Would you be able to come to India again? Yes, when? As soon as possible. Uhh … of course!
So before I knew it I was on my way to Delhi again. This time I would be working with Wingreens Farms in Gurgaon. The “WIN” stands for Women’s Initiative Network and you should definitely read their story. This story is the backbone of the way in which they work today.
Their products (mainly dips, with chips of course and teas) are so delicious that demand is booming. Every day, new stores are calling to get their products. Currently they supply to supermarkets and food stores in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. Because of their “recipe” they have great aspirations to support more female workers and their families, so a very ambitious target for growth in this calendar year has been set.
But “how do I ensure that the desired culture at Wingreens will not “collapse” when this organization grows?” That is the big question that worries Anju, Founder and MD of Wingreens, most. On one hand she wishes to grow because that will result in more women with a steady income, more children getting decent meals and going to school every day. On the other hand, it means: not being able to hear, see and act on everything that happens every day in every department any longer.
The first two days I had a lot of talks with several people, mostly in sales, production and supply. They showed me around the production areas, the cold storage warehouses and the supply department. I got a good impression of the way they are working today and what the future “bottlenecks” would be considering the rapid growth.
After that we decided that a Kaizen-workshop would be the kick-off for a new mindset and new ways of working together. This philosophy is fundamentally different from the “normal” hierarchy in India and it will take time to set in, but there is no other way if you want to shift from “leading by instruction” to “work from inspiration”. So, I explained the ground principles of Kaizen, an originally Japanese management concept for gradual and continuous change and improvement, and we had in-depth discussions on how to take it from there.
During my visit there had been a lot of talks on the upcoming shift to a new location required for the operations matching the future growth ambitions. They had been looking for other locations for some time now. Suddenly, on the last day of my visit, there was a breakthrough, and within no time the deal was made for a new location. This will ensure that growth really can be facilitated (and of course: now the real work starts …). A great milestone to conclude the week!
Thanks Anju and all the rest at Wingreens Farms for a great time and I wish you lots of success in the upcoming months!