India is a country that about a decade back, had a huge proportion of population that was outside the formal banking environment. To rectify this, the concept of Project Aadhar was launched with the purpose of providing unique identification to these millions. This task was allotted to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). This became one of the largest ever exercises in social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship needs to be transformative, and not merely incremental to make things better. To get to the root of this, first of all, one needs to fully comprehend the problem at hand. The entire corporate strategy needs to incorporate a vision for the future. For this, a workable model needs to be put in place. This model need also look into the scalable factor. Nothing will work unless it can be scaled up to reach millions or billions as was the case with the Aadhar Project.


Uploaded Date:07 January 2019

Toys R Us is no more, having shut down after facing massive financial crises. This marks the first Christmas in a long time, where the iconic toy brand will not be around. The likes of Wal-Mart, Target and even Amazon have already taken steps to fill that void, by preparing glossy content to attract kids. While Toys R Us had long been struggling, the end was sudden, so the vacuum has to be filled in. The consumer habits have also shifted away from physical toys to digital ones, whose sales do not necessarily depend on the seasons. This became the main concern for Toys R Us, as it was not able to sustain year-round business, beyond this 6-7 weeks’ high around Christmas, after which there was a steep drop. The business innovation initiated by Amazon to mail their product catalogue to children and their parents, could go down well. Omni-channel retailers such as Target and Walmart though will not give up without a fight, and are sure to cash in. Their in-store design also needs to be ramped up in order to appear more appealing to children.


Uploaded Date:03 December 2018

Many more institutional investors are now incorporating sustainability as one of the key reasons for making any investment decisions. This is borne out by the business research conducted by Callan on institutional investors where 43% confirmed to do so. This is 21 percentage points higher than the corresponding figure for 2013. But mere talk is not enough as companies need to align such intentions with the ESG (Environmental Social Governance) goals. Bonuses need to tied up with sustainability for the big strategic moves. To take this on, boards must ask themselves certain tough questions beginning with how the company can differentiate from the rest. Another is whether core competencies exist within the company to leverage such situations. And finally, whether the return on investment can justify the steps currently being undertaken.


Uploaded Date:26 November 2018

Like several other work functions, manufacturing too is undergoing massive change in the ongoing Industry 4.p. Technologies such as 3-D Printing, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and complex analysis tools have transformed the world of manufacturing. However, these technologies will not erase the requirements for human intervention. In order to remain relevant, companies will quickly need to explore new opportunities. Fulltime diagnostic specialists must be staffed, whose primary function is to gather relevant business intelligence to act on them. The supply chain has to be upgraded using these latest tools. The workforce too needs to be transformed and for that the right talent recruitment and subsequent training has to be provided to the employees. This will enable the right level of alignment with robotics, advanced processes, quality systems and a data-driven predictive model.


Uploaded Date:23 November 2018

We have now seen far too many corporate giants fizzle out. In fact, while the average lifespan of humans has kept on going up, it has gone the other way for companies. The average lifespan of most companies was 90 back in the 1920, but it is now a mere seventeen. Across sectors and industries, we see a four-stage pattern for companies. The first stage is dominated by maverick founderswho excel at business innovation. Key examples include Anita Roddick at Body Shop or Ray Kroc at McDonald’s. The next stage involves expanding abroad done ever so successfully by Unilever, P&G, Nestle and Nirma. Beyond a certain level, the third stage kicks in where competition starts cutting into the shares. Then, distraction sets in so that the brand cannot capitalize on its legacy. From here on, there are three options, one being that the tired legacy brand succumbs to niche, fleet-footed rivals. The challenge of ecommerce cannot be ignored either. So, the mavericks need to be brought back.


Uploaded Date:21 November 2018

Business leaders and governments spend a disproportionate amount of their time on preparing for possible threats. This proven by the study conducted by business consulting industry leader PwC’s report on crisis management and CEOs. It stated that 73% of the respondents believe their firm will be hit by some crisis in the next three years. In spite of this, when major devastations do occur, many are found to be wanting in their level of preparation. What affects organizations most are asymmetric threats. These are threats which have a low probability of occurring, but lead to immense destruction and the related costs once they do. There are four broad classes of such asymmetric threats. These are in terms of unprotected infrastructure, vulnerable technology, underestimated disasters and innovative geopolitical attacks. One needs to prepare for such occurrences with a meta-readiness approach. For this, the first requirement is a genuine admission of such events occasionally occurring. This universe of threat needs to be assessed within the prism of the four broad categories. The current crisis-response capability needs to be assessed for each threat category.


Uploaded Date:15 November 2018

It is well-known that creativity is essential to fostering business innovation. A fear is that this creative economy may be somewhat exclusivist. Another unfounded fear is that such innovations do not have any direct bearing on the top or bottom line. These fears were put to rest in a study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute. Clearly companies with higher levels of creativity tend to do much better on the financial scale as well. There are some simple but deliberate methods which company leaders could adopt to help their employees get more creative. To immerse them into this world, they need to be exposed to newer experiences and break free from previously held views. They need to be given real-world challenges. It will help them discover previously unknown aspects about themselves. Artificial constraints may be imposed on this to simulate the real situations. Data needs to be used to further the creative juices. The art and science of business need to work in tandem.


Uploaded Date:14 November 2018 

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