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It was last quarter of 1996.
I was called to head office for a special meeting.
I was informed that the sales team would be restructured. I would be Head of Sales with the title of National Sales Manager. There would be four sales teams, each headed by a Team Sales Manager. We discussed who would be TSMs. I was asked to restructure rest of the team.
It was a great news and it also meant I shall have to relocate to Karachi.
I came back and shared the news with my family. My wife was working but we decided to move together.
I wrote a working paper for new team structure. I knew almost everyone. The new structure meant several new managerial positions. I made recommendations from existing teams, and sent the working paper to head office for final approval. It was accepted as such.
During the course of next few weeks I was invited to Karachi with my wife to look at the options for rented houses. We looked at various houses, shortlisted and chose a place in phase V DHA.
I went to Karachi at the end of December. My family joined me couple of weeks later.
The new sales teams started working from January 1997. There was lot of excitement and motivation. Many people got promoted and the entire team was inspired and motivated.
Despite zeal, first two months were tough. The targets were stiff, team management was new. Two TSMs were elevated directly from the post of District Manager. They had to learn remote management. Same was true for Sales Managers. Each one had half the country to manage which required extensive traveling and intensive working. We watched and followed and analyzed. Three months later, we made a key change. We had eight sales managers and we stationed them at major stations, making them responsible for all teams. This improved the control and management input in the business quickly.
At the same time, we started group visits to headquarters which I had detailed in an earlier blog. These were hectic, but they created a lot of energy and boosted morale and business.
On the home front, we had a good time. There was some panic initially about children admissions. We were in mid-session and few schools that we went to, refused to entertain us. Finally, the children got admission in Beaconhouse schools and life went on. Our children liked Karachi. We went around on weekends and enjoyed. We visited book fairs and bought books which everyone read. My wife was on vacation and she spent time on baking and making special dishes. On the whole, it was enjoyable.
Working at the national level was new experience for me as well. True, that I knew most of the team personally and it gave me a lot of advantage. But the enormity of responsibility was there all the same.
Marketing structure was also redone at the same time. My counterpart as head of marketing was Dr. Ibtehaj Khurram. Dr. Khurram had some exposure on media as well. He was one of the anchors during election transmission of 1997. Six months down the road, Dr. Khurram decided to immigrate and the position fell vacant. By default, the marketing responsibility came to me till the new marketing head took over about 5 months later. It was busy but highly educative.
New position, new responsibilities, new location, new relations came all at once. One reason that we were able to sail through was that we were inherently a well-knit team. If we did not have such close relation with one another, it might have been more difficult.