There’s way too much focus on my part of the pie, on how can I maximize my profit from any deal, on how can I save every last penny. This happens in almost every negotiation especially in India and in fact, it’s exceptional in India, but not necessarily a good thing. Of course, we did another video on that. What it comes down to India and in many cultures that focus on negotiation is that people often don’t realize the “opportunity cost.” It’s not just on an individual level, but also affects businesses.
Don’t get us wrong, having fixed costs under control is crucial, there is no doubt about that. But, if you want to be successful as an individual and you want your company to be successful, it’s most important to worry about the ‘TOP LINE.’
If you don’t, then you’ll continue to focus all your energy and saving and scrimping and you’ll be 60 years old, looking at airline miles to determine where you can travel too or you’ll be looking at coupons to determine what food you can purchase. Instead of using all the effort ‘to save’ use that energy ‘to make.’
It’s important to work really hard in your twenties & thirties, learn sales, learn how to convince people, learn how to be really good at whatever it is you’re interested in and own it. If you put all your time and energy into being really excellent, the money will come and you can use coupons as a hobby, not a necessity!
Now some of you who are just getting by which is the majority of the population in India, the United States and everywhere else in the world, please save some money. That’s not the point of this article, saving is very important. In fact, it’s important to save enough where you can live and be able to survive without a job; three to six months’ worth living expense is great and one year is ideal.
But, your main focus should always be the Top Line – as an individual and as a business. Don’t spend so much energy, and agonizing over saving every single penny. Rather focus on how you can make more money! This is important on an individual basis, but also from a company perspective. Here, in India, the word ‘chindi’ is used to mean cheap. There are costs of being cheap. People will spend way more energy and actually get excited about getting a “good deal” than anything else, that should not be what is most celebrated. What should be celebrated is creating and growing, not saving and scrimping.
Let me give you an example at Jagaha. About a year and a half ago, I was looking for mobile phones for our sourcing department. When I asked the team if they knew any good mobile phone deals, the entire team erupted with suggestions with where to get the cell phones. The passion with which the suggestions came pouring in, suggesting this store has it cheaper or that gives a better deal, the whole office shut down for fifteen minutes, and if they’d put the same passion into their job, Jagaha would be ruling the commercial real estate market right there and then!
Do you see how much of a difference it makes when you focus on the top line? Focus on what matters. We agree, fixed costs are important. But spending so much time and energy in doing something that would profit you so little relatively is just not wise.
Don’t even get us started on negotiations for an office space for rent in Mumbai through Jagaha’s commercial real estate agency, some of these negotiations have failed over just a few thousand rupees per month. Talk about wasted time, energy and money, but trying to save money! If you want more money India, focus the maximum efforts on the Top Line!