About the Guest Transcript

Puneet Kulraj

Yes, it is that time of the year! Where you believe in Santa, Plum Cakes, Carols & everything good. Well, we have someone very good too.
Today's episode features Puneet Kulraj, director at the Vector Consulting Group - Asia's largest TOC Consulting firm (Theory of Constraints). TOC is a philosophy to identify the most limiting factor, i.e. a constraint, which is the real reason for limiting growth. It is an in-depth discussion to understand the basics of TOC and the beliefs on which the theory stands. By the way don't miss out the section where Puneet tells us "How running an organization is easier than running a kitchen?". Tune in!


Shubham(00:00) -
Do you feel you and your organization is stuck in the rut of doing the same thing over and over again, you know, in the name of x point 1.2 point three percentage y on y growth, but still getting nowhere? Do you ever feel whatever efforts you put however brilliant guys you include on your team, and whatever path picking initiatives you take, you still end up with the same kind of problems in the same kind of areas with the same kind of results? Now, we're going to tell you the way out, we have Puneet Kulraj with us director at the vector Consulting Group, who has co-authored the book apparent in hindsight on all these and much bigger concerns of almost every professional setup in the world. Namaste, my name is Shubham Agarwal and you're listening to SOS secrets of storytellers, a podcast where I interview authors in the world of business share stories and concepts from their journeys. Don't miss out the last section where we get to know secrets from the storyteller themselves. Hybrid, welcome to secrets of storytellers. How are you?

Puneet(01:04) -
Hi, I'm great. And thanks. Thanks for having me here on this session. It's so nice to be able to chat with you.

Shubham(01:10) -
Great, thanks. It's good to be interviewing your own director, your own boss. So Puneet you have basically tried to show you know what TOC is, and how good a philosophy it is. The idea of today's show is to leave the listeners with a good understanding about it, you know, the whole concept of Theory of Constraints? Sure, what is it and how does it work? But let's start with setting the context before that. So the book has two characters, Majumdar and Sunil, and they are heads of different departments at the organization. And the organization is going through tough times at work, they're not able to come up with the output, or you know, despite putting a lot of time, effort, manpower, and everything. What I'm curious about is where did you draw the inspiration about these characters from or Are these your own past self.

Puneet(01:58) -
So you're right on both counts, actually, you see, every working professional in the world, I believe is a Sunil or Majumdar at some point of time in their life. Okay. We pass through these roles and whatever other trials and tribulations of Sunil and Majumdar has been written in the book have been pretty much the experiences that every working manager and Sunil imagine there are just two people representing two departments in the company really sales and production. But if you see whether it is procurement, whether it is logistics, distribution, marketing, finance, HR, every professional manager is Sunil or Majumder at some point of time in their life. And the sad thing is that a lot of us spent our entire lives as Sunita and Majumdar we have great ideas; we work very hard. But we are not able to achieve a lot in terms of, you know, helping the organization go forward. And at the end of the day, when the company doesn't do as great as you would like to do your own horizons get limited and you tend to feel a bit down. So yes, the inspirations for this is everybody we've met, including, you know, as you said, my own self. I have been Sunil. I've been Majumder and I've been, you know, all these roles, each one of us everybody in Victor's been like that, right? Plus, all of our clients have been like that. So, in all the assignments that we've worked on, you know, all the companies that we work with, we found this Neela, Majumdar, practically every department, every area that we

Shubham(03:28) -
Know, I'm sure every listener would be curious, who is this lien? Who is kind of given a good foundational context to them? Anyway, so you think we find a lot of them around in almost every company, or almost every company, at least that you have worked with? Right? Yeah. So, then our company is doing something wrong fundamentally? Or is this approach, you know, incorrect or outdated? what everyone's falling around? How is it that everyone's been gone?

