India-ASEAN “FTA in Services, Investments” to be signed in December 2013 | The Economic Times

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Services & Investments between India and the 10-nation ASEAN are expected to be signed in December 2013, with a view to strengthen economic engagement between the regions.

The agreement will boost movement of Indian professionals in the ASEAN region which include countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It will also facilitate investments in these regions.

” We have already conclude trade in goods agreement and God willing by December’ 13, we will also be signing trade in services and investment part of our engagement with ASEAN,” Commerce Secretary S R Rao said here at a CII function.

After operationalising a free trade pact in goods in 2011, both the sides were engaged in widening the base of the pact by including services and investments.

Trade between India the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) stands at about $ 76 billion in 2012-13. 

Both the sides have aimed at increasing it to $ 100 billion by 2015. The other ASEAN are Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The pact is likely to be signed in December’13 in Bali, where WTO members are scheduled to meet for the ninth ministerial conference.

Rao also said India is working participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a Mega-Free Trade Agreement.

The 16-member RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN members and its six FTA partners namely India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The 16 economies account for over a quarter of the world economy.

” It (RCEP) is a very ambitious trade agreement which goes beyond tariff barriers and it seeks to explore the non-tariff issues which is to do with common standards, mutual recognition of various degrees across this region,” he said.

“This (pact) is extremely important for us because of changing global trade architecture,” he added. RCEP negotiations were launched in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The first round of negotiations were held between May 8- 13 in Brunei.

“Big Retailers” find profit swallowed by size & sales | Business Standard

Aggressive expansion in a difficult economic environment and delays in foreign investment are proving costly for the retailers…

Most of these retailers started operations between 2006 and 2007 or went on an aggressive expansion spree during that time. The only exception was Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail which decided to go slower on opening stores. And that seems to have paid off.

Reliance Retail, which started in 2006, posted a profit before depreciation, interest and tax of Rs 78 crore in 2012-13. In comparison, both Spencer’s  and Aditya Birla Retail logged losses.

Big retailers find profit swallowed by size and sales | Business Standard.


“How You Can Use Content” to “Increase the Quality Of Leads” ? |by : John Hall | Forbes


At the heart of every marketing strategy lies a piece of purposeful and compelling content. From a business’ search engine rankings to its social media analytics to its webinar views, content is the puppeteer behind the theatrics.

That’s just the beginning of content’s magic… 

Recently, sales teams have taken a seat next to marketers on the content wagon, utilizing content to do some of the heavy lifting in terms of generating and qualifying leads. Not surprisingly, it’s working. Content is saving salespeople time and money while also bringing in quality leads and working buyers through the sales funnel.

FOUR Ways Content Can Increase the Quality of Leads :

So, how is content performing an entry-level salesperson’s job with such flair ? Below are FOUR ways sales teams can leverage content to increase lead quality.

1. Lead nurturing : The more informed the customer is, the happier the company is. Content is an easy way to make sure your entire team is consistent in its messaging and in educating potential clients — no need to lose a head over something a salesperson said.

This nurturing is especially important early on in the buying process, as this is when the client is just getting to know your company, understanding your process, and determining whether you’re credible. Rather than aggressively asking a potential customer to jump on a sales call, it’s a lot less intrusive to ask him to download a whitepaper or read an article.

2. Qualifying : This particular content strategy can save sales teams time and money. By using content to show how interested a customer is, you can gauge who’s ready to buy, who to jump on a sales call with, and who has no idea what your company actually does. Through downloadable forms that ask specific questions, content can even tell you if a customer has the budget to spend on your service or if the person engaging with your content is a decision maker at the company.

3. Increasing lifetime value : There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time, money, and effort trying to land a sale, only to have the client cancel after two months. There’s an acquisition cost to everything. By using informative content to educate your client on what he will actually be paying for, you’re creating more qualified leads and allowing potential buyers to decide if the two of you would make a good match — for the long term.

4. Building authority and trust : Distributing content not only on a company’s website, but also through credible publications, will build a sense of trust and transparency between your company and customers. Publishing influential pieces of content can showcase your company’s expertise, giving you authority over a particular niche in your industry. This method of content sales can both attract new customers and retain current customers.

