How Shyam built sales loyalty in China

When Shyam Steel decided to reward 38 channel partners and spouses for its latest motivational event, China was chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime whistle-stop tour that included Beijing, The Great Wall of China and Shanghai. Shekhar Niyogi reports

Steelmaker Shyam Steel sells its products through the building and construction trade and organises about 15 incentive programmes a year for its channel partners. They have been conducting these incentive tours quite successfully for ten years to encourage and motivate their dealers and builders and drive sales of their thermo-mechanically treated (TMT) bars used in concrete construction and other materials.

While most of Shyam Steel’s competitors use the same strategy to motivate their channel partners, Shyam uses it to keep pace with the market and lead it. Channel partners are divided into three categories depending upon their sales volume – silver, gold and platinum. Accordingly, the spending per person on such tours is decided and that includes the choice of destinations and itineraries. The channel partners are dealers, distributors and builders.

The select dealers of the east-India based company flew by China Eastern Airlines from Kolkata for a four nights/five days visit. A spokesperson for Shyam Steel said: “We run a series of incentive tours for our valued partners and as always our guests were very happy with the hotel and restaurants chosen for their stay. They enjoyed the tour of really interesting places they visited in China and are enthused to go back again. Our objective to motivate our partners for better performance and greater solidarity in the coming year has been achieved.”

Organisers Gainwell Travel & Leisure were satisfied with the outcome of the tour as all participants were happy and enthusiastic about the experience and the client is working on a series of other incentive programmes with them. Sangeeta Mukherjee, manager MICE of Gainwell Travel & Leisure, said: “The group was a mixed bag with dealers and their family. The programme was organised giving them ample time to visit each city. Meals were good, though choices were limited. Shyam Steel is a dealer-centric organisation and Gainwell has been working with this organisation for a while and South East Asia and Far East has been their target destination for their dealers.”

Upon arrival in Kunming, the group was transferred to the connecting flight to Beijing. Upon arrival in Beijing the group checked in to the Beijing Yunyi Hotel. After resting for some time, they were transported to Tiananmen Square and the adjoining Forbidden City where they visited the Chinese Imperial Palace, used from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty from 1420 to 1912. The visit was followed by dinner at an Indian restaurant and overnight in the hotel. On day two, after breakfast the group went to the Longdi Jade shop where they saw a demonstration of making of jade artefacts and jewellery. Jade is, and always has been, a stone highly prized by the Chinese. Its use in ornaments, ritual objects and ceremonial weapons can be traced back to 5,000 BC. Visitors were shown various large and intricate pieces of work, most of them carved from a single piece of jade. After lunch the group visited the historical and awe-inspiring Great Wall of China -Juyong Pass.

On day three, after breakfast, the group checked out of the hotel in Beijing and arrived at the station to board a train to Shanghai where they checked into the Rayfont Xuhui Hotel. In the evening they were transported to the quay for the one-hour Huangpu River cruise with dinner and an overnight stay in Shanghai. The Huangpu River cruise begins at the Bund, which is known as a “museum of architecture”, housing the old buildings that were the stronghold of major British trading companies, known as ‘taipans’, and on toward the Nanpu Bridge.

One day four, after breakfast at the hotel, the group proceeded for the Shanghai City tour. First, they visited the People Square and Nanjing Road for shopping then went to the silk shop. Later they visited the lovely old Yuyuan Garden with golden fish pond, bridges and pavilions and the silk museum. Thereafter, the tour continued to the Shanghai Museum and a cultural programme on the Huangpu River cruise. Finally they visited the Yu Market with photo opportunities in front of the TV tower. Later in the evening they explored the Bund which has famous clubs, bars and restaurants.  After dinner, the group returned to hotel for their overnight stay in Shanghai. On day five, after breakfast at the hotel the group checked out and were transferred to the airport for their flight back to Kolkata via Kunming.

In the past Shyam Steel’s incentive participants have experienced China, Thailand, Singapore, Switzerland, Italy, France, Orlando, Miami and New York. Future destinations now being planned include New Zealand and South Africa.