Puneet(3:55) -
Okay, so My take is this that, you know, nobody does anything wrong, knowing that they are wrong. Nobody would I mean, human beings are intelligent, let's give some basic credence to, you know, human intelligence. Right. But what people should I realize, after some time, is if I'm doing the right thing, and I'm doing it, so well, or rather, I'm doing it with all the honesty and, you know, intent and everything. And still, I'm not getting the results that I'm, you know, expecting to get, or I am getting the results, but the stress that I'm putting myself through or you know, my team is so much the price to be paid for those results is so high, then obviously, there is something wrong. Okay. So, it's not that people are doing the wrong things or people are, you know, doing things in the wrong way. But yes, what people are trying to do most of the time, is do what the industry has been doing or what they themselves have been doing all these years. And they try to do it in a better manner. They never pause to think that is there another more powerful way in which I can achieve the same result or a better result, and not stress myself so much. And that's where the key lies in all professional managers. So, you know, yes. As you said, is the conventional approach incorrect or outdated? Yes, I would say it is. But the point is, we don't have to be so critical about the conventional approach, or we don't have to break our heads over it too much. You know, this obsession about what we've done in the past? And you know, we should continue doing that, or is it wrong? Or is it right, actually bringing a lot of time and energy of people? What is essentially required is I have a goal, and what is the best way in which I can reach that goal? Is there a simpler way? Is there a more powerful way Is there a way which with which I can bring not only results to my company, but lasting results to make them. And that's the whole key. And in hindsight, it is showing the mirror, it is showing a mirror to the world, saying, this is what you have been doing. And this is what you've been getting? Yes, the results are good, in some sense, they sometimes they are right, something is wrong, when they're better, sometimes they're worse. But here is an approach, which gives you an eye-opening way in which you know, you can achieve better results, if not the same. And in a much simpler way.

Shubham(06:24) -
I agree. Because while I was reading the book, the instances that have been, you know, surfaced were very - very similar from what I had been doing, you know, past experiences, past companies that I've worked with. And I was also amazed by the fact that How could it be so similar? Because everyone tends to think maybe they could delegate? Yeah, or Africa delegate. So yeah, I think that was another fact that I put,

Puneet(06:46) -
In fact, that's interesting to him, as you as you point out, you know, though, we wrote the book with the background of the automotive industry, but if you recall, the way the first chapter has been written, and we describe a typical review meeting that happens, we got feedback from people saying, Why is this about automotive, this is my company, this is me, and you know, I could just change the names, and it is a typical day in my organization. And, you know, that's where the myth starts getting broken, that, you know, my, my industry is unique, my company is unique, my plant is unique, what I'm doing is unique, and people are so, you know, sucked into this syndrome, of what I am doing is different from rest of the world or my problems are different from rest of the world. Therefore, the solutions either don't exist, or they have to be really, you know, very, very different from rest of the world.

Shubham(07:38) -
What do you remember of any specific incident or story from your client meetings are anything from the past where they similar things.

Puneet(07:47) -
That always happens, you know, one of the favorite stories I tell to people is, you know, and it's not to belittle or trivialize the emotions of people, everybody believes that, you know, what they are going through is really very hard and you know, all human beings believe it, life is unfair to me, but then as I look at it, if life is unfair to everybody, then it is really fair, okay. So, therefore, this whole syndrome of you know, I am different, I am unique, and therefore, my problems are also different, gets broken. Ultimately, when you know, at the end of all this discussion, the manager typically asks, whatever you are telling me as this been tried or has this work in any other company in my industry, and then you know, that that really sets the theory so unique.

Shubham(08:47) -
So, there's another company in the book guard will, which is a competitor to the, you know, organization from which Neela Majumdar. And finally, the company is doing great. It's doing phenomenally well. People are happy in the company, they go back on time, the vendors and customers are extremely happy. And they're setting examples in the market. Now, this sounds extremely counterintuitive. How is that possible? Is this really real?