How to Apply Content to the Sales Funnel : 

Think of content not only as a puppeteer, but also as a shepherd leading a herd of clients through your sales process. I know, it’s an interesting image, but stick with me. This is a phenomenal way to use content; you can tailor it to your sales funnel, ensuring high-quality leads in the process. Here are three crucial steps to using content this way :

1. Create content for each step of the sales funnel : Start off with a broad piece of content that’s non-promotional, like a blog post or thought leadership piece. This will generate interest. Continue to build awareness through whitepaper downloads or webinars, and then end with a very specific piece of content targeted toward serious potential buyers — something that addresses specific questions clients may have before signing on the dotted line.

2. Match content to buyer personas : It’s important to know who your different potential customers are and what type of content will attract each of them. You can create different funnels for different personas, and then lead them through the sales process with the content they’ll engage with most.

3. Identify leads according to content : A well-thought-out funnel will allow you to gauge where a lead is in the funnel. For example, say a few potential clients viewed an educational blog post by your company. Take advantage of this by setting up a re-targeting campaign so every person who reads that blog post will now see display ads for your company on other sites, ensuring your company stays top-of-mind.

By employing a well-executed content strategy, anything from whitepapers to thought leadership pieces can aid in weeding out ill-fitting leads and strengthening the probability of gaining what you need the most: the perfect client.

“Great Entrepreneurs” are “Stubborn Contrarians & Eternal Optimists” |by: Marcos Galperin | LinkedIn


When I get asked about the key characteristics that make successful Entrepreneurs I often cite : The ability to build & lead great teams, To persevere, To thrive under risky environments, To focus obsessively on the Final Goal without getting distracted by competitors, and To think very long term with the objective of building something that will, ultimately, outlast the entrepreneur who built it.

But even though I consider all these attributes very important for entrepreneurs to have, If I were to highlight TWO Key -characteristics, they would be :

  1. being a ” Stubborn Contrarian “
  2. being an ” Eternal Optimist “

Some people believe entrepreneurship can be taught, others believe it is a born trait. I do not have a final opinion on this, but I believe that anyone who is not a stubborn contrarian is substantially less likely to be a successful entrepreneur. 

I remember the first time I communicated my idea about starting an e-commerce marketplace in Latin America to my Latin American classmates at Stanford back in 1998. The overwhelming majority told me it would never work. They would say that Latin Americans don’t trust each other and hence, they will never buy something they have not seen or touched, to someone they do not know….”that behavior only works among Gringos!” they would say..

The one person who said it might work, went on to add that it would be impossible to collect a fee since buyers and sellers would collude and cheat the honor system we intended to use. This was just one of the many instances where we had to be contrarians and defy accepted wisdom. The truth is, if you go with accepted wisdom, you are unlikely to build something different, that will have a long lasting impact.

Being a contrarian is important for entrepreneurs, but it is not enough. Successful entrepreneurs are typically stubborn contrarians, since creating a new reality that most people believe cannot exist will typically take a lot of time and several failures along the way. In our case, after a few years of launching it was clear that Latin Americans were willing to trade stuff they had not seen or touched with people they had never met; but building a sustainable business by collecting fees from that trading, was much harder to prove.

In the first couple of years, our bad debt ratio was close to 90%, and to reach break even, instead of the 2 years we had originally planned, it took us over 7 years. During those years, we had to significantly decrease our overall spending in salaries and marketing expenses to ensure that the cash we had raised in the year 2000 would last whatever time we needed to finally build a profitable and sustainable business.

The second key characteristic many successful entrepreneurs have is that almost invariably they are also eternal optimistsThis optimism enables them to create something out of nothing and to convince funders, prospective employees, clients, suppliers and partners, that whatever vision the entrepreneur has, it will become a reality in the near future. 

Entrepreneurs always believe that the world will be a better place and that, whatever part of the world they are trying to make better, will get better. This eternal optimism is a key trait that helps them to persevere as the inevitable complications appear when they start to build their vision into a reality. 

A great example of a successful entrepreneur who is an eternal optimist is Elon Musk. His efforts to build a successful electric car company, a major step to ending society’s addiction to oil, helping reduce carbon emissions and making life on earth more sustainable, are admirable. Not to mention that in the United Stated no one has successfully created a car company in almost a century. It is worth noting that, on the side, he is also making progress in conquering space and enabling interplanetary life.

