Electric Way is an 18-year-old company and in a couple of years we will be out of the teens. I am 40 today and though I started working very early in our family business, I started Electric Way at the young age of 23. Since then while I have been growing a year older each year while Electric Way has stayed young.
Age is a physical factor and is conventionally used to measure the passage from young to old. A company, however, doesn’t have to mirror human life. A company can stay young as long as it wants and I would like to iterate a few basic tenets that we have practiced at Electric Way since our inception which has helped us retain the values of youth.
Our youthful values can be encapsulated in a few approaches:
Invest in innovation
We embraced automation very early on in our business and invested heavily into it. We built the best warehouse possible, we invested in advanced ERP systems and we took bets on methodologies that served customers better. When the pandemic forced us to stay home, our digital infrastructure gave us the ability to continue working and serving customers.
Stay ahead of the curve
Each business generation must find its own mantra for making money. What was profitable a decade ago may not be now and hence keeping an eye on new opportunities, markets and methods is essential. We stay young by trying to predict and ride the wave and also stay ahead of the curve. Identifying newer products helps We may not get every guess right, but when we do, it serves us well.
Keep pace with customer culture
As we grow older, so does our customer. As we get a new generation of people, so is the workforce changing at our customer sites. Elderly founders have their progeny taking charge and we are dealing with people with fresher ideas and ambitions. We are keeping our eyes and minds open to the changes in culture and demand of our customers. This is forcing us to adopt newer ways of doing business. We are getting more digital and banking on smarter technology to serve them.
Riding the Horse of Youth
A question often thrown at me is that to be a youthful organization you need to adopt newer ways of working and you need to keep a younger workforce. What do we do with the senior people who are growing older and find it challenging to adopt to change?
We found the answer to this question by defining their roles and KRA’s clearly.
At Electric Way we want to think of the young people as the horses that are steered by the mature jockeys. Our horses are swift, agile and forward thinking, while our senior management are experienced and skilled to steer them to the winning post.
I would like to know about how you keep yourself young and relevant.