Puneet(09:11) -
I would like to confess here that we are not such great at creativity that we conjured up a company called guard will. And, and the whole cast of characters and the narrative, there is not fiction. There is not out of the blue. Actually, all of you written in the book is real, the people are real, and even. There exists a company in India has been our client for many years, who the company and all the managers of the company, have imbibed all the philosophies of you know, the work that we've done and constraints in a manner that it has set the Madden shoulders above everybody else in the industry. They compete with multinationals. They compete with really phenomenal names in the Indian corporate environment. Plus, they also compete with a lot of local people. And they have for a 10-year period, they have increased market share year on year, which was, you know, not unheard of for people thought it was impossible. The company exists very much it is doing things very simply. And actually, if you see a print in hindsight is the story of God. Well, it's not really the story of Sunil and Majumdar. Are there to provide the counter-narrative to God? Well, because if, if we just wrote about God's will, you know, nobody would believe? Yeah, nobody would believe it. As you said, you know, it's very hard to believe that a company could believe this, right? When I set it against the narrative of the trials and tribulations of Sunil and Majumdar, then people identify themselves with you know, the problems they are going through the step missteps that they are taking, and all the failures that they are in company. And with each step that they are taking the look at God, will they try and copy something that God will is doing, then it becomes really more relatable and more believable, I hope? Yeah, it does. But, you know, with the kind of feedback you're giving, there is still some work to be done in making that will more credible

Shubham(11:10) -
So then what is what is this philosophy of to see? What is the secret behind it? Why is it that you know, what does it really mean? First of all, Theory of Constraints, as you put it?

Puneet(11:23) -
Okay, so it's a long thing. You know, people are people are spending their lives in the Theory of Constraints, and you're asking me to describe it. Long story short, Theory of Constraints is actually the application of scientific methods as brought to the world of management in business. Okay, I'd like to put it that simply, at the base of a Theory of Constraints is really a way to think it guides people on how to think how to approach problems and how to devise very, very simple but very powerful solutions to any problem that the world can throw to them. It can be applied to personalize, it can be applied to business, it can be applied to any any part of a business, you know, be HR, finance, production, sales, marketing, logistics, procurement, is applied to service industries, there's consensus applied in education. So, I mean, it's really become a vast body of knowledge, but at the base of it is always almost about focusing, it helps you focus on the real problem on the root cause of the problem. And it helps you cut out all the noise in the system and takes in key in finding out what is the powerful and simple way in solving the root cause. And most of the time, you know, the top the root cause of the problems is not too many. And if we are able to narrow down to the one or two things that need to be corrected, in order to improve a situation, then, you know, arriving at the solutions for those is also not rocket science. And, you know, so we, we spend a lot of times in identifying the right problem, because once that is done more than half the job is done. So, you know, if I was to provide an analogy, the way to think the way to solve problems, essentially, is the way a doctor treats a patient, you know, the doctor gets so many signals such a lot of noise, but essentially, the doctors job is to find out what is the real disease and cause the real disease? Why, you know, not getting bogged down by symptoms, if a doctor just keeps on treating symptoms, then is not a good doctor, it all

Shubham(13:31) -
Makes sense. So then, are we or, you know, at least the organizations that we're talking about, are they not doing a great job at identifying problems?

Puneet(13:42) -
Oh, I wouldn't say that entirely. Yes, of course, that is that is part of the problem, that they are not able to identify the root cause. But, you know, the way I look at it is there are two or three really big flaws in our thinking, which prevent us from doing really great work, you know, the first thing is that you know, we believe things are complex and if something is complex, then we are forced to take either the approach of you know, breaking it down into parts and attacking each part separately or we are forced to look for extremely sophisticated solutions, because the problem is complicated, the solution has to be sophisticated, right, right. These two approaches actually kill the game right at the first step, because in an organization, if you try and break down each part and then apply, you know, problem-solving technique to each part separately, you lose the fact that you know, the organization is nothing but connected whole, each department is connected to other departments, no matter what improvement you try to do in one department, if it is not going to help the entire organization, then that improvement is a waste, right? So, therefore, you're taking this local optimum approach, as we call it, you know, trying to improve locally things without having any, you know, sort of awareness of the connection to the global Good, that's where people lose it, or people will conclude that a company is such a complex thing. So, we will need something really very sophisticated. And you know, I, I wouldn't want to name some of the approaches that people are trying to use. But here's the whole go through fads of, you know, management problem-solving techniques or improvement techniques, once every three to four years. And there's a wave of you know, companies doing that. And actually, if you see nothing much has come out of it over a longer period of time. So, if I look at the horizon of the last, let's say, 5060 years, the shocking thing is this, that the lifespan of a company is actually going down. Right, it is, you know, if you if you take the data of all the companies that are that are listed on the Standard and Poor's on the New York Stock Exchange, also, yeah, the lifespan of a company is coming down dramatically. Right. While if you see the management thinking and management education has supposedly made great leaps in this entire 14-year period, correct. So how is it that when management thinking is improving the core of it, where it should be applied, the life of a company is decreased? So, there is something seriously wrong with the way we approach?

