India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today and there is no denying that some Indian companies are doing very well at least for themselves by riding the economic boom. But when the press and the pundits frequently talk about world class companies Indian consumers wonder whether they have one.
First of all it is not very clear on what basis the commentators label a company as world class. Some companies may be achieving spectacular numbers as far as turnover or profits are concerned but when it comes to customer service or product quality it is important to study the perceptions of consumers about the company and its products. As a matter of fact, most of the reviews I read in internet about these world class Indian companies are actually quite damning and therefore it is strange that the same companies are applauded in press where as the consumers feel differently about them.
It is easy to proclaim something as world class in India as a very tiny percentage of Indian consumers have traveled abroad and experienced truly world class products and services. A very good example could be Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate which is considered to be the best in the Indian market and perceived as a very high quality product in India. But if you have tasted Swiss or Belgian chocolates or even the same Cadbury which is available in UK market you will come to know the stark difference in quality of the chocolates that is offered in India.
Take another company called Airtel which is also one of India’s most well known brand. This company is particularly mentioned in the press time and again as a world class company. No doubt, the company is doing excellent in terms of growth and it is also the darling of the stock market for making huge profits but one has serious doubts if it can be called a world class company as because if you are using an airtel mobile phone connection you will know what I am taking about.
Airtel connection quality is just like the quality of electricity we get in India and since we don’t have any clue of what world class quality is we accept whatever available and even foolishly boast it as something of world standard. I have used mobile connection of Duetsche Telecom. Vodaphone and Saudi Telecom for quite many years and I rarely experienced any problem but with Airtel a consumer can consider himself very lucky if he can have a smooth conversation of just 2 minutes with facing voice fading or disconnection.
This is not only specific to Airtel but with other mobile service providers as well and actually they are far from being world class and it is a shame that we project these companies as world class whereas they are actually delivering sub standard products and services and duping consumers. It is not only the connection that is an issue with Airtel even their customer service is pathetic and in spite of all these business channels and newspaper continue to laud them.
It will be wrong to assume that Indian consumers are fool but they are rendered powerless by our system as in this country we do not have strong consumer courts and systematic way of addressing consumer grievances. This allows the companies to be indifferent to customer grievances and basically when the revenue is not a problem (because of the huge market size), the companies just spend money in advertisements and take good care of the officials and press people to create the hype to sell their goods and services. But the frustration of the consumers can be understood if you read the reviews these companies attract in various product review websites and blogs.
So it is hype and money power that can create a world class company in India in no time and most of the companies operating in various segments are exactly doing so. One of the best and most visible examples is Bharti Airtel Ltd. This company is going strength to strength where as their service and quality is certainly not improving and actually going down. Who cares as long as you can afford Sachin Tendulkar or Shahrukh Khan to endorse your product and any way the consumers can’t do much in our current political and legal settings.
But it will be unfair to say that there no companies that are striving to give world class services or products to Indian consumers. Though the number of such companies is very less but they do exist and they are loved because of their superior service and products. One such company is Jet Airways and this perception is shared by majority of consumers.
You will rarely get a bad review about Jet Airways and that is the greatest testimony of their service. We all know that in today’s market you need advertisements, public relations to make your brand recognized and products sold but efforts should be made to deliver good quality as well and provide customer service. But unfortunately with the majority of the so called world class companies in India delivering world class services or products seems to be the last priority.
By violetta from Pixabay