Many sceptics continue to doubt, but Tesla is making steady progress. It started with a high priced, low volume model, the Roadster which sold 1000 cars at over $100,000 each car, and now, during the second phase with a less expensive car aimed at the high end market. The Model S will sell over 20,000 cars in 2013 at close to $70,000 per car. The third and final stage will likely occur in a few years with a lower priced model targeted at the mass audience.

In the meantime, large automakers have taken notice and launched their own versions of electric cars (the Volt from GM and the Leaf from Nissan/Renault) moving society closer to disrupting the combustion engine and the great network of gasoline stations which we have learned to rely on for many decades.

Most people however, are not eternal optimists, they are not convinced that the world can and will be a better place. On the contrary, they tend to believe that the world simply is the way it is because “otherwise, someone would have made it better” and therefore, they try to adapt to this world and try to be as happy and effective as possible within this status quo.

But the fact is that the world continues to be a highly imperfect place, governed by highly imperfect governments, using highly imperfect systems sorted, haphazardly, in different geographic places. Ultimately, therefore the way the 7 billion people in the planet organize ourselves to produce and distribute goods, services, well being and happiness for everyone is, clearly, not a perfect outcome or the best possible outcome.

” The Good News is that, therefore, Entrepreneurs will be able to keep their hands & minds busy for many more centuries”. 

“Healthcare” needs to be “Scalable, Accessible, Available & Affordable” | Niche-Speciality Healthcare space| ETRetail

Established in the year 1949, Dr Lal Path Labs has come far in an attempt to “Redefine the pathology testing landscape”. From scaling up as a trustworthy brand to providing home testing facility, the 150 centres strong diagnostics chain with 2000 collection centres, has become a reliable destination for consumers across the cities.

With a target of reaching 200 centres by 2014, Lal Path Labs promises to stick to its last. In an email interview OP Manchanda, CEO, Dr Lal Path Labs and a speaker at the upcoming Knowledge Series, mentioned about the “challenges of operating in this Niche-Business”. Edited Excerpts : 

What are the challenges of operating in the pathology space in India ?

The diagnostics pathology (Niche Speciality Healthcare space) today in India is deregulated, fragmented and localised. Anyone with a decent capital in his coffers can set up a testing lab these days. This is evident in the fact that thousands of mom and pop shops working under claustrophobic conditions are springing up by the day. This should serve as a wake-up call for the system and the public in general.

Healthcare being the ‘highest involvement’ category as health is crucial has got ignored in terms of barriers of entry and some filter to see the credentials and accreditations before these are set up.

The need of the hour is to have some market laws and market criteria mechanisms in place in the diagnostics space that restricts fly-by-night entities setting up shop as they can compromise the health of patients and jeopardise the reputation of the industry.

Which services for you sell the most? What is the average ticket price for you ? 

Our top tests are the preventive tests and more on chronic / lifestyle segment as this segment has seen an upward trend due to health consciousness, proactive mindset of Indian’s that is being seen off-late last seven years.

We have seen that customers of today are convenience seekers – so our services like home collection of samples, digital reports and IT enabled services are seeing a big demand and we can claim that we have the best IT and marketing apparatus to provide these services and delight them. This is what differentiates us from others – we are a consumer brand apart from being a hard core diagnostics company – we are both — as customer centrality cannot be ignored in any business and we have both sides to our business – best technology and best customer mindset.

Please share some details on your format of operations. How many labs do you have, at which locations and how many more are you planning to launch ? 

We have over 150 labs and over 2,000 collection centers across India, a central lab in Delhi and also a National Reference Lab at Rohini (New Delhi).

We work on a unique hub and spoke model. The collection centers collect the samples which are then tested at the nearest lab. This model is time tested for us and this has been mastered by us over the years like the Dabbawalas of Mumbai.

This logistics is in house for us and this ingenuity and indigenous approach coupled with 6 decades of learning curve in our business day in and day out – gives us that edge over others – to provide an accurate, fast report delivery and the best service in our Industry. We will be around 200 centres by exit 2014.

Please share your experience on how a business can scale up in the health & wellness space in India ? 

Philip Kotler told the world about the 4 P’s of product, price, place and promotion. Today the corporate world talks about customer centrality and not what a marketer wants.

“I believe, it’s not about products anymore – it’s about needs – it’s not about pricing but about affordability and the value point “.

In healthcare as well, it’s the 4 A’s that matter. Accessibility, affordability, awareness and availability play a crucial role in gaining market share and mindshare. A business may have the best healthcare products which are not available and accessible to a multitude – but this does not help.

