1 and having a few visits to the market. I went to Budhani Waferwala and then to their competitors. What I learnt during this part of the market visit is I did not know the directions to different markets, and different shops so by doing this I learnt about market life in Pune, understood roads and luckily because of the process got to know more about the city I never knew about. And experienced this kind of market for the first time in my life, it was a unique experience. The retail market is tough to understand, so after spending about 2 weeks researching similar product varieties and outlets in Pune we came up with a presentation to meet with the client. We presented our work and had a few discussions and tried to focus on particular aspects as we narrowed down the problem statement. 

We came up with the idea of completely focusing on bringing new products; a particular segment was fasting products.

We started researching what are the fasting dates in a year, what food is consumed during fasting, where is it available, what is the product cart Budhani has, what products are trending in the market and what other brands are selling. Because in India in different states people have different beliefs and so they consume different food according to their beliefs. Our agenda here was to focus on products which are widely consumed by all. We usually use google as such an easy way to go out and just search for anything we want. But when I started doing this I got to know that you just randomly cannot go and search and get the results you want. I learnt a very important thing is that how to search on google and what to believe in because everything out there is not authentic and accurate. And I have no shame in saying that the way was using it was wrong. As Adi always says built the ability to go out and ask if you don’t know, that is a quality which one should not stay away from. 

After this, we gathered all the data and had our second client meeting. During this research process, we also took the billing data of Budhani from the financial year 2018/2019 to 2021/2022 and studied it thoroughly. We got this data from excel, a tool which I always was nervous to use because it is all about numbers. I wanted to break this nervousness and learn how to use it well. So with my partner’s help, I learnt a few basics of excel, which were Sum, Sum if, Count, Count if etc.

 By doing this activity we understood where Budhani was standing, and what was happening in the market. We had a nice 3-hour meeting and discussed everything that we had come prepared with. 

Our next action step was during Navratri and Diwali. These two events helped us a lot to understand the customer journeys, their buying patterns, the way the salesperson does his job in higher footfalls etc. through this observation we made an empathy map and a customer journey map.

Then for a month, there was no activity because of Diwali and other personal reasons, until our fellow partner Dariya gathered us for a Mumbai market visit which was one of the most essential parts of this project. And the client personally came into the picture and personally joined us during the visit. The visit started from Mulund west to Ghatkopar and from there to Matunga and we ended with a late lunch in Turbhe. 

So this was the best part of the journey for me. I directly joined the team in Mumbai, in Mulund West. I spent around 5 years in Mumbai while I was pursuing education in Marol Andheri, and then 1 year in South Mumbai for my internship. So geographically I was very well aware of the areas and places in Mumbai. And Mulund being a Gujarati area I had the benefit of going and talking to them freely because I could make them feel comfortable because of the language similarity. Go talk to them, and understand their business, their selling pattern etc. And the team completely unexpected me being so smooth with the process being a beginner. They were really happy and appreciated my efforts.

Being India’s biggest business hub, Mumbai’s market was different from Pune’s. I saw people have a bigger spending pocket, they buy in bulk quantities and are very quick in their buying. One thing I learnt there is trends change very quickly and very drastically and if one needs to grow he needs to move fast.

After the Mumbai market visit, a few aspects got very clear. Those were products not available in Budhani, available in Budhani but better in the market, service, and last was the layout. We gathered all our research into these four objectives and decided to make action points. We met at Dariya’s place to recollect everything.

We came up with around 50 action points of which 39 were applicable. 

We scheduled a meeting with the client for which I was asked to take the lead and make the presentation and present it to the client. This was a very challenging part because people with me had other priorities and were not showing much interest. But then I felt this was an opportunity to take a challenge and learn to take responsibility and show commitment towards work. I was the youngest and the one with the least experience, but the one ready to go and put myself out there. I took the client through both phases explained each action point in detail and its benefits and concluded it with an impacts and efforts chart.

This is how researching fasting products, visiting markets, and dealing with and presenting to the client, I completed my first project. 

Working on my second project for four months was amazing, from the start to the end it taught me a lot, but the few that I want to mention and reflect on are, showing commitment to your work, learning how to work with a team, to understand what to speak, when to speak and how much to speak, taking responsibility and most importantly being discipline.

So as I said after working for a few months it was time to have some fun and enjoy yourself out and justify the mantra Thoda kaam Thoda party. And to do that a much-awaited trip was waiting for us. We were planning for this for quite a while now, and our destination was Cairo Egypt. A city that is very close to my heart and a city where I spent one of the most challenging and best days of my life. Our goal was to go relax, attend prayers at our religious places and enjoy the climate and food. After the religious places, food was something that we looked forward to the most. It was a fun trip, we took time for ourselves, and spent a good time with each other. We had planned it well from deciding on restaurants to going to pyramids, then museums, Alexandria and whatnot.

It was a great 2022 for me, from passing different hurdles to accepting challenges. From working hard to reflecting on myself and most importantly finding joy and happiness in whatever I do. I am ready for the New Year, new challenges, new resolutions and to enjoy my life much more. It’s already been a month and I am glad that all is going well, and hoping for the best. And looking forward to many more real-life projects, many more friend trips and most importantly a lot more self-reflecting in my journey ahead. 

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