- So then, why is it that, you know, we're not looking at an application of TOC at a large scale? Any specific reason that you've been able to figure out a law? Or is it too difficult?

Puneet(16:26) -
Oh, yeah. So, a couple things, you know, one is that the TOC is extremely counterintuitive. Yeah. Okay. So, actually, if you see, you know, the bowl, which came out, which was sort of, you know, the first what do I say, in 1981, there wasn't such a thing as, as a viral. But the book really went viral. You know, in those days, if I can use the word introduced, you see to the world, and there are millions of people, I mean, the book is sold more than 20 25 million copies. So obviously, there are millions of people who've read the book, right? Yeah. And people have read the book, they they've fallen in love with what they've read, they've tried to deploy it in their working area, right. But they've, again, fallen victim to the fact that, you know, I am part I am in one department of the company. And if I try and apply this to my, only my department, then I don't achieve much, because the rest of the company is still operating in a different way. And the moment I try and go and tell others about this new approach, the approach is so radical and so counterintuitive, that, you know, it, it's like, you know, the person becomes a revolutionary or a rebel in the organization. So that's, that's the first issue that it is, it flies in the face of a lot of things the world has been doing for for long. Okay. Now, it's not necessary that if you're doing the same thing for years, it is right, yeah. But you become comfortable with it. And the fear of doing something very opposite or very different, you know, is like, you know, me, it scares a lot of people. Yeah, not realizing that actually not changing could be the biggest mistake you are making for your organization. Okay, true, people feel that there is a risk in applying the new approach, but what about the risk in carrying on doing whatever you have been doing and not achieving the results. And ultimately, you know, like, I told you, the average lifespan of a company is going down. So, so much for following the traditional approach. But that's, that's the first thing about you see that it is extremely competitive. Okay. And, and therefore, it takes, you know, actually takes a lot of policy understanding the essence of TOC at the topmost levels in the organization. And wherever we've achieved success, by far has always been when the top management of the company has, you know, thrown their lot behind this whole movement or initiative, as I would say, okay, they say that I think this is simple, I think it should work in my company. And I would like to do it. And only then, you know, the whole thing happens. Unfortunately, till now, we don't have a lot. But as I see it in the last five, five to six years, we've been working on this for about 15 years now, last five to six years, I see that medium to large companies also have started embracing this, because at the end of the day, everybody wants better results. And the moment they start seeing, you know, some case studies, some success stories, then then they would like to hear about it. The key here is that you have to hear about the approach because once you hear about the approach, it is so simple. And it appeals to you know, the four of you. Hmm, the beauty is, you know, when we talk to a lot of owners, we work with a lot of owner manage companies. And when we talk to the owners, you know, what they say is when I started this company, and I was working, doing things on my own, this is exactly how I was okay, right. And that's why they're really for this approach because this is what I used to do. I used to think simply I used to look at, you know a few things and I used to make the changes in my approach for whatever was required based on that, and now we've become so big and you know, so complex, but if you say that this is the way to work, why would I do? So? So yeah, we are we are getting momentum, I'm very hopeful next three to four to five years, this will become a much, much bigger thing than it is right?

