Tuesday, April 19, 2022

All About Being Right - Not About Being Not Wrong!

A new Chief Executive Officer had joined a shoe manufacturing company. Hoping to increase sales and market reach, he decided that he needed to open up new markets. He put together two separate marketing teams to look for and assess new possibilities.

He sent the first team on a trip to a distant island to explore possibilities of marketing their shoes to the island dwellers.

The team came back and reported:

“Sir, that island is a waste of time. None of the people there wear shoes - they are all hundred percent of them bare-footed. The people there do not seem to have a culture of wearing shoes - they do not wear any form of footwear. We suggest that we look elsewhere."

The CEO then called the second team and sent them to the same island. The team came back all excited:

“Sir, that island is a gold mine!!!! None of the inhabitants own a pair of shoes – we have a huge opportunity there – we can sell by the tens of thousands! We must move in now before others get wind of the opportunity that exists there!”

Bhutan - a glorious and happy place - all gagged up and fortified against tourists

The above will demonstrate that different people perceive things differently. On the face of it, both the teams are not wrong. But the company has to decide not based on who is not wrong – but on who is right.

The tourism industry has stagnated over the years – with decline picking up pace in recent times. The cost of government’s indecision is impacting the broad spectrum of the Bhutanese society. Tourism is all encompassing – it benefits practically every one in the country – tour operators, hotels, vehicle owners, guides, waiters, cooks, dishwashers, pony drivers, vegetable vendors, thangka painters, handicrafts shop owners – even the phallus carvers. Inactivity in tourism impacts all these people, in the hundreds of thousands.

I have already written 47 articles on tourism (48 including this one) – because I care – and I will continue to do so. Because I am paranoid about the eventuality of the first group of the above marketing team being declared wise and the educated. Bhutan has no dearth of potentials but they remain mostly untapped. By contrast, tourism has shown signs of being the capable provider but now it is in danger of being waylaid by the clueless, the greedy and people without foresight.

When there was a danger of demographic imbalance in Singapore, the late Lee Kwan Yew declared that he would import Chinese from Mainland China - if he has to - to maintain, what he called, demographic balance.

If Bhutan goes wrong, we have no such luck – we will sink irretrievably. Thus citizens have to be unfailing and tireless in cautioning the government to do the right thing – but at the end, it is their call.

No comments:

Post a Comment