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Graduating to marketing requires getting closer to

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in machinery and labour. Graduating to marketing requires getting closer to the customer. This is the challenge that a traditional spinning mill like RSWM had to face if it was to sustain itself in a highly competitive market. At another level, for RSWM, it was a matter of cultural transformation of the organisation long used to a conservative, trader mentality. Imagine a company whose main driving force, Shekhar Agarwal, Vice - Chairman and Managing Director having little interest in watching Hindi movies signing up Shahrukh Khan at a considerable price for celebraity advertising. From the market side, it has long been troubled with its commitment to the loyal middle-class customers as it had to simultaneously pay attention to the upwardly mobile upper middle class customers. Then there was the dilemma of being too many things to a wide range of audience. RSWM wanted to have a stake in the export markets as well as keep its share in the rural markets. It perceived itself as an efficient producer and wished to become a flamboyant retailer. It excelled in basic textile processing yet dreamt of attaining sophistication in in-house production of readymade garments. And all this while it has been a late mover, losing out to early movers such as Raymonds. No wonder it virtually landed up on the fringes of the industry, far behind formidable competitors like Reliance, Grasim, and S. Kumar. Question : Suggest how should RSWM manage its value chain effectively. Should it try to imitate the market leaders? If yes, why? If no, why not ? What alternative routes to success do you propose? MS-91 3
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