Tech mahindra
Tech mahindra

Is Small a possible answer?

Posted by: CP Gurnani On January 11, 2016 02:35 PM

With the previous blog raising pertinent questions on big issues, such as sustainability and inequality, in a world that will increasingly transform, it may also be time to explore smarter, more efficient and nimble solutions that will probably leave a huge impact on three big units – Industry, Economy and Governance.

From a historical perspective, it took simple innovative processes to revolutionize the way we work. From combining image frames to create cinema, to generating telephonic networks across miles to connect people and communities, small couldn’t have been more beautiful. A simple thought of visual enhancement revolutionized usage of personal computers to take them to every person’s desk. A simple thought of aggregation of information brought up a search engine generating more business every day than some companies do in a year.

Even if we look for recent changes, small has indeed proven itself. Big airlines across the world have lost significant business to economy airlines. Big real estate ventures have floundered while a small start-up called AirBnB rents out apartments successfully in over 190 countries across the world. Big restaurants have failed miserably while tiny delivery services cater successfully to a large number of customers. Big computers have been replaced by mobile devices, providing nearly all the functionality required.

Would it then not be correct to say that smaller, nimbler and agile businesses may emerge more competitive in the near future? They definitely do have significant advantages and each leads to further benefits such as:

1. Access to Information from autonomous endpoints creates better ability to take decisions, leading to intelligent operative processes.

2. Newer business models can be developed much faster based on these processes. These are faster, swifter and more efficient.

3. In turn, this market agility generates Real time information, allowing for advantages of capturing new opportunities and personalizing services to a great extent.

4. This in turn creates additional revenue streams, monetize additional services provided and increase customer lifecycle.

This now rolls back to advantage 1 where an enhanced customer lifecycle generates more information and thus the advantages form a cyclical process, leading to transformation. This in turn affects the way business is conducted, further leading to changes in the economy and possibly driving governance towards sustainable solutions for the long term.  As an example, a small thought of adding manure to rain harvesting pits in desert regions in Africa, brought up a sustainable method of “tree farming” creating areas richer and more efficient in terms of harvesting water further, yet keeping the environment clean. The impact on the environment, despite increasing pressures of population has been extremely positive.

Maybe it is time to rephrase the old adage: It may be time to think small, yet be agile and flexible.

Tags: Thought Leadership, Direct from Davos
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