Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amazing & True, Listening & trusting women, helped us save millions, min-15% in every deal in male dominated function (India)

These are amazing & true facts, how including, listening & trusting women in male dominated function in India, has helped organisations save min 15% & upto 20% in deals, these functions are still, exclusive male dominated in India. I am talking about; A) property rental leasing negotiations for commercial & residential. In next blog about B) automobile sales & service adviser

Kindly read complete, before you form opinion, The point I am trying to convey is, perhaps it may seem initially strange, the way my women colleagues approached this; however they gracefully made their impression & helped us save millions.

The first incident in opportunity to involve women from marketing & architecture (store design) department in initial survey and shortlisting of commercial estate for our stores. We used to take them for surroundings survey, property potential assessment, future footfall, negotiations with owners & draft of final legal-lease agreement.

The questions as asked by them were too difficult to be answered by property owners, few were rather embarrassed about not able to answer. We decided to listen & learn, why women are asking these questions. We supported them, re-phrased the questions for property owners & were able to get satisfactory answers. 

Involving women had all long term benefits;

  1. Negotiate better & close deals at 15% lower than prevailing rate
  2. Fine tune proposed lease agreement, to save on unexpected maintenance cost
  3. Analyse better, plans of other builders in the vicinity, this will impact future foot-fall
  4. Build rapport with owner, assure him of long term commitment
  5. Residential lease for employees & guest house, we saved minimum 20% & had better park/green facing properties. Employees & their families Happiness cannot be measured financially.
Challenges, we initially faced & my learning;
  1. Excessive delay in acquisition, in my opinion initial target setting should have been revised. Women thoughts & evaluating parameters are different, they are cautious long term decision makers.
  2. There was lot of resistance, because we felt, we would be exposing women to inappropriate environment, language used in this profession is ???????.
  3. Alas the project of involving women was shelved & company relied on hard ball; men to men negotiating techniques. I was pained, Did I fail ?. 
  4. After more than a decade, I realized, the properties in which we involved women are still retained & earning the company good ROI. Owners are also happy. At least, I did my best to sensitize. I failed to bring about cultural change & my intentions were genuine
  5. Now, 12 years hence, I am in better position to help men & women work together to co create prosperity for themselves & their employers.
  6. I wish, I had conducted, how women & men communicate 12 years ago, the way I conduct them today. Perhaps, I was too junior in the hierarchy 12 years ago in the corporate world.
Personally I saved 40% in residential lease agreement, when I met all elderly women sitting in park, after office hours. I leisurely listened to & talked to them. They were amazing, few meetings & references/connections at my end, helped me to get best, park facing residence. I stayed there for 18 Month.

After my family left the city, the lease was not renewed because one learned administration person wanted to renegotiate the deal & the owner said thanks, good bye !!