Shubham(20:18) -
So I could pick up some words, while you were describing about the whole approach. You said counterintuitive. You said simple. And you said not complex. Now these are, I don't see how they go together in one line. However, there is another chapter in the book on how simple the operations in a kitchen are. And they're exactly, you know, what the TOC approach is? I'm kind of confused here. How does all of these things go together? is managing a company as simple as running a kitchen? Yes, it is.

Puneet(20:48) -
In fact, running a kitchen is probably more complex than managing, I would say 80 to 90% of the companies that exist out there.

Shubham(20:57) -
Okay, you're going to lose my listeners at this point.

Puneet(21:02) -
I hope I am. I'm intriguing them enough to go out, buy the book and read it,

Shubham(21:07) -
That I am sure that this is the point they will leave the podcast and they pick up the book. Alright, that's the intent. Okay, please. Yeah.

Puneet(21:15) -
But look at it, you know, we tend to, what do I say undermine or trivialize lessons that we could learn from our everyday life? If I was to draw a similarity between a kitchen and a production environment? Yeah, you know, how many how many different types of raw material a kitchen has to handle? If you go to an average Indian kitchen, you would find between 250 to 350 different types of property, right? Go count all the boxes of all the spices, the dolls, the condiments, the shovel,

Shubham(21:48) -
Everything, loads of stuff.

Puneet(21:50) -
Okay, so you, you would find no less than 250. And you know, it could go to 350. So, there is somebody out there who's managing 250 to 350, different raw material types, each one of them has a different TOC Right? Each one of them has a different shelf life. Yeah, right. And they are being managed without any RP, they don't need an SAP or an Oracle, or they don't get into, you know, reverse auctions, or they don't get into cartel buying table to manage it very well, because the principles that they use are really very simple. The idea behind running a kitchen or good kitchen is that you must never run out of raw material. Okay, while at the same time, you should not have so much raw material that you have to throw it away because it goes back. Right. Okay. So they're able to manage very good availability at reasonable.

Shubham(22:43) -

Puneet(22:45) -
I don't think you know, there are there are the ladies who are managing the kitchen who talk about working capital problems, or delaying the purchases of certain items, because, you know, it is a month and never like that. Okay, so that's, that's on the procurement side. So, if you read the book, we've given more detail about that correct. But also, when it comes to the production side, imagine if they if they ran the kitchen, the way we are trying to run plants or factories, you know, they you know, what they would say, Today I am making chapatis, do you want ? Because I cannot I cannot break my setup. Also, they would ask you for a form for past Tell me every meal, what will you have for the next 15 days? Right? Or if they were really, you know, working like companies, they would say, give me a one month plus two-month forecast, right? Like, all they want to know is whether you're going to have a meal at home or not. What you will have can be decided as late as possible, because they're in a position to create anything from the given raw material that they have. Essentially, what they've done is Manage Inventory well and keep the lead time of production as low as possible. Yes, there are a few items, you know, which require some preparation time, but most of the items can be made in a one-hour two-hour preparation. And that's how they work.

Shubham(24:08) -
Right? That's really beautiful. And now that you have heard the male chauvinist egos quite a bit, I would really like to understand what is the belief system or the principles as we call it off to see before I you know, move to the next question.

