Growth Story Of Plantronics – An interactive Guest Lecture session by Mr Bobby Joseph, Sr. Country Head – Plantronics India

Plantronics

The students of TAPMI had this opportunity to be addressed by Mr Bobby Joseph, Sr. Country Manager – Plantronics India on 12th July, 2014. Mr Joseph is an alumnus of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), and has more than 20 years of industry experience. Mr Joseph designed the lecture as an interactive session and focused the topic of discussion on his life’s learning through the various professional events of his life.

According to Mr Joseph, we should always dream as that enables us to decide what we want to do in life. He instantiated with some initial learning that he received when he joined Berger Paints in a Sales profile in Rajkot. Fresh out of B-School, Mr Joseph was under the impression that he can achieve anything but after it took him 9 months to crack the first sales deal, he understood that life doesn’t always proceed the way we want it to.

The three major learning that he shared from those experiences of his were:

  • Perseverance
  • Never to compromise one’s integrity, and
  • Humility

Moving on with the session, he spoke about the next phase in his life when he joined WIPRO Ltd. in 1995. During this phase he got the chance to work with Mr Azim Premji, from whom he learned the following:

  • Read as much as you can as knowledge carries you ahead
  • Be competitive and show your hunger
  • Prepare to take the leap in order to stay ahead of the game

In 1998 Mr Joseph joined Walt Disney Consumer Products as a Retail Manger and during this phase he learnt the importance of taking a pause and refocusing on one’s environment. In the following years Mr Joseph joined Nokia India as a Sales Manager (Northern and Eastern Region) and later joined Plantronics India in 2002.

Mr Joseph then shared his experience in Plantronics India and gave a brief history about Plantronics which was started by two pilots and manufactures bluetooth headsets that are used for Air Traffic Control in Defense and Aviation sectors. He spoke about the challenges he had to face as soon as he joined Plantronics which involved a legal battle with a distributor of 18 years.

He further elaborated on the Growth Story of Plantronics India by giving insights into the challenges faced by Plantronics in propagating its business in the country. The company opened its branches in the three cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. They moved into the APAC region in 2007. With a 50 year old legacy behind it, still the company faced rough waters with the onset of Economic Recession in 2008-09 when it had to close down the Hyderabad office.

However, Plantronics was able to come out of the recession and entered the new untapped market of Middle East. Mr Joseph was made responsible for the Middle East business operations of the company and he delivered stupendously by growing it to 56% by 2012. They also launched their products on the eCommerce website Flipkart in India to increase reach and availability.

The biggest mantra that he shared with us was that for having a good business, one has to be good with people as Business is made of people.

Some other mantras that he shared from his experience were:

  • Do not concentrate only on Market Share for success
  • Always run a profitable business and keep the bottom-line secured
  • Spend the first 8 – 9 years understanding the business and the environment
  • Take calculated risks

Towards the end of the session he spoke about the purpose of life and the importance of family. He shared insights on Time Management and further instantiated them with incidents from his life.

All in all the experience was extremely enriching for the students. The session came to an end with the Placement Committee of TAPMI sharing the vote of thanks and presenting the guest speaker with a memento on behalf of the TAPMI family.

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