We see many standalone diagnostic units today which have a great name but these are manpower-driven and lakhs of customers cannot access them or the services are not available. This does not do any good to the society and also from a business perspective.

Healthcare needs to be scalable, accessible, available, and affordable. And we need to create awareness about where we are, who we are, what we do, what we can offer. So marketing plays a key role in building a brand. In our company we have a strong product mindset to bring the best pathology tests but we have teams to scale up and make products available as also to market in order to create awareness.

Please tell us about your Finances, Private Equity if any, any other monetary support for your operations? What is the average cost of operations in this business on annual basis ? 

We manage from internal accruals. 40% of our costs are locked up in direct and indirect overheads.

“India’s Hair-Maintenance Industry” steadily growing Premium Salon & Spa businesses | ET Retail


When a New Delhi-based men’s magazine approached cricketer Virat Kohli  for a photo shoot, he insisted that his hair stylist be flown in from Mumbai. The production team balked at her airfare and accommodation demands, not to mention her exorbitant fee.

Fans of Kohli, however, will unhesitatingly fork out the money to imitate his rocker Mohawk-styled eyebrow cut. It is these young Indians, inspired by stylish movie stars and cricketers who are behind the growth of the salon industry. From trims by world-renowned stylists that cost more than Rs 50,000 (champagne and pick-up and drop in a BMW 7 Series come free) to ‘espresso’ restyling for Rs 99 that snips your mane into shape in seconds to hair yoga (read branded ‘champi’), they’re all innovations that are making the cut.

The industry, pegged at Rs 12,400 crore, has seen a 33% increase over last year, according to a report by Franchise India. Primarily unorganized, it comprises 40% of the Indian beauty care market estimated at nearly Rs 31,000 crore and is set to turn into a Rs 21,700-crore business by 2015.

Its bounce has attracted new investors. Earlier this week, Godrej Consumer Products acquired a 30% stake in Mumbai-based premium hair salon chain b:blunt, run by siblings Adhuna Bhabani Akhtar & Osh Bhabani, for an undisclosed sum.

Last year in April, India Quotient picked up a stake in Mumbai-based doorstep beauty service Belita and in May, Everstone and Helion Venture invested in Bangalore-based salon chain R&R Salons that runs the “YLG” (You Look Great) brand of salons.

Industry estimates reveal that a high-end salon, which usually requires Rs 40-50 lakh to set up in a metro, achieves a break-even point in 12 months. “From the time we started, we have grown each month by about 25%,” said Italian hairstylist Rossano Ferretti, who is all set to open at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bangalore next month, his third hair spa in India after The Oberoi, Gurgaon and the Four Sea sons, Mumbai. 

Ferretti’s client list includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and the Late Princess Diana, and he is considered the most expensive hair stylist in the world, charging $1,000 (roughly Rs 60,000) for a cut.

Slated to visit India later this month, Ferretti’s, Gurgaon salon has him booked for three appointments. For the price, his uber rich clientele gets a pick up and drop in a BMW 7 Series, champagne on arrival, use of a VIP room and a luxurious hair revitalizing ritual of caviar pearls.

More Holes Than Cheese: “Embracing the Growth Imperative” | BCG

Corporate leaders can be forgiven for taking an increasingly cautious view of the future : Growth in the developed markets remains slow while growth in the emerging markets is falling from a once-great height. 

But those who fail to pursue top-line growth and, instead, focus on cost cutting to improve the bottom line risk falling behind more enterprising competitors. Around the world, and in every industry, sector, and business, there are companies managing to grow fast and to build an enduring lead over their rivals.

BCG’s research shows that the gap in operating margin between corporations in the top-performing quartile (companies achieving high growth and high operating margins) and those in the bottom quartile has widened dramatically as the global economy has become ever more volatile and unpredictable. In 1950, the gap was 13 percent. Sixty years later, it was 59 percent.

What is the secret of the fast-growing companies ? 

In essence, Leaders at these organizations understand that there is a growth imperative. This drives them forward. They see opportunities everywhere, pursue them relentlessly, and never think that their job is done. For these leaders, there is always more commercial space to be conquered. There are always more holes than cheese.