Puneet(24:26) -
Yeah, so I think I've been hinting towards it. So, to see basis itself on four key beliefs, you know, the way why I fought shy of mentioning them upfront is like to see they're also very counterintuitive. The world, the world thinks that you know, this is this is a mad cult, but at the risk of being branded like that, do you see believes that there is inherent simplicity in whatever we come across. So, if we have, you know, if we come across a problem or if we come across any system, the system is inherently very simple. So, it's not to say that, you know, complexity does not exist, things may appear to be complex, but what is inherent simplicity inherent simplicity is that I can understand the one or two key leverage points of a company maybe a huge company consists of various departments and you know 1000s of employees, but, when I look at the problems of the company, I will be able to find out those one or two key leverage points which if changed, can bring the company to a whole new level of performance. So, that's the approach of inherent simplicity right, that in any system and a system is always a you know, it is comprised of entities which are interconnected, there will be those one or two things which are at the core of the system, which if I touch then everything else will change for much better or much worse, depending upon what you have to see which are collinear and simplicity. The second belief is what is called harmony, okay. So, inherent harmony means conflicts in this world are very easily solvable, there should not be any conflicts rather, you know, we find conflict everywhere. Okay. Yeah, it's not to say that, you know, conflicts do not exist, of course, they exist. But solving conflicts is actually a very easy job, provided we approach the conflict from the mindset of QC and the mindset of TOC is this that most of the times the conflicting parties are engaged in a battle, which is trying to divide a limited cake. Okay, yeah. And the approach of TOC is that actually, if I can, if I can make the cake larger, then both the parties can have what they want, without, you know, feeling short-changed, but the world has been taught that you know, everything is a zero-sum game. And therefore, we have to maximize the games for ourselves and for somebody to somebody else has to correct and this whole win lose philosophy that people try is actually what they don't realize is that win lose does not exist. In reality, there are only two scenarios one is lose, and one is win. If we are not able to do to win, then we will end up with a win lose because if between you and me, I win today you lose tomorrow or sometime later, you will try to win and I will lose to win lose will always result in a loss. So, to see believes that a win solution is always okay, right. So, that is inherent harmony. And then the third belief of QC is what we call inherent potential, okay? We believe that in any organization, or any organization that is operating in a market, the room to grow, is always quite big, okay? Okay. I mean, and the larger the company, the bigger the jumpit can make, okay? The third belief of TOC is what we call the inherent goodness of people. Okay? To put it simply, we believe that all people are good, again, not easily palatable to a lot of people. But that's not the essence, it does not matter whether people are good or not, but the belief that we should have about people being good is about trying to solve problems, okay. Most of the times when we are faced with an issue typically in organizations and we try and identify what you know, why is this problem happening? A lot of times we tend to blame people, a lot of times we tend to find out that you know, there is some individual to be held responsible for and that is where the thinking stops, because if I have found somebody to blame, the moment I find a scapegoat Actually, I am now in a very comfortable position in the person the problem should go away right? Correct. So, I stopped thinking and the belief of the inherent goodness of people essentially forces us to think beyond people we are not allowed to blame people. So if I'm not allowed to blame the person then I have to think that if this person is not to be blamed, if the person is good, then why is it that the problem and that's why the whole analysis and problem solving focuses you know itself saying that I will remove people and now I will try to think why is this system making people behave in a way that is bad, okay, people are not bad, the way that they are behaving is bad, because if you look at it typically in an organization you know, one of the examples that you know people say is that our logistics department or our dispatch is not not good enough. And you know, they a lot of wrong shipments are there a lot of missed shipments.

