Diligent Relationship Builder


Company: Modcare Enterprises
Address: 106, Red Rose Building, 49-50, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019.
Tel: 011-647 8431, 647 8432, 641 6344
E-mail: modcare@vsnl.com  
Start-up year: 1987
Products and services: Consumable supplies

Nehru Place is a very unlikely
place for some one who wanted to enter armed forces to land up in, but fate
works in mysterious ways. Anoop Kumar always nurtured the desire to be a part of
the Indian Armed Forces and even cleared the CDS, only to be rejected for
knock-knees. But the rejection dealt no blow on his psyche — rather Anoop came
out a confident man, confident that he had the ability to excel in other fields.

Humble beginnings

Back in Delhi, Anoop joined
his brother in the family stationery trade. He decided to go solo in 1987 with
Modcare. Operating from home, for lack of commercial space, Anoop entered
business on a rather slow note, selling just a box of floppies on the first day,
making five rupees in the process. But this did not get his indefatigable spirit

The very next year he moved
out into a shop based at Yusuf Sarai in Delhi. Around the same time, Nehru Place
was emerging as the convergence point for computer traders. Sensing an
opportunity, Anoop moved Modcare to Nehru Place in 1992, lock, stock and barrel.
Besides being the hub of IT activity, real estate prices in the area was a
consideration. “Nehru Place offered the cheapest commercial property then
unlike today,” he says.

The physical shift from Yusuf
Sarai to Nehru Place resulted in a shift in the business model for Modcare. From
a retailer of consumables, the company metamorphosed into wholesale trading.
"Wholesale trade rests on competitive pricing, while retail trade is
largely influenced by service," says Anoop. He also knew that a
differential pricing for the two segments could not be possible from a single
trading location.

But the shift in strategy did
not dilute Anoop’s focus on customer relations. In fact he has harbored and
built relationships diligently over the years. “The relationships have evolved
into friendships”, says Anoop.

A rolling stone

Anoop is grateful that he has
been spared major setbacks and rough weather that plague this trade. The going
has been smooth right from the beginning, but the big jump came after Anoop
added the HP range of consumables to his portfolio in 2000. His sales figures
tell this very story clearly. Modcare closed its books at Rs 5 crore in 1999.
The figure jumped to Rs 9 crore the next year. In 2001 Modcare turnover has
touched Rs 12.5 crore.

Anoop maintains that this
growth has come partially because he steered clear of the spurious products
market. “Sell genuine, sell consistently” is his mantra for success. He
ensures that his purchases are from sources that are not ad hoc. He says, “The
rewards of having stuck to these principles are coming in now”.

Expansion of products range

Anoop has a clear picture in
mind on the activities he has to concentrate on this fiscal. First is to add
floor space within Nehru Place to serve customers better and more efficiently.
He is also planning to add consumables of Canon, Epson and Lexmark to his
portfolio. Expansion of product lines is critical, he feels, as the margins
today are the lowest in the trade. Large volumes can offset this, which is where
the new product lines come in.

Anoop is also creating an new
organizational culture at Modcare. “Every time we exceed our best monthly sale
by ten percent or more, we have a party,” he states. And he not only awards
his employees with cash and gifts, but the entire team dines out together. He
says with a twinkle in his eye, "A team that dines together, stays

Mohit Chabbra in New Delhi

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