Why Growth Is Imperative ? : 

In the boom years, before the financial crisis struck in 2008, companies could succeed simply by riding market growth. Now, however, CEOs have no such luxury. Competition is more intense than ever—not least because global challenger companies from emerging markets have burst on the scene just as global growth has slowed. The presiding law is Darwinian natural selection. You either grow or you die.

Growth itself is not a strategy, however, and it cannot be the sole focus of any company. As Edward Abbey, an American essayist, warned, “growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Before anything else, companies must win what we call the “right” to grow—and this means building a sound operational foundation.

Ultimately, however, growth—or, rather profitable growth—is the best way for companies to create sustainable economic value. BCG’s analysis reveals that over a five-to-ten-year horizon, 60 to 75 percent of total shareholder return is derived from a company’s profitable growth. In other words, profitable growth is much more important than even earnings or dividend growth.

And growth has an importance that extends far beyond total shareholder return. It is crucial for sparking a winning spirit within a company, which is especially valuable in tough times since it creates a virtuous circle. It provides companies with economies of scale and the advantages that come from a broadening network of customers and suppliers. It also generates the funds required to invest in innovation and experimentation—which can eventually lead to business expansion, greater market share, and still more profits. By contrast, the absence of growth can be a straitjacket, inhibiting a company’s creativity and triggering its downward spiral, or doom loop.

Perhaps most important of all, growth helps to attract and retain the most talented people by fostering a feel-good, can-do culture. Every era has its desirable corporate destination—its “place to be.” In the 1950s, the industrial goods companies attracted the smartest graduates; in the 1980s, the technology companies topped the list of hot employers; and today, the leading online companies have a special draw on the best and the brightest. What do all of these sectors share in common? They experienced exploding growth when they commanded the labor market.

Growth creates more and better opportunities for everyone. In fast-growing companies, promising young thinkers and doers do not have to wait in line for promotions behind less innovative but more senior coworkers. In slow-growth (or no-growth) companies, by contrast, even the best and brightest might have to toil for years before a superior falls under the proverbial bus and an opportunity opens up. So it should come as no surprise that many of the young high-value employees at these organizations become frustrated and, in the end, choose to move elsewhere.

Where To Find Growth ? : 

Even though global growth has slowed, individual companies are finding the opportunities for growth as great as ever : there really are more holes than cheese. It is just a question of knowing where to look. 

The first priority of any company that commands one or more competitive advantages over its peers should be expanding the existing business—that is, maximizing the core. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as boosting demand by better understanding the needs of customers, increasing the effectiveness of the sales force, or fine-tuning prices.

Another way is to offer improved products and services to existing and under-served customers while developing underused distribution channels to reach them. Companies embracing this strategy include soup manufacturer Campbell’s, consumer-goods giant Procter & Gamble, and premium automotive manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. All have used their existing brands to strengthen their product portfolios and to appeal to larger groups of consumers.

A second priority is to look beyond the core business to adjacent opportunities—in particular, those relating to new distribution channels, new markets or customer groups, or new product or service categories. For example, digitization—the active use of the Internet, mobile technologies and increasingly powerful information-processing machinery—provides a significant growth opportunity. Indeed, it may even be a “must” to survive. By 2016, BCG calculates that there will be 3 billion Internet users—roughly half the world’s population. Over time, we expect that almost all businesses will need to digitize, but the pioneers in this realm will be the most likely to achieve the highest growth.

BCG’s analysis reveals that revenue growth at traditional companies maintaining an active Internet operation can be up to 22 percent higher than growth at their less-connected rivals. In the cutthroat competition of the U.K. retail sector, John Lewis is a clear standout as a successful example, with convincing and well-aligned offers online as well as offline. Although there are real worries about self-cannibalizing—with online sales simply supplanting traditional sales—they are often exaggerated. And, in the end, it is better to self-cannibalize than to be cannibalized by a competitor.

Globalization offers many growth opportunities, too. Today, rapidly developing economies account for more than 70 percent of the world’s growth. Across many industries, globalizing companies—Volkswagen, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Chevron among them—are clearly outperforming their more locally or regionally focused competitors.

Almost all businesses can take advantage of globalization—whether they are already large multinationals or purveyors of local products and services. Companies that systematically build strong positions in the top 20 to 30 national markets can expect significant growth for years to come. Obviously, this is easier said than done: such expansion cannot be achieved by simply rolling out existing products and services to new customer groups. To be successful, companies must captivate customers by tailoring—literally customizing—products and services to local tastes and requirements. And they need to take a long-term perspective, understanding that building businesses in the emerging markets takes time.