Puneet(29:21) -
Now, if you look and analyse the data, if you sit down analyse the data, the same set of people are able to do a decent job from the first to the 20th of the month. They send all the dispatchers all the shipments in the correct way to all the correct places. And then suddenly from the 23rd 24th onwards, you know, they start losing. How is it possible? Why wouldn't it just come to office, you know, on the 25th and say, Okay, now let me today think how I can you know, just for the heck of it, let me try and send a shipment to Salem. Let's see what happens. Nobody works like that. Right? Yeah. Let's put the same people who are able to do a good job or a decent job from first to 21st somehow screw it up from the 25th to the 30th. If the people were bad, they would screw it up the entire month. If they're not screwing up the entire month, then it means there is something changing in the system which is forcing them. So, is it that you are having a very high month and skew? Is it that the load of the people is so high towards the month end, that they are bound to make mistakes? You know, when they're doing 40% of the month dispatches in the last two to three days? Obviously, things will go wrong. Interesting. Yeah. Now you try and find out a superman of logistics, who will who will do this right? Best of luck. That is inherent goodness of people, the belief that people are good, they will not create problems, forces us to go and find out beyond people, what is it about the system, which is making them behave in that manner, okay. And the last and most important belief of to see is what we call inherent potential, which says that any company, any system can be improved. And even the sky is not the limit, I mean, improve to the extent that the sky is not the limit, and the larger the company is, the bigger jump it can make. Like that's, that's the essence of inherent potential. And I'll tell you why, why it is important. Normally, when companies think of improvement, you know, they take targets, they take stretch targets, okay? And then they try and meet those targets, taking the target is not bad. Trying and meeting the target is bad, by maybe confusing you. But, you know, trying and meeting the target is bad, because you're limiting yourself to the target. Sometime, we have to realize that targets are actually limiting performance of people. You know, if I take a target of 12% growth, yeah, how much do you think I will end up doing? Maybe 15%? Yeah, if I take a target of 20% growth, maybe I'll grow by 18% 19%. Right. But I will surely grow more than 1213 14%. You know, the fallacy is this, that a guy who takes a target of 12%. And achieves 12%, is considered much better than a guy who takes a target of 20% and fails by achieving only 17%. That's right. Okay, that's what a target does. So, what we say is that keeping outcome targets is actually limiting the performance of the company, we should believe in inherent potential, how much can we achieve? Let's look at, you know, how much can we achieve, what is the potential of this system, and if we look at the potential of the system, then the room to grow is very big. Because look at it, there are very few industries in which you know, the companies are having an overwhelmingly large market share, most of the companies are having a market share of 15 2025 30%. Okay, why can't a 25% market share company grow by 50% in a year, all it has to do is take market share from others, right? Even if you're the biggest player in the industry, and your market share is let's say 25% Why can't you grow at 50% Okay, I can understand if you are over 50 60% market share, yes, you can say that was I am so big that for me to grow by 50% the market also has to grow by 30%. But I'm saying let the market be growing by 10% let the market be degree How does it matter, all you have to do is grow from 20% to 25% or 30% market share, that's what you have to do. But we are all you know couched behind this thinking of Let me take a target which is realistic management will be structured I will try to stretch it back and ultimately, I will try to meet as long as I meet the target and yeah, and that is where the TOC philosophy of inherent potential comes into play. So, these four things taken together inherent goodness inherent harmony, inherent simplicity, and inclusion potential. These, if you ask me are the sum and substance of TOC, they actually help you focus they help you focus on finding the right problem area, they help you focus in working in a manner where you can achieve the maximum multiplicity

Shubham(33:51) -
This is not sounding This is not sounding realistic.

Puneet(33:56) -
How do we Yeah, I know. It is. It is good that this is this is this is only audio otherwise people wouldn't be expecting me to wear white robes and have you know long hair because that is the work of barbers.

Shubham(34:11) -
I yeah, I started because the like 20% is my market share and and the headroom is to you know, grow by 80% What are you talking about? What world are you living in? How do you make people believe this?

Puneet(34:26) -
Right. And that's why I said you know.

Shubham(34:30) -
I'm saying either at this point, the listeners would call me up or they'll ask me for you're either going to get beaten up.

Puneet(34:40) -
It's okay. I think I am used to handling calls like this and sooner or later you will also become part of the bandwagon.

Shubham(34:48) -
It's fun to be a part of the cult which is you know, so headstrong

Puneet(34:54) -
You know, the actually the sad thing is to be seen as a cult because till the time we are seen as a cult, you know, we are actually limiting our own acceptance cult culture not accepted by society at large. So, I am very happy not being called a cult, you know, okay. I think as more and more people adopt this methodology, they adopt this philosophy, they start poking, people will realize that, you know, there is not a cult, it is common sense, yes, there is a certain way in which you think properly, there is a sequence in which you have to, you know, implement the entire set of injections that have to be implemented. And if you see a parent in hindsight is all about that, right? The sequence is really important, because what Sunil and Majumdar keep doing? through the book, if you see they, they are constantly, you know, going from one period to another. And that's what we've tried to weave through the book that even though you may know the elements of the solution, but implementing them in the correct sequence is also very great. Right? That's, that's what the key is.

