Reinforcing brand leadership by delivering exceptional partner experiences

How one of the leading retail chains in India with a galaxy of homegrown brands, is further cementing its leadership position by delivering experiences to its channel partners.

Titan Company, the pioneer of ‘experiential retail’ in India has always been known for its enriching and enduring relationship with its customers. The company, especially the senior management, has built a deep personal connect and bonding with its channel partners over the course of the last 30 years. However, not a company to rest on its laurels, Titan handpicked Mr. Dwarakanath Mopuri, a veteran of the company’s watch division to spearhead a key initiative to further nurture the already superlative channel relationships.

We spoke to Dwarak (as he is fondly called) to understand how he went about accomplishing this critical task.

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MANU DOGRA: Can you tell us a little bit about the new initiative you are spearheading?

DWARAK: In simple terms, what I am trying to do here is UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BUSINESS and KEEP THEM AT THE CENTRE OF OUR ACTIVITIES. Very often companies operate within the contours of a transaction-led narrative when it comes to channel management. From how much do they buy and what margins to part with, the conversation should ideally shift to who they are, what are their aspirations, and how as a progressive organization we can support them. Through this key initiative, we are trying to further understand the expectations of our channel partners, and deliver more engaging experiences based on them.

MANU DOGRA: How does one go about curating the right experiences?

DWARAK: What I have observed is that human beings tend to associate an ‘emotion’ to an experience. That is why it is important to determine the emotions an experience is likely to generate. Can an experience trigger joy, a feeling of trust, surprise and excitement, of course in a pleasant way. These are my yardsticks to evaluate if a specific experience is worth it or not.

MANU DOGRA: How important is it to formalize this Channel Experience outreach, if I may call it that?

DWARAK: Very important! We already have in place well-designed policies and well-executed channel management practices. ‘Building enduring relationships with channel partners’ has always been one of the key tenets guiding our organisation. The current effort to enhance partner experience will only complement the already existing processes. Our senior leadership has always enjoyed a very warm and personal relationship with our channel partners. One of the objectives of my initiative is to help our next generation of business leaders too to build lasting relationships with our partners. While with the passage of time faces might change, but the company’s approach to partner relationships, which is so ingrained in our DNA, should not change.

MANU DOGRA: Your advice to organizations starting off with curating signature experiences for the channel partners?

DWARAK: The success or failure of an organization is determined by what people actually do. To create signature experiences for your customers and channel partners, you need to start with curating superlative experiences for your employees. Think of how you can empower your teams to understand how people (customers, channel partners, vendors) think, feel and behave. Try to infuse ‘Warmth’ and ‘Emotional Intelligence’ into every business practice and policy. This, I feel is fundamental to curating signature experiences, whether for customers or channel partners.

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