As they look for opportunities to expand, companies must take care to consider all major customer groups and, therefore, all price points. For example, it might be commercial suicide to overlook lower-price consumers, leaving them to be served by companies from emerging markets. Such a move might mark the beginning of the end, as many European and U.S. companies learned in the 1970s when Japanese companies started entering the consumer electronics business—and as some Japanese companies are learning now that Chinese and South Korean companies are on the rise.

In order to exploit different price points, companies must create distinctive products with dedicated brand, marketing, and sales strategies. Unilever, Pernod Ricard, and Diageo are showing how to use a range of labels to serve various customer groups at varying price points. Renault has gained new customer groups with Dacia, as has Volkswagen with Audi, Seat, and Skoda. Even among industrial goods companies, the use of several brands at different price points has proved very successful, as Otis Elevator, Shanghai Electric, and Bharat Forge have shown through the performance of their subsidiaries and joint ventures in China.

The third growth priority is to enter completely new businesses. This carries more risk than expanding existing or entering adjacent businesses—and many companies have failed to diversify profitably. Even so, there are a number of very successful companies that have pursued forward or backward integration, rolled out their technology into new areas, or moved into completely unrelated businesses. Here, a key success factor is understanding that new businesses are likely to require significantly different business models than those for the existing businesses. As such, they will probably require different types of managers.

Apple is a classic example of a company that migrated to a new business. It began as a pure-play computer company in the 1970s before bouncing back in the 1990s from a decade of decline. In the process, Apple has transformed itself into a consumer electronics and services company with the launch of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and related services.

In the emerging markets, various conglomerates—such as Tata from India, Votorantim from Brazil, or Samsung from South Korea—have demonstrated that entering and running new and often unconnected businesses is a viable strategy. Other firms that have successfully embraced this approach operate more like holding companies that buy businesses and develop them over time; among these are Temasek Holdings from Singapore and Khazanah Nasional from Malaysia, and Danaher Corporation and Koch Industries from the U.S.

How To Generate Growth ? : 

Growth does not just happen. Even when CEOs have found promising sources for growth, they must then know how to generate it. Will they improve their pricing or their product mix, create innovative products and services, engage in M&A or partnerships, or invest in new business models ?

Certainly, focusing on the core or adjacent businesses carries the highest probability of success. BCG’s analysis shows that nearly 70 percent of companies that ranked among the top third by total shareholder return generated their growth by focusing on existing businesses or those adjacent to their core. Of these, most companies expanded geographically or placed bets on several of their business units—spreading their investments and increasing their opportunities for success. By contrast, just 40 percent of the top companies opted to engage in M&A. And when they did, they made a series of small and medium-sized acquisitions rather than large, bet-the-farm transactions—which tend to destroy rather than create value.

Knowing which strategy to deploy—and when—requires careful planning, a careful sizing of the market opportunities, an understanding of the competitive landscape, and a deep appreciation of the need for differentiation. Also, as the path forward can never be determined with certainty, growth always requires an ability and willingness to challenge the status quo; to try out new products, services, and processes; to be persistent; and, ultimately, to be tolerant of and honest about failure.

In our experience, a prerequisite for success is what BCG has termed the “accelerator mindset.”

Leaders or companies with this outlook are ambitious, audacious, adaptive, and, when necessary, aggressive. Steve Jobs (the late CEO of Apple), Lee Kun-Hee (the chairman of Samsung Electronics), Ferdinand Piëch (the chairman of Volkswagen), and Ratan Tata (the former chairman of Tata Group) come to mind.

The Growth Imperative – No Time To Lose : 

Today, too many companies, cautious about the future, are playing it safe—focusing on the bottom line and managing for cash. But while it might be tempting to wait for the dust to settle or conditions to improve, the challenges that make today’s business environment so confronting are not temporary. They are the new status quo. And, indeed, today’s volatile business environment may be the perfect base for growth.

In the end, companies that fail to invest for growth will lose, often to new competitors unburdened by legacy business models and brimming with confidence. Many of these new companies are state-owned or family-owned and are often willing to build market share at the expense of short-term profits.

Even for the most-established companies, it is essential to understand the growth imperative. Opportunities abound, almost everywhere, and they must be seized. If you don’t do so, someone else will.