Shubham(35:58) -
Great. I would have asked you if the, you know, the companies are doing wrong, but I think we've got nothing more answers. I am just curious about how, or what was the process of you learning this entire, you know, philosophy of TOC? How would you pick this up?

Puneet(36:14) -
Oh, well, I mean, like, a lot of people I had read the goal during my, my MBA, at that time, found it very interesting. But unfortunately, I also got overawed by complex philosophies and, you know, linear programming and all those, all those methodologies that I learned how to how to make a better forecast, how to do proper routing. And I spent a better part of my professional career, you know, doing all that, I look back at it, and not really proud of it, but then I think that was also important to as part of my learning process. But yes, I was fortunate enough to, to get a chance to be part of a company that that started work in this area. So, we were a group of people in the large company, who started working on to see and that time, you know, QC was coming into India, the entire professional part of it into organizations. And we tied up and, you know, we we got together we learn to see formally and we were able to apply it in, in the first set of companies got good results. And then as luck would have it, some of us came out of the larger company started with the consulting, and we've never looked back.

Shubham(37:29) -
Wonderful, this is really interesting and extremely motivating. And I'm sure a lot of people will be definitely intrigued. This brings us to the last in concluding section of the podcast. And this is an interesting one, and it's a common across all the episodes that I've done. So as you know, it's called secrets of storytellers, the show, so I will ask you one secret about the book, or about the journey while you were writing the book, along with all the co-authors, I understand there are a lot of people who contributed to the book. So anything that you remember, very significantly, which probably you've never shed.

Puneet(38:03) -
Okay, so there are lots of things if I, if I carry on, I don't know, how long will take but I'll tell you the most interesting thing about this book, sure, you know, this this book is perpetual. Okay, which means what this book is never final, what we released, when we released this book and where we are today, you know, we are actually as we speak, we are just putting the final touches on the second edition of the book, okay. And there are you know, there are two or three dramatic changes in the book, why because as we are going along in this journey, we you know, new solution elements and new revelations are coming along right. So, I would say actually, you know, apparent in hindsight is like is probably going to be the chronicle of evolution of you know, management thinking around using Theory of Constraints, because I'm sure as we are putting you know, or like I told you, we are putting together the final layer, you know, parts of the second edition, but already I realized that there are things in the second edition which are missing, because there are new things to be added. So, this is a book which is actually a living creature you know, it's normally you know, books are I write a book and you know, I would probably yes, there are you know, textbooks which go through revisions and you know, the seventh edition the 10th edition delivered edition, but if you see, there are no dramatic changes,

Shubham(39:29) -
Correct Yeah,

Puneet(39:30) -
What we are seeing as changes in print in hindsight actually, three chapters have been totally rewritten and two new chapters have been introduced, okay, okay, which are which are really like new solution elements, which did not exist, why because we ourselves were not very, you know, sort of robust on those. So, this book is a chronicle is this book is a chronicle of, you know, the improvements that companies are doing and like, like we wrote in the in the Word, or the dedication, that it's actually a tribute to all our clients because it is coming out of all their suffering. I remember I read a book, it's a it's a very nice book written by Dr. Warrior. And the dedication of that book is to all his patients. In the dedication, he says, This is dedicated to all my patients, they had to suffer so that I could learn. As long as humanity exists problems will also exist and we will find the solutions. Everything is crystal clear.

Shubham(41:08) -
It was a wonderful session, Thanks for coming.

Thoery of Constraints with Puneet Kulraj


Related Episodes

Indranil Chakraborty

Storytelling has been revered as one of the most important skills since it ensures you leave an impact on the listener and communicate effectively.

Take me to the episode
Suresh Sadagopan

A majority of us have a hard time planning our personal finances, often. While we know it is important and we intend to manage them better, we are lost as to where to start.

Take me to the episode
Harish Bhat

What does it take to become a Brand Custodian at the Tatas, who better to answer than the Brand Custodian himself.

Take me to the episode