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Posts Tagged ‘Consulting’

What’s hot in India for business opportunities

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Since the 1990’s has created an image of “Outsourcing Nation” in the eyes of the West. This notion has blinkered the opportunity India presents itself as a consumer. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rose from $10B in 2005 to $40B to 2009. In year 2008 export from USA to India jumped 85% in just one year alone according to US Commerce Department.

Recent High Growth Sectors in India:

  1. Infrastructure: Real Estate, Automotive, Transportation, Nuclear and Alternative Energy
  2. Technology: IT product development, Business Process Outsourcing and Software Development
  3. Healthcare: Hospitals, Medical Insurance, and Biotechnology
  4. Education: Vocational Training, Schools, Universities, and Business Schools
  5. Retail: Organized Retail
  6. Food & Beverage: Packaged food and Alcohol

Some investment vehicles to consider are joint ventures or direct investment (several sectors are open for 100% ownership by foreign corporations. Franchising is taking on like wildfire with coffee chains, retail stores, hospitals, schools, white goods, eye wear, fashion accessories, garments, and fast food.

Entrepreneurship in the technology sector has proved to be a lucrative hunting ground for Private Equity investors. Several PE funds have been setup in the last three years looking for venture and buyout investments in technology, healthcare and biotechnology startups .

How to determine best practices by analyzing the market leaders

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Last summer a team of interns from a leading B-School in India – Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), developed a Competitive Landscape Analysis methodology at ZENeSYS.

Using this methodology, best practices and opportunity areas can be identified in any industry segment. Once these are known,  businesses can formulate a strategy to enhance their performance.  The methodology works by analyzing the market leaders in any given segment of the industry. Take for example ACME a manufacturer of 100W wind turbines as a case study.

The first step was to determine the market leaders in the 100W wind turbine market segment. The market leaders at the time of the study were as shown in Fig 1.

Fig1. Market Leaders

The next step in this methodology was to determine buyer preferences and vendor goals of this particular wind turbine market segment. These preferences and goals were determined by secondary research through product literature, white papers, industry reports, product reviews, blogs, news articles, and other indirect indicators such as sales figures, customer profiles and customer feedback.

Fig 2. Customer Preferences P1 to P6

The customer preferences P1 to P6 are listed in Fig 2. The goals of 100W turbine vendors are listed as G1 to G6 in Fig 3.

Fig 3. Vendor Goals G1 - G6

In the third step, we create a matrix by cross referencing the Vendor Goals and Customer Preferences as shown in the Synthesis Matrix in Fig 4. This matrix becomes a framework for analyzing each market leader (the vendors listed in Fig 1)

In the fourth and final step, research was done to see which market leaders were  able to address the customer preferences while realizing their goals. Which ever vendor is fulfilling this, their name was put into that particular cell as shown in the completed matrix Fig 4.

Fig 4. CLA Synthesis Martrix for 100W Wind Turbines

Now the interpretation of the populated matrix is quite simple. The cells in a column that show a lot of vendor names are the best practices and the ones that are relatively empty are the opportunity areas.

If we were advising ACME, here are two examples recommendations – one for best practice and one for opportunity area.

  1. Best Practice: Invest in R&D as this is being done by almost all the market leaders (look down in column G1 – almost every market leader is investing).
  2. Opportunity Area: Grab export market share (look down column G3).

ZENeSYS have delivered several engagements using this methodology with great results. No reason why you can try this analysis for your own industry segment. Of course our consultants will be delighted to do it for you.

For a full presentation of our CLA methodology, see our slidesshare posting here.

Custom secondary research is affordable and better than primary research

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

According to Wikipedia, as of March 2009, the indexable web contains at least 25.21 billion pages. Google claims there are one trillion unique URLs.

Can you imagine the amount of information nuggets in web pages, blog posts, news articles, documents, discussions and social network chatter out there? Secondary research can tap into all that gold mine of information and make businesses rethink that “reliable market research only comes from primary research”.

Here are the drawbacks of Primary Research

  1. Sample size is never big enough
  2. Cannot guarantee that respondents are giving an honest answer
  3. Respondents may not be qualified or have the right exposure to provide answers

For the same drawbacks here are the benefits of Secondary Research on the net

  1. Sample size is practically limitless
  2. Answers can be cross verified e.g. homes with two car garages in a suburban area is a more accurate indicator of mean income than asking 100 respondents from that area about their household income
  3. When Apple wanted to determine the market size for iPhone I don’t suppose they asked the phone users if they would buy one.

Businesses should NOT ignore business schools

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

An article in the Financial Times today reported that The Academy of Management claims research done by business schools is irrelevant. The three reasons quoted were that management is not a professional qualification second, its not a science and third, it tends to engage in the kind of research that universities expect them to. While the first claim may be true I don’t think the three reasons given are the reason why business schools are getting ignored.

In my opinion, business school faculty and students are a massive bank of mind power that is woefully untapped by businesses. Perhaps its the fault of the business schools that they are not marketing themselves properly to make the businesses community realize how much they can contribute.

Here are three good reasons why businesses should (and I speak more for the business school students since we work with them all the time) should be tapped for their research capabilities.

  1. Commitment: B-School students are hard working eager minds who have made a conscious commitment of time and money to learn business. In creative professions recognition is far more valuable than money. If artists were to enter profession for the money, there would be no art in this world.
  2. Environment: They have the time and perfect environment to think and be creative. Creativity has a certain spontaneity to it. If a management thinker can can hatch one idea in a week, we cannot take 5 and expect them to create one in a day – and most students we work with, work seven days a week!
  3. Resources: They have the resources and collective power of teams. Their access to online and offline information, academic mentoring and the community of friends to work in a team makes it ideal for researching and analyzing any issue under the sun that businesses are facing today.