Episode 3: Building a Value-Driven Company
Don't have time to listen to our podcast? No worries, here is a brief summary of the discussion with Bryan & David
The Importance of Continued Learning
In this episode, we are in conversation with Krishi Star’s CEO, Bryan Lee, and Director, David Nott. Bryan has already featured in our first episode and needs no introduction, David, on the other hand, moved from the corporate to the startup world. During the transition period, David started looking for projects in India, and he came across the Krishi Star website and his journey with Krishi Star thus began. David specialises in product development as well as takes care of the employee’s life cycle, which involves interviewing and the fellowship program.
The conversation gets deeper as they talk about Krishi Star’s core values, and how the main vision was to create an impact on the farmer’s livelihood. David talks about what a normal workday at Krishi Star looks like, and further goes on to explain how everybody has a specialist role and a generalist role to play. Bryan explains Krishi Star's redemptive vision and how they went on to execute it. He explains how this was made up of three main aspects, the first was ensuring their business model was vision aligned, the second was ensuring their culture was vision aligned and the third aspect was ensuring they were a community-building company. Bryan elaborates on all the three aspects in a detailed way, how he wanted the farmers to benefit from this, what the stakeholders are benefiting from this, etc.
But this was not how it all began. They started out by processing food products and developing canned products, and with that, their first product was launched - whole peeled tomatoes. He was also interested in creating micro-entrepreneurs who would in turn help and scale the business. The customers of the company also played a vital role, and hygienic and healthy food had to be maintained at all times which is why sourcing foods from organic and natural farmers was primary. Bryan also talks about how feedback from the customers was always good since that helped them think from a consumer perspective too. Krishi Star is very active when it comes to taking initiatives which is when they thought of incorporating sustainable cold chains into their supply chain. Bryan also believes that with a great business plan comes greater accountability and that you cannot put anything into play without having someone to account for. Hence, there were many initiatives taken for this like active feedback and making communications more transparent.
David further goes on to discuss how the redemptive culture was first started at Krishi Star. He always loved the idea of being compassionate to ourselves and others, so when Bryan brought about the concept of the redemptive values, it was easy for both David and Bryan to connect the dots and come out with a plan on how they wanted to incorporate this concept in the company. The hierarchy of the company was to not have too many layers or titles. There were people from different ethnicities who came together to work, which is when they introduced a Hindi Thursday and also had an informal dress code which is what helped create a positive environment and healthy work culture. They also discuss how organisations can be controlled by financial and quality systems and also by giving rewards.
Bryan and David believe that rewards are ways of showing compassion to the employees especially if an employee has gone out of their way to do something. They truly believe in transparency whether you are the CEO or an intern and that everybody should be given a chance to voice their opinion. Bryan also explains the importance of partnerships within the company and how compassion is one of the most important redemptive values for the trustees. Compassion basically means showing love and kindness but in a company, when you are constantly waiting to see results, how compassion comes into play. Bryan explains this in a beautiful and inspiring way. David Nott and Bryan Lee are truly motivational speakers who come with a lot of experience in business and their attitude towards their work and the people around them are very up-lifting. We hope that this conversation inspires you to take action and pursue your goals.