8Minute Talk show — Soheil Nejat, Marketing Manager at Mihan Co

MANSOUR KIARASH: Hello, I am Mansour Kiarash. we are with you with another eight-minute talk show. Today, we want to talk to one of the brands marketing managers that probably all of you have used its products until today, and I do not think that there would be any other exception, and I want to introduce Mr. Soheil Nejat (marketing manager of Mihan brand) to you. Hello Soheil Nejat

SOHEIL NEJAT: Hello. Thank you very much for your invitation. I am Soheil Nejat. It has been almost a year since I joined Mihan Company. Before that, I was in Golrang Company for a few years; I also have collaborated with Oila and Famila brands. Before that, I was in Alborz Steel Company. Now I am next to you in the case of consulting and working with several startups and government organizations. I also consult and work with private organizations.

MANSOUR KIARASH: Considering that whether you worked in the field of strategy formulation or in the field of branding and marketing, and because I know that you also work in the field of branding and I know that you also have a focus on export work, And you work in the field of B2B in the Mihan business, I want to know what is the biggest challenge you have ever had in different fields?

SOHEIL NEJAT: Our significant challenges are the internal organizational challenges. You know that in strategy formulation, the mindset of the people who are the strategy formulator, and the way they look at the strategy, is very important.

MANSOUR KIARASH: That’s right

SOHEIL NEJAT: The huge event that happens to us in strategy, I mean the challenges we faced most of the time in business, was that the strategy was being formulated but we could not implement it. It was the same in most of the Iranian companies I attended. They would come and sit down and, very nicely, formulate the best strategies by carefully studying the information about the market and competitors, and the industry, but they had neglected to implement them. If I want to point out other challenges, they are the challenges that are outside of our business. Competitors exist; customers exist; sometimes we see that we cannot properly analyze the customer’s mind. Therefore, we have difficulty in formulating a strategy. We find a series of solutions for them according to time and place.

MANSOUR KIARASH: Viva! Let’s talk a little bit about these solutions. Which of these challenges do you think is more serious and what is the solution do you have to solve it?

SOHEIL NEJAT: The concern and the big challenge we have is the self-reference that most managers have in their decisions. It means, we talk to their managers and suggest the mental errors that people have. These mental and perceptual errors are the same as self-referential errors. It means, they base themselves on decision-making. Therefore, they make decisions intuitively, and for example, all the programs that we want to make the decision based on data will be destroyed by the same intuitive thoughts and decisions. This is a very big challenge that we are engaged with and I think it influences most of the challenges.

MANSOUR KIARASH: If we want to reach a key to solve this problem, how do you analyze it?

SOHEIL NEJAT: Look. First, as far as possible, if the team who are working on those goals could agree on each other and the information is accurate information, they would deal with each other and accept plans and offers.

MANSOUR KIARASH: So in fact, my impression is to collect data that can help to make the right decision and pull the main decision-maker towards the better decision by using user data.

If we want to talk about innovation, because now we see that Mihan company has some products which was claimed for the first time in Iran, if I am not mistaken, creamy bread ice cream is one of these cases. I want to know what structure do you use for this type of innovation or even for the innovation which is involved in the introduction of these products?

SOHEIL NEJAT: Full mastery of this industry helps us to be able to innovate very quickly in the screen products that we offer, even in the taste, size, and names we choose. Suggestions for innovation depend on the skills of the people (from their experience and knowledge of the market). Expert people find the needs themselves. Even with small trim elements that take inspiration from nature, people, relationships, and conversations; they quickly turn the inspiration into an idea and then turn the idea into a product and then present them to the market.

MANSOUR KIARASH: Great

SOHEIL NEJAT: In these products, if we want to be innovative, we must very quickly gain our expertise in that area (the mastery of complete information about the product, service, and market), so that we can have a complete innovation.

MANSOUR KIARASH: Right. Very good.

Would you please introduce the book that you have read and has impressed you?

SOHEIL NEJAT: The book The Seven habits of highly effective people, is a very valuable book. I should say that the impact which it has on people’s lives (whether in organizational or personal life), is obvious. Anyone who has read this book will definitely recommend it to others. The main core of the book is that Mr. Covey introduces seven habits. This was his doctoral dissertation that examined the successful people in the world and collected their habits. Two of the habits he mentioned are very inspiring for me. One is being proactive. It means, I am responsible for my own work and it weighs more on internal factors than external ones. The second is first things first. That means we should do those important things first. We can easily succeed in our time and goals.

MANSOUR KIARASH: What a regular activity you do and do you feel that factor can always keep you a successful marketing manager?

SOHEIL NEJAT: What I learned from the managers I worked with, or the professors I interacted with, was that before I get ready for work in the morning, I arrange the things I want to do tomorrow in my mind that night. I do the Mr. Covey’s habit (first things first) again.

MANSOUR KIARASH: If we ask you to introduce someone to us who has memorable words to say (whether in the field of marketing and branding or in the field of strategy), who would you introduce to us?

SOHEIL NEJAT: I invite dear Dr. Hasoumian (Marketing Vice President of Alborz Steel Company) to come. So that people can use his knowledge and experiences.

MANSOUR KIARASH: Brilliant.

Surely we invite him to meet him on this chair and we will use his experiences.

8Minute Talk about Strategy, Marketing and Branding challenges in international brands