Secret Diary Of An Entrepreneur

"You Only Fail When You Give Up"

Secret Diary of Sanjeev Bikhchandani Part-1

Photograph by Vishal Koul

Personal information of Sanjeev BikhchandaniIt was all so futile. Standing in the sweltering heat in Madurai, holding two Horlicks labels in hand – the old red and blue one, and the new with the golden line in between. Which was better? Which sold more? That’s what I was asking shopkeepers…they, in turn, were amused that someone had come all the way from Delhi to ask this! The answer: the lower the price, the more it sells. I deserved that! An economics major from St. Stephens and an IIM graduate, I, with the sales guy, was asking these questions…it’s what the company wanted…

maduraiI was handling Horlicks for HMM…or GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare as it is known now. It was their biggest brand bringing in 90% of the revenue. Tamil Nadu was the largest market. Someone had suggested putting the golden line in the middle. And the senior management had gone with it! What were they thinking? Madurai was where they were test-marketing their brilliant idea. This was 6-8 months before I joined…but I was the one sent out to find the results. By lunchtime, 25-30 shops later, I had enough…I went to the Meenakshi temple.It was breath-taking, I did the parikrama and took the prasad for mom. I didn’t study so much to do this! I went back, wrote ‘test marketing successful and should be extended nationally’…

I could see the natural progression. In a few years, I would be sitting in a cushy cabin, and a few years from then, I would be a marketing head at some fancy multinational. But I didn’t want to be a prisoner of EMIs and visiting cards. I wasn’t going to be judged by the size of my house or my car. I wanted to build something that leaves a legacy behind…I was willing to make sacrifices…six months later, I quit the job.

Jobs were not always kind to me, pe

unsub

You don’t want to be left behind. Do you?

Our work is exclusively for discerning readers. To read our edgy stories and access our archives, you’ve to subscribe