Omprakash N S & Gangadharan A
"LFC takes the purpose goals or objectives of the clients works very closely with front line staff & managers and converts the plans into actions & results"
Despite being a nearly century old industry, Implementation Consultation still remains a very niche form of management consulting, where the number of implementation consulting firms spread worldwide can be counted on the fingers of two hands. Levers For Change(LFC), a result oriented, commitment based Implementation Consulting firm, stands out even among these handful of organizations with its stark focus on offering Performance Transformation Programs exclusively to SMBs with a turnover of less than Rs.2000 crore. “Every company does grow 5-10 percent annually as the economy grows, based on the management’s capability. Our Performance Transformation programs focus on at least doubling the regular growth or achieving significant improvement in the bottom-line saving,” remarks Gangadharan A, General Partner, Levers For Change.
This Indore based company was established by Omprakash N S and Gangadharan (General Partners), who draw their expertise from the best organizations on both sides of the consulting world. Their experience with the strategy consultancy firm, which excels at bringing a holistic problem solving approach, taught them to perceive any issue with a great amount of clarity, which helps LFC to significantly accelerate the time taken for improvement. On the other hand, the vast expertise they have garnered during their tenure at the world’s second largest Implementation Consulting firm empowers LFC to make the changes happen in reality. “LFC takes the purpose, goals or objectives of the clients, works very closely with frontline staff & managers and converts the plans into actions & results,” explains Omprakash. What further singles out LFC as the most reliable consultancy is its unique commitment based delivery model, where more than half of its fee is strictly linked to achieving results in a time bound manner.
Unique Commitment-based Model
Despite the fact that SMBs contribute to more than 60 percent of employment generation and nearly 50 percent of the total manufacturing output in India, the world class business practices still remain out of their reach. Most of these SMBs are very conventional local businesses run by first or second generation entrepreneurs and are an integral part of the large players’ value chain. But due to the cost factor, consulting has always been an outside game for them. Hence, while incepting LFC, Omprakash and Gangadharan decided to focus on the SMB space instead of the over crowded larger enterprises market.
However this meant that they had to sell not just LFC, but also the concept of consultancy to their prospective clients because over 80 percent of them have never worked with a consultancy before. “A first generation entrepreneur who has built his business from scratch and is well-aware of the nuts & bolts of the business will not take your services until and unless you clearly commit what you will achieve for the business. The fact that we take 50-60 percent of the fee only if we delivered the results, helped us to boost our clients’ confidence,” explains Omprakash. LFC has delivered more than 42 such commitment-based transformation programs over the past 10 years with an astounding success rate of 83 percent. “We don’t claim the variable fee if we couldn’t achieve the results within the committed timeline,” explains Gangadharan.
We strongly believe that the transformation must reflect either on the top-line or bottom-line of the client’s business in INR terms, irrespective of what transformation the client wants to achieve
Initially, LFC vested keen emphasis on acquiring the right kind of projects/ clients and right skill sets rather than grabbing the low hanging fruits for easy money. This strategic approach bestowed the company with an enviable list of clients including Rajratan Global Wire, Kriti Industries, Moira Steels, TATA Metaliks, Sonalika Tractors and Mahyco Seeds, to name a few. Thanks to such strong foundation, everything fell in the right place around 2017 and LFC has been tripling its revenue ever since.
A Smart Management Control System
SMBs understand the business, industry and opportunities very well. However, their managerial bandwidth and the execution capability is limited due to their size & attractiveness. LFC addresses these concerns through its structured Management Control System (MCS) implementation approach. MCS is a sophisticated scientific frame work that draws inspiration from behavioural sciences and diverse organizational productivity concepts. The framework is engineered as hourly, daily and weekly interventions. MCS is a holistic framework that brings alignment in short term, builds capability in mid term and creates cultural change in longterm. Imbibing the PDCA(Plan-Do-Check–Act) culture, it enables behavioural change and builds capability for existing organization, thereby empowering them to perform much beyond their current average.
