The Pursuit of Service Marketing Excellence in the Indian Context
- A Snapshot


Srikant Kapoor
BCIHMCT, New Delhi

Prof. R.K. Bhandari
BCIHMCT, New Delhi


India today is uniquely poised to take a quantum leap globally thanks to the recent awakening in the services sector. India which has been an agrarian economy did well in the manufacturing sector after independence, but its emergence as a player of note in the global arena is mainly due to the services sector. Service economy is now considered the golden key to India's future.

Advantage to India

The technological advancements of the last century have been bestowed an unheard of premium on the human resource which came as a windfall for the Indian economy, especially for its service industry. India has a definite resource advantage to meet the growing global opportunities in the services sector. With the rise of new economy, outsourcing has flooded the employment channels. India's comparatively young population is well educated in diverse fields and that specific class of professionals is also well versed in the language which the world speaks i.e. English. Being a developing nation rearing to make a mark globally our services have the leverage of wage differential. This phenomenon makes Indian professionals much sought after in the world market. For domestic economy too, opening of the services sector is advantageous as it absorbs the teaming millions reducing the possibility of educated unemployed stuck with limited options in agriculture and manufacturing sectors of the economy.

Elements of Service and Distinction

Service as we know is done for one to another for a consideration without giving ownership. Service can be basically of three types-pure service, derived and value added. The service industry differs from manufacturing industry in several ways, as services focus on people and adopts the strategy of retention being interactive in its processes. The manufacturing industry being non-interactive has transaction as its main objective unlike relationships, which forms the basis of services.

Services Marketing

Under the P's of marketing whereas product is tangible, standardized and storable, the service class is its opposite in nature. Under promotion, a product remains buyer focused unlike service's user focus where the outcome, not attribute is benefit. The services marketing being more individualized become to that extent more difficult to accomplish. Success factors in service excellence thus need a different set of marketing tools and strategy.

Defining Excellence?

Excellence is varyingly understood in meaning. It is said to be merit or quality, a state of being extremely good at something. As it is synonyms, the Collins Thesaurus mentions attributes such as, distinction, eminence fitness, goodness, greatness, high quality, merit, superiority, supremacy, virtue and worth.

Even through excellence is superlative it is still achievable. It may not be correct to relate it to glamour. All that glitters may not be Gold after all. Service excellence involves people, the most demanding and discerning entity in society. The sacred matra is to impress an individual excellence can be embedded in small gestures which excelling expectation may create surprise.

Excellence: Present Context

The service industry has provided significant impetus to changing the old paradigm of excellence, to the new one. To put it simply, the organization monolith no more swamps the hapless individual. It is the sensitive and demanding individual (customer?) who moulds the organization and nurtures it as per his changing needs and preferences.

The nature of demand and competition is the compelling reason for this transformation. The socioeconomic environment and the legal framework of a democratic society have been strengthening it. India has an open economy with an improving rate of literacy of its citizens. The purchasing power of Indian middle class is on the rise and so is their awareness of their rights as buyers and users. This has been made possible by high exposures to prevailing influences brought about by global media. Other factors, which have been affecting the phenomenon of excellence in business, are the rising importance of service industry, maturing of manufacturing industry, high technological elements of the modern industry and the fact that India is at the threshold of being a fully developed economy.

Excellence: Emerging Paradigm

For a sustainable business paradigm to encourage emergence of excellence the roles played by all the stakeholders will have to be considered. In this respect the entire nation with its various components, -government, corporate, industry associates and society-will have to look within. Product, price, place, promotion, peoples, process and the physical evidence-all the Ps of marketing is to be reviewed and realigned.

The entrepreneurial ethics must inspire the leadership to have a vision which is conducive in changing and sustaining then organizational structure and systems in such a way that they are alive to grass root reality and co-exist rather than compete. The corporate is to be a living organization with a soul that illuminates through values it establishes. The marketing is to be societal need based, cooperative rather than seeking competitive advantage and should not crave for customer recovery but has integrated relationship management.

The HR of this emerging paradigm has intrinsic inspiration which doe not function for the external reward system but considers work itself a reward. A multi-skilled self-sustainable workforce will thus seek not job enrichment but mind enrichment. Management of self will have universal perspective not only an individual one-Means therefore would be as important as ends. People will be the most significant part and the leader the last. Long term legacy will replace short-term gains. The emphasis is on giving not getting.

"Managing will be done not by hardware externally but internally through heartware".

 India can become globally competitive in Services sector by:


Speakers & Facilitators

On International Summit on Service Excellence, 20THJanuary, 2006

Dr. Naresh Trehan, MD, Escorts Health Services
Dr. Pramod Paliwal, IIMT-Kolkata
Dr. Ramesh Kapur, MD Radisson Hotel, Delhi
Dr. Sudhanshu  Bhushan,IIMT-Gurgaon
Dr.Vinnie Jauhari, Head-SOME, IIMT-Gurgaon
Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, MD Ambuja Cement Eastern Limited
Mr. K.B. Kachru, Executive VP South Asia, Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific
Ms. Kriti Dutta, IIMT-Gurgaon
Prof. Ajay Das, Zicklin Business School, New York
Prof. Jagdish N. Sheth, Emroy University, USA
Prof. Mahmood Khan, Virginia Tech, USA
Prof. Shyam Lodha, Southern Connecticut State University, USA
Shri Arvind Singhji Mewar, CMD-HRH Group of Hotels

Srikant Kapoor
BCIHMCT, New Delhi

Prof. R.K. Bhandari
Asst. Professor
BCIHMCT, New Delhi

Source: E-mail February 8, 2006


Back to Articles 1-99 / Back to Articles 100-199 / 200 onwards / Faculty Column Main Page


Important Note :
Site Best Viewed in Internet
Explorer in 1024x768 pixels
Browser text size: Medium