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Quest Consumer Products Limited – Turnaround of Rural Territory

CASE STUDY, SALES AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 9 Pages

Case Preview

Quest Consumer Products Limited – Turnaround of Rural Territory

 

Suvendu Mondal (Suvendu), Regional Manager-North of Quest Consumer Products Limited (Quest Limited) was reading mails on his laptop on a warm evening of July 2016. It was his habit to respond to all the mails received on the same day itself. One of the mails was from Nitin Malhotra (Nitin), the mercurial Director (Sales) of Quest Limited. The subject line read, ‘West UP (Rural) – Action Plan for H2’. Suvendu was a little perplexed for West UP Rural territory had been a concern area in terms of performance for his region in the 1st half (H1) of the year which ended on June 2016. West UP was a key territory earmarked as a Rural Thrust Area under “Project Next Billion” for the ambitious strategic vision of Quest Limited.

About the Company

Quest Limited, the Indian arm of an US headquartered MNC with operations in over 100 countries and revenues of INR 1000 Crores, had been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 14% for last 5 years, thereby making it one of the lucrative markets in terms of growth and latent potential. Quest Limited operated in multiple product categories including Malt based Health food drink (HFD), Ketchup and Confectionery. It enjoyed dominant market shares in the competitive HFD category (~33%) and ketchups (~27%) and marginal market share of 12% in confectionery category as per latest market research panel data. It had multiple brands and SKUs in each of the category it operated in sync with regional preferences and market dynamics. (Exhibit I for Quest Limited Fact-file and Exhibit II for Quest Limited –North Region Structure).............

Teaching Note Preview

Quest Consumer Products Limited – Turnaround of Rural Territory

 

Synopsys

The high –potential West UP (Rural) territory had become a vulnerable spot for Suvendu Mondal (Suvendu); the dynamic Regional Manager for the North Region of US MNC Quest Consumer Products Limited On one hand, Nitin Malhotra (Nitin), the mercurial Sales Director wanted him to turnaround the territory fast and on the other hand he had a young achiever of the Quest ecosystem, Dhruv Anand (Dhruv) as the new ASM for the troubled territory. Dhruv brought awe-inspiring data analytics skills on board His had a tough job for there were multiple problems in frontline efficiency, Brand contributions, Coverage expansion etc. and performance metrices not in cognizance with Quest Limited’s high standards of excellence. He also uncovers misdoings of Shyam Kaushal (Shyam), the promising Area Executive of West UP. Does he unmask Shyam or pardon him? What could be the possible blueprint for turnaround of the territory taking into account the aforementioned circumstances? The ingredients of the turnaround strategy lay in a clear understanding of the root causes and methodical approach in fixing them all the while using the data as a catalyst.

Pre-requisite Conceptual Understanding

• Understanding of the rural sales and distribution structure and models – Direct Van coverage, Hub and spoke model, indirect coverage by bulk-traders/wholesalers, etc.
• Concept of channel relationships and various channel partners viz. Super-stockiest, sub-stockiest, pilot sales representatives, etc.
• Concept of Primary and secondary sales. Idea of trade promotion across channels

To build a conceptual understanding of sales and distribution structures, various channels and channel relationships, it is recommended to study the relevant chapters from a text book.

• Venugopal, P. (2008). Sales and distribution management: an Indian perspective. SAGE Publications India.
• Venugopal, P. (2001). Marketing Channel Management: A customer-centric approach. SAGE Publications Pvt. Limited.
• Kashyap, P. (2016). Rural marketing. Pearson Education India.

Instructors can facilitate a discussion with a sales manager from consumer goods industry for building clarity on concepts and demonstrating the thought processes of practitioners in such scenarios.

Case Positioning and Setting

This Case Study is designed for post-graduate students of the Sales and Distribution Management subject. It is also beneficial for researchers and academics interested in sales and distribution structures of rural markets.

Assignment Questions

1. You are required to document the various aspects which are contrary to Quest Limited’s way of functioning in Shyam’s territory.
2............

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Product code: SDM-1-0004, SDM-1-0004A

Abstract

West UP (Rural) territory has become an Achilles’ heel for Suvendu Mondal (Suvendu), the dynamic Regional Manager for the North Region of US MNC Quest Limited. Nitin Malhotra, the mercurial Sales Director wants him to turnaround the territory fast. Suvendu deputed one of the stars in the Quest ecosystem, Dhruv Anand (Dhruv) as the ASM for the troubled territory. On analysis of data and facts, Dhruv realizes that things are not in order in the territory with multiple problems in frontline efficiency, brand contributions, coverage expansion, etc. which are not in cognizance with Quest Limited’s high standards of excellence. He also uncovers misdoings of Shyam Kaushal (Shyam), the promising Area Executive of West UP. Does he unmask Shyam? How does he prepare a blueprint for turnaround of the territory is the big question?



Pedagogical Objectives

  • The case study exposes the participants to swathe of information and data showing the intricacies of channel relationships, importance of brand and category contributions and role of sales and distribution efficiency parameters. Participants will be in position to prepare comparative analysis reports and process manuals on sales and distribution best-practices
  • Participants shall be able to understand and design effective rural sales and distribution (S&D) strategy for turnaround of troubled territories aided by robust standard operating practices and metrices
  • Participants shall get a managerial perspective of dealing with the inter-personal behavioural issues of frontline sales force. This case study exposes them to the flaw in thinking of a successful sales resource and how the ASM discovers his fallacies. It can also work as a manual for prospective managers on the right course of action when you discover manipulative practices of subordinates in sales function
  • Participants shall be able to contextualize the inherent challenges in rural market sales operations with multiplicity of players like super stockiests, PSRs and sub-stockiests. This case study gives a first-hand perspective of how to negate the handicaps by use of data and analytics and prepare a robust blue-print for smooth operations in a rural territory

Case Positioning and Setting

This Case Study can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs: To teach in Sales and distribution Management course
  • Executive Development Programs/MDPs: To help the participants understand the nuances of sales and distribution



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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