Helping people harness, and unleash the power of networking
At a time when the Small and Medium enterprises in the country are under stress owing to the overall domestic and global economic situation, they need handholding to overcome challenges and thrive again.
In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, where individuals manage multiple verticals, startups, the significance of effective coaching, guidance, and continuous learning cannot be overstated.
This holds true not only for businesses facing challenges but also for successful companies seeking to enhance sustainability and overall performance.
MSMEs, run by entrepreneurs few of whom may be relatively less proficient in modern management principles and practices, desperately need a helping hand to first tide over the crisis, and to sustain and then thrive. This is easier said than done – as turn around professionals are few and are difficult to find.
But this is where people like KVT Ramesh, a serial entrepreneur and a passionate builder of business leaders through the power of networking and transformational training under which he personally mentors entrepreneurs and even help then turn around sick units as well.
Today, when the MSME sector itself is under stress owing to an assortment of reasons, there is a greater need for more people like KVT to help the entrepreneurs stand up on their feet again. What he essentially does is to train the entrepreneurs in different aspects of manufacturing processes and business activities, structure their operations and bring in new technology to help them grow their businesses. Now, this coaching is something that he does out of passion of wanting to give back to the society.
With a proven track record spanning brand management, start-up investments, and real estate ventures, he possesses a rich reservoir of business acumen. This wealth of experience solidifies his prowess to engage and influence. Committed to coaching and propagating positivity, he has taken up the role of Firm Owner at Action Coach AP & Telangana. ActionCOACH is the #1 business coaching franchise in the world.
“There are many success stories, of people who are today doing much better than they were. In some cases, we helped them even recover the monies owed to them from debtors,” Ramesh told Southonomix.com in an exclusive interview.
But there is a penchant among the small and medium entrepreneurs to treat training and networking costs as “prohibitive and unnecessary”, which is farther from the truth, he says, adding “they have to really appreciate and understand that these costs are nothing but investment for better tidings.”
According to him, “Investing networking and coaching can yield substantial long-term benefits and contribute to your personal and professional growth. Viewing these costs as investments can help you prioritize them and recognize their potential for generating future opportunities and success,” he says.
Being smart is investing in networking & training
Which is why it is imperative to recognize the significance of allocating resources towards both networking and coaching. Rather than perceiving these allocations as mere expenses, adopting the perspective of strategic investments can lead to substantial long-term benefits, fostering not only personal and professional growth but also ensuring the establishment of a solid foundation for sustained progress, he says.
Ramesh had shifted to Vishakhapatnam some 10 years ago from Hyderabad to set up a branch of BNI, world’s leading business network organisation, and today made it into one of the leading cities in the world with over 900 members, with 23 chapters.
Vishakhapatnam, for Ramesh, has been a city of opportunities and a welcome one that embraces outsiders with enthusiasm and encouragement. A city with a cosmopolitan outlook, it is arguably one of the best cities in the truncated Andhra Pradesh with a huge potential. With the city as his base, Ramesh now travels across the country and the globe, on his coaching and training sessions and says he has the satisfaction of building business leaders everywhere.
Within the BNI, he is a sought after trainer, and has travelled to 14 countries and building the network of his each passing day. He is a passionate believer in the power of networks and networking and advises everyone to appreciate this and use it effectively for personal and professional growth.
The physical meetings, the touch and feel and the power of handshakes and mingling and bonding is something that only physical congregations facilitate and for this reason, Ramesh prefers holding conventions to provide networking opportunities to the members he signs on.
“And believe me, not many are unhappy. Most are surprised at the kind of businesses such networking meetings often generate and for this reason, most members who attend once are tempted to come again, and again,” Ramesh said adding that “I am also enthused seeing the response of the people of Vishakapatnam, and neighbouring towns.”
Formula to overcome challenges
What happens is that even though the people do different businesses and type of professional activities, there are commonalities in the challenges they face and there are proven means to overcome the challenges. Broadly, the challenges are people management, marketing issues, cash flow management problems and as a business trainers we train them in specific detail as to how each one of them can be overcome.
“If am talking about cash flow challenges I would talk about how you can actually rectify these challenges in your company and come up with solutions. For this, I will help you find your own solutions that specifically resolve your issues. Basically what it means is that one helps the member find the solutions to their issues,” Ramesh says and adds, “I persuade people to embrace technology that may seem to be disruptive but will be a huge advantage as they go along.”
See, some benefits for the trainees is tangible, but there are several intangible benefits that training, coaching and networking bring that the people need to appreciate.
Now coming to companies getting shut, they do because of two major reasons. One is they are not able to market their product well or second thing is they are not able to you know get the right money for the product or service that they are selling. So, one has to actually work on these two aspects to rectify any business that is going wrong.
At 47 years, Ramesh is relatively younger than some of the directors of companies he trains, But it is his years of experience and expertise that brings him the recognition and earns him the respect of the business owners to gain from his advice.
Where does Ramesh sees himself @ 57?
“Why more of coaching a lot of business owners and how they do business, because that is my passion area. But my focus is on small and medium enterprise owners. Only a handful of big industry people have come to me, through friends network, but it is my conscious decision to help the small and medium businesses,” he says.
Ramesh is also passionate about many things in life – fitness is one of them as is the need to inculcate the reading habit among people. And there are other philanthropic activities he does now and then, about which he does not even want to talk about.
Making a difference
But briefly about a few meaningful social enterprises of the ‘Make A Difference (MAD) man – the 5 a.m. Club; Pick A Book, the two activities that are aimed at making the society healthy and improve the reading habit among the people. His Global initiative Pick a Book is now operational in five countries. Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, UAE and the UK. In its 3rd year of existence, Pick a Book has managed to build a thriving community of book lovers with over 5000 members across the globe and inspired 500000 lives and counting.
“I want to involve and engage everyone in society in health activities, and try innovative acuities to enthuse and attract the participants, and make the events fun,” Ramesh says. The results are there for everyone to see, with the 5 a.m. Clubs becoming very popular. There are activities like Yoga, Cycling, Hiking and games, with a surprise element thrown in that keeps up the enthusiasm of the participants, he says.
Himself a bundle of energy, Ramesh is bubbling with ideas and is eager to do something different every day. His networking with the rich and the powerful, and from the celeb world makes his events more aspirational. Say for example, actress Rakul Preet Singh was one of the participants at a jogging event and spend the day with them.
The other day, the Vishakhapatnam BNI meet had South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes holding forth on leadership skills to a huge gathering of businessmen and traders, and he held them spell bound with his use of cricketing analogies and applied them to business scenarios.