Six Learnings on Innovation from Six Industries From the event “India’s National Competitiveness Forum and Porter Prize”.
"Strategy is not about boardroom meetings and macroeconomic conditions but should include more specific about what customers will actually need. What does Unified Payment Interface, Aadhar info integration online and all this digital disruption mean to a small businessman in a village who will go to a local bank branch 23 times only to get a rejection?” - Vistaar Finance Managing Director
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In IT/service outsourcing:
Rostow Ravanan, CEO and Managing Director, Mindtree – Not a very large player but interesting IT company. “Industry is at cusp of disrupting affecting all players. This leads to many new possibilities, for example a client of ours was able to earn 200 million dollars because of a 3 month project we did for them. It’s exciting. The negative part about innovation is the pressure to enable people, employees and clients, to succeed amidst this disruption.
Angshu Mallick, COO, Adnani Wilmar Limited – An edible oil company, sixteen year old. “Since about 10 -15 years, customers have moved from unrefined, unbranded to refined and branded oils. However taste still rules. Customers will not stick with an oil if it won’t add taste despite any health benefits. However we try to give customers an oil that is both health and will add taste. We have found that Rice bran oil is fastest growing edible oil across categories and comparable to olive oil. Mixing types of oil like Sesame oil is another option. Cold pressed Sesame oil is healthy we find in clinical trials and we hope to leverage this finding in the future.”
Bhasker Iyer, CEO, Abbott India – Abbott is present across all health care sectors. “Our conscious trade-off was to first focus on metro and tier 1 to reach most number dispensaries, doctors and hospitals. It has paid off for us. Now we are looking at penetrating what we call “extra urban areas”. Abbott is also looking at leveraging digital media to enhance medical knowledge bases, doctor-patient relationships.”
M K Anand MD and CEO TIMES Network – "Broadcast channels are right in the middle of tsunami that is tech disruption. It has given rise to more players. Now YouTube, Amazon are also media companies. Distribution channels are being affected too, you have satellite and cable channels which are monetized. But you have internet allows create and publish for free."
"As a TV channel we always stay true our purpose for existence. Media is supposed to enagaging, informative, and entertain. This will not change despite the technologies coming up. However new tech has allowed more players with whom you will have to compete with for customers. Your brand, content must be original and must be better than anyone else’s."
"In media you will also have to compete much harder to retain the best talent. At first our group had two companies to compete with for talent, first decade of 2000 it was 25, now it’s 500 companies. So we must do whatever it takes to make sure you retain the best talent. Whether your medium is internet, TV, radio or print you will need talented human beings to make quality content.”
Ramakrishna Nishtala Managing Director and CEO, Vistaar Finance – Does not give out personal loans, but lends to small businesses. “Micro enterprises are the backbone of the country. In small villages tech disruption is 10-12 years away. Fintech disruption is difficult here due to mostly transaction in cash. So we decided to leverage this untapped customer base. I am skeptical about most fintech models; most financial services won’t lend to you if you don’t have an audited balance sheet showing profit.”
"Strategy is not about boardroom meetings and macroeconomic conditions but should include more specific about what customers will actually need. What does Unified Payment Interface, Aadhar info integration online and all this digital disruption mean to a small businessman in a village who will go to a local bank branch 23 times only to get a rejection?”
“How will his life change? What we are trying to do is serve this customer.”
“In finances you definitely have to get in touch with customer on the ground to secure repayments on loans. It’s an inevitable in financial services. How will you get these customers to pay if you’re dealing with them over a digital portal?”
In real estate and infrastructure development:
Anita Arjundas, CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited – The company has been active for 10 years, but been up for about 15 years. “Real estate is hard to disrupt. It’s traditional, permits and licences and process of obtaining them, corruption involved, the major players and government role has been the same for a long time."
"We try to look at spaces to meet unmet needs like affordable housing model with high volumes and low margins (infrastructure in the range of 6-20 lakhs). This is a space government agencies and larger players are exiting and has a large void in. In addition we have established a company framework that will help us move to unestablished markets, faster."
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