How often do you return from a business trip wondering whether it was worthwhile and whether you are going to see any return on investment?
Not many trips leave me with the feeling that they were exactly the slam dunk success that I hoped they would be.
However, I have to say that this last trip to visit Towa Optics in New Delhi was exactly that. If I could be guaranteed that kind of trip each time, I'm pretty sure I'd have hell of a lot more airmiles than I do now.
The Batra family run the hugely successful trading company, Towa Optics, headed up by Mr. Rakesh Batra as Managing Director and his wife, Mrs, Kavita Batra, who manages the nine branches of Towa around India.
The latest family member added to the Towa team, is Manav Batra, who spent a year in Dubai setting up the Towa Optics office covering the U.A.E.
Towa Optics represents highly reputable companies in India such as Nikon, Thermo, Q-Imaging and of course Linkam, but it is not the impressive sales track record that Towa has in representing these companies- the numerous awards from Nikon and Thermo on the walls of their conference room stands testament to that- it is the enth
usiasm and generosity in sharing information that radiates from the Charasmatic Batra Senior that instils the confidence in any relationship with Towa Optics.
It is easy to see why Towa Optics is so successful, Rakesh Batra builds long term relationships, there is no 'making a quick buck' philosophy here. It is also clear that all the staff really respect Mr. Batra, many have been with him for more than 20 years. He can depend on them to maintain the relationships he has built with many customers over the years.
It's 10:30pm, we are discussing the following day of Linkam sales training for the sales guys he has flown in from all over India for my visit.
'Do you think it would be useful to have a geologist come in tomorrow and give some background info on fluid inclusions to the guys', Rakesh asks.
'Sure,' I say, 'of course, great idea, but it's 10:30.'
'No problem.' He says, and is back on his blackberry in an instant.
A brief conversation and the deal is done. An emminent geologist now a top manager in large cement producing corporation will attend the meeting at
'How?' I ask astounded. Knowing that anyone I call at this time, family included, is not going to be sympathetic to any request, least of all a rollercoaster ride through mid morning Delhi traffic.
'Oh, he's a very good, old customer of mine. I've known him for years.'
And this turns out to be the key to how Mr. Batra makes so many things happen. He sees every business transaction as an opportunity to build a relationship. Once you buy from Towa, you're in it for the long run. You can depend on them for service and support, they will not rest until you are completely satisfied.
And that is why I flew back to Heathrow feeling really confident that this business trip was not only a great success but that Linkam has a great future in the Indian market.
I wonder when I'll get that 10:30pm call for a favour. I'm prett
y sure that I'll end up doing whatever Mr. Batra asks....so long as it doesn't involve high speed commuting through Delhi traffic. I still wake up screaming from that experience.
Many thanks to Rakesh, Kavita and Manav, for your hospitality and generosity, I look forward to working with you for many years to come.