LFC achieves performance transformation by concentrating on solving three very particular problem statements, rather than trying to solve the universal problems of its clients. It helps manufacturing units to address their productivity problems on the throughputside as well as optimization (cost, manpower & so forth) arena, whereas the emphasis is on reducing the execution lead time during its engagement with infrastructure companies such as real estate developers and roadways companies. While engaging with B2B & B2C companies, LFC focuses solely on the areas of sales productivity, distribution and penetration in order to improve their revenues. “We strongly believe that the transformation must reflect either on the top-line or bottom line of the client’s business in INR terms, irrespective of what transformation the client wants to achieve,” adjoins Omprakash.
It is this exclusive focus that has facilitated LFC to help manufacturing organizations to improve their throughput from 15 to an impressive 60 percent without any capital investment. Likewise, on the productivity arena, the company’s endeavours in setting-up distribution network in more than 250 districts in India at village level has empowered its clients to improve their top line from 35 to a whopping 200 percent. Similarly,LFC has also enabled infrastructure companies to reduce their construction lead times or project execution lead time by 35-50 percent.
“We are maintaining strong relationship with more than 40 clients, as we have performed more than two to three programs (one program typically runs for 30 weeks) with each of them. We have spent two full years with every client,” explains Gangadharan. For LFC, acquiring a client is way more crucial than acquiring a project and hence it has implemented strong ethical practices akin to the non-competing clause.
The company lays immense emphasis on strengthening the bond with its employees as well. Following the model of giant consulting firms like McKinsey, LFC charts out a well defined career trajectory for all of its 27 consultants, wherein a consultant can get promoted into a partner within a span of five to seven years. Paving the way, the company ensures that its consultants hone their competencies through on-the-job training on a daily basis. In fact this year, the company has enrolled two operating partners Ankur Kumar (Engagement Manager) and Manish Manji. “At LFC, every assignment is a training program and every day is a learning day. With the level of skill development happening at LFC, we are confident that we can enrol four more partners in the next couple of years,” forecasts Gangadhran.
Growing further, LFC intends to increase its headcount to 100 consultants and grow its revenue by seven fold in the next three years. Also planning to expand its geographical presence, the company intends to setup its offices in Pune and Nagpur in the coming year. Evolving apace with the digital world, the company has onboarded a technology wing, which is in the process of digitalizing the entire management control system process, which would be live by 2021. With such out-of-the-box strategies and a highly-motivated team, LFC is all set to impress more customers as a trustworthy partner to rely on.
Omprakash N S, General Partner
A Mechanical Engineering graduate from Madurai Kamaraj University, Omprakash garnered rich manufacturing experience as he held operational leadership roles such as TPM Manager (TVS Tyres), Plant Head (Kavin Care), and Line Leader & OpEx Head (PepsiCo) for over ten years. Being in the consulting practice for the past 12 years, he has worked across geographies such as India, UAE, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Gangadharan A, General Partner
Gangadharan is a Chemical Engineer(Anna University) with a PGPM certification (Great Lakes) who has spent the first six years of his career in operational leadership roles as OpEx Leader (SPIC Organics, Thermax). During his 12-year-long Consulting career, he has travelled to UAE, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka & Zimbabwe and has managed three operational turnaround initiatives (two in abroad) for LFC.
Sunil Chordia, Mentor & Board Member
Sunil was the very first client of LFC, who three years later picked-up stake in LFC and has been a major source of inspiration to fellow entrepreneurs to take-up services of LFC. He has been a pillar of strength to LFC’s founding team through times.
Karthik Jayaraman, Mentor & Board Member
An McK alumnus, Karthik continues to expand horizons of the team and keeps pushing them to explore new areas.
Locations: Indore (headquarter) and Madurai
Offerings:End-to-End Order Execution Process Re-engineering, Throughput Improvements & Optimization Programs and Sales Productivity Programs
Levers For Change in Spotlight
•Takes the purpose, goals or objectives of the clients, works very closely with front-line staff & managers, and converts the plans into actions & results.
•More than half of its fee is strictly linked to achieving results in a time-bound manner.
•Delivered more than 42 such commitment-based transformation programs over the past 10 years with an astounding success rate of 83 percent.
•Helped manufacturing organizations to improve their throughput from 15 to an impressive 60 